Monday, March 16, 2009

RECIPE: Parmesan-Garlic Tilapia

Thankfully, my husband works such insane retail hours, we don't sit down for dinner until 8:30 p.m., so when I wrote that post earlier today about not knowing what I was going to cook, I was actually not too terribly worried because it was five hours until everyone was expecting me to start shoving casserole dishes into the oven (or, perhaps more to the point, shoving cardboard platters of On-Cor Family Size Salisbury Steaks into the microwave.)

[Brief pause...]

Kayte, I am just kidding. I do not serve those nasty things to my family, although I used to, back in those halcyon days before you looked at me with big, sad eyes and said, "Oh, Shelley. Shelley. Please. Please, don't buy those awful things," which is around the same time you started giggling when I asked, in innocent surprise, "Whaddaya mean, Kraft doesn't make good cheese? What is good cheese, if not Kraft?" until you realized I was serious. And then you fainted.


So anyway, I figured I still had time to burn. I sat myself down upon the couch with a cup of tea at my elbow and my book propped on my lap and read cozily until oh-my-freakin'-gosh, it was 6:30.

So I went to the kitchen and prayed for some kind of magic to happen, which it didn't. St. Zita, where are you, girl? Then I opened the freezer door and a bag of frozen edamame came flying out as if self-propelled and hit me in the head, which didn't seem magical either. But then, when I picked the edamame bag up off the floor and started to stick it back into the freezer, I saw some flash-frozen tilapia. Yippee!!!

Problem solved!

I love tilapia because it goes with just about anything. I love flash-frozen tilapia because it tastes so good and is so easy to prepare, requiring all of fifteen minutes in a moderate oven. And I love being able to make something for dinner that everybody enjoys and which also looks as if I spent a lot of time cooking it. Which is kind of the complete opposite of the Julia Principle, which is make something for dinner that everybody enjoys, but which took seventeen hours to prepare, albeit with easily obtainable ingredients.

I think Julia would have liked this recipe, though.


4-6 frozen tilapia filets

2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon water

1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
a bit of dried parsley, for sprinkling


Preheat the oven to 375o

Break the eggs into a shallow pan (I used a cake pan) and beat, add the water to combine. In a separate shallow pan (another cake pan, natch) pour the melted butter and then add the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. This mixture will be very thick and a bit clumpy.

Rinse the tilapia filets in a bit of cold water and pat dry with a towel. Place each filet in the egg wash and then place it in the bread crumb-butter mixture, pressing the crumbs onto the top of the filet. Transfer the filet to a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled; repeat the process with the remaining filets. Sprinkle some dried parsley on the top of each filet.

Place the baking sheet in the heated oven and bake the filets for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with some lemon pepper. These filets are very pretty and make a nice presentation, being not at all pale and fishy and nekkid-looking.

1 comment:

Kayte said...

OHHH, very funny on the kidding part. I am learning to remain silent when it comes to food with you and Katie. This recipe sounds so very very good. I am stealing it. Right now. How easy is this, too? Just the right amount of mixing and stirring and grating, etc. so you feel really empowered in the kitchen and all! And, best of all, you aren't in it for a long long time! Thanks for posting this...I never would have thought of the Parmesan with the fish like this and it sounds very very good.