Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One Fish Two Fish...

I love WHITE fish, as in Tilapia, Wild Scrod, Halibut, Flounder, Seabass... Tilapia is my favorite to cook, and I don't really ever buy seabass only because it tends to be on the expensive side of things, but it is one of the most delicious of the white fishes out there!!

My first recipe I used on 2 different occasions, one with wild scrod, which I baked, and the other with tilapia, which I grilled. I have this Calphalon Panini Pan which doubles as a panini press, and a grill pan that I use for dairy/fish, or grilling vegetables. It's a great thing to have in your cooking repertoire, and not any harder to store than a frying pan. It's especially perfect if you like to grill, and don't have room for a double stovetop grill pan, or if you are like me and live in an apartment so grilling outdoors is impossible!

The second way I generally like to prepare tilapia is breaded & baked at a very high temperature to get that "fried" look and taste. Tilapia is a very light, mild, and delicate fish so it holds up really well with a breading, and adds a great flavor to it.

*If you are short on time, you can't go wrong with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh lemon juice salt, and pepper. For a simple no-fail addition of crunch, go for slivered almonds on top towards the end of the baking process.*

FYI: The easy way to tell if fish is cooked through is if it easily flakes off

That's it for my introduction, and here goes...

Grilled Tilapia
-2 tilapia filets
-2-3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
-2 tbsp. Earth Balance margarine, melted in the microwave
-salt and pepper
-Chopped parsley (can substitute for dill or basil)

-Heat up grill pan on medium-high, spray with non-stick cooking spray
-Pat the tilapia filets dry on both sides with a paper towel- if not dry, it will not grill well.
-Sprinkle with salt & pepper
-Add the minced garlic and chopped parsley to the melted Earth Balance
-Brush one side with the margarine mixture, and add it seasoned side down to the grill.
-Brush the other side
-Since tilapia is pretty thin, it only takes 4-6 minutes per side
-Sprinkle with more fresh chopped parsley & serve with pesto mayonnaise (just combine pesto and... mayonnaise!!! Proportions to your liking)

Baked Wild Scrod
-2 filets wild scrod, sliced in half across (they tend to come pretty thick)
-Same mixture as above recipe (Earth Balance, garlic, & parsley)
-2 tsp. lemon juice
-Sesame seeds
-Panko crumbs

-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
-Top the bottom half with some of the margarine mixture, and then lightly brush the top half with the margarine and coat in the mixture of panko, sesame seeds, and lemon zest. Put on top of the bottom half
-Spray the top lightly with olive oil spray 
-Transfer to a glass baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Honey Dijon Panko Crusted Tilapia
-2 filets of tilapia
-2 tbsp. seasoned flour (flour, garlic salt & pepper)
-1/4 cup dijon mustard
-2 tbsp. honey
-1 tsp. lemon zest
-1 tbsp. lemon juice
-1 tbsp. chopped dill
-Panko Crumbs + Sesame Seeds mixture

-Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
-Create "dredging station" [the traditional dredging process is usually flour, egg, and breading. The flour allows the egg to stick easily, and the egg allows the breading to stick. However, I like to replace the egg step with flavor. The breading still sticks pretty well]- 3 plates: 
1) seasoned flour 
2) honey/dijon/dill/lemon (zest & juice) 
3) panko+sesame
-Coat the filets in seasoned flour, then dip in the honey dijon mixture, then in the panko mixture, and put into a baking dish or tin
-Spray the tops
-Bake 15-20 minutes, and then flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes
-Top with extra fresh dill & more dijon mustard

Here is a fried version of the above recipe, though for this I split the tilapia filet in half to create an adult version of my favorite kid food---yes, fish sticks!!!
-Here I used basil in place of the dill, and cornflake crumbs in place of the panko sesame mixture (the sesame burns faster, and the panko tends to flake off faster than the cornflake crumbs, which holds up really well to frying) and fried it in a little bit of canola oil for a few minutes per side. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

Go Fish!!!

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