I didn't use to be much of a cook when it came to fish. But I'm learning fast thanks to tilapia. An extremely mild & moist fresh water fish for healthy eating. Low in total fat, saturated fat, low calorie, low carbohydrate, low sodium protein it is an excellent source of Phosphorus, Niacin, Selenium, Vitamin B12 and Potassium. And with very low levels of mercury due to the fact that they are mostly vegetarian and are a fast growing short lived fish.
My first venture with tilapia was a few years ago. I simply dredged it flour and added to a pan that wasn't sufficiently oiled or heated. Of course disaster was the name of the game there.Flash forward to March 2010. With lots of cooking shows under my belt, thanks mostly to the Food Network, I've learned a thing or two about 'breading' fish, oil amounts, and fry pan preheating!
So a few weeks ago I purchased some tilapia. And while I was cooking up some Jasmine rice I took four pieces of the fish placed them in a container and poured on enough buttermilk to cover. In the meantime I combined unsifted flour, Italian seasoned bread crumbs, and Trader Joe's (green can [Kraft type] but for some reason) non clumping version of Parmesan/Romano grated cheese. Add in a little garlic salt and finely ground black pepper and mixed well with a fork. When the rice was done and after fluffing, I added a shallow pool, if you will, of extra virgin olive oil to a large fry pan and put it on the 'high' side of a medium high flame and let it heat for about 4-5 minutes. I dredged up the fish pieces and added to the pan cooking the first side for 4 minutes. Oh my goodness! When I flipped them the cooked side was golden brown and the breading stuck to the fish like it should! Side 2 was cooked for 3 minutes and turned out just as good! Served with Jasmine rice.
Coating was egg bath then flour laced with cornflake crumbs and seasoned with the McCormick Grill seasoning, pan fried in olive oil, and lemon peppered right out of the pan.
I did a coating of sweetened coconut and crushed macadamias. I followed a tip for working with coating and I used my Braun processor attachment on the coconut and the packaged crushed macadamias as the crushed pieces were a bit large. I also turned used a lower setting on the burner as coconut can tend to scorch. Wow! It turned out sooooo good! I highly recommend this coating.
Followed up with...
Done under a toaster oven broiler. Spray a foil lined baking pan with butter flavored non-stick cooking spray. Squeeze on some lemon juice on tilapia pieces. Spray tilapia pieces with some butter flavored non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle on seasoning(s). I used the McCormicks grill mates mentioned before. Place under broiler for 6 minutes. Remove. Sprayed pieces over with some "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" spray. Sprinkled on some Trader Joe's Parmesan & Romano Cheese and topped it with some papitas. Return to broiler and broiled for an additional three minutes. Went great with some Jasmine rice. And, yes I know a white wine with fish, right? But all I had was a 2007 Bears Lair Cabernet Sauvignon. But you know what? I think it complimented the tilapia excellent done in this way. Who says you have stick with tradition?
Tilapia 'Wrap' with Chipotle Slaw.
Slaw: All amounts to suit/taste.
'Slaw' salad mix (bagged). Drizzle on some crema (Was Crema Mexicana) . Add in chopped (canned) chipolte chilies (in adobo sauce). Chopped cilantro. Fresh squeezed lime juice. Crumbled queso fresco. Seasoned with a little garlic salt, milled pepper, and a couple of dashes of sugar. Mix it all up (what a beautiful color it came out to with the chilies in the adobo sauce).
Tilapia: Seasoned with the McCormick's Grill Mates and pan fried in olive oil.
Lay down the slaw in a steamed flour tortilla and top w/pieces of the tilapia. Roll burrito style.
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