• 4 6-oz. croaker fillets, skinned and deboned
  • 6 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced small
  • 1/4 red onion, diced small
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 medium-sized poblano peppers
  • 1 small white onion, diced medium
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup cooked rice, preferably basmati
  • 2 cups grated cheese, Monterey Jack or queso fresco
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
  • canola oil for roasting and sautéing
  • scallions, chopped

Mix the tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and olive oil in a small bowl. Season salsa to taste, cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 400, toss poblanos with oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until peppers are soft and their skins blister. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 10 minutes. Run peppers under cool water to remove the skins. Make a slit in the pepper from the stem to the bottom and remove the seeds and ribs, being careful not to tear the peppers. Set aside.

Sweat the white onion and garlic in canola oil until translucent. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt, pepper, canned tomatoes and 1 cup cold water. Stir in the rice and cover. Cook for 15 minutes over low heat. Remove rice from heat and let stand covered for 20 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork.

Combine rice mixture and cheese. Stuff the peppers with the mixture and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until their internal temperature reaches 150.

Season fish on both sides and dip into the milk. Dredge both sides of fish in ground tortilla chips. Coat the bottom of a saute pan with oil and heat to almost smoking. Sear fish on one side for 3 to 5 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Turn fish and transfer to a 400-degree oven for 5 minutes.

Place one of the peppers on each plate and lay the fish over the peppers. Top with the salsa and garnish with chopped scallions.

Serves 4