Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crispy Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia

             I am definitely turning over a new leaf here. First, it was cooking Asian at home and now it’s not only eating fish, but making it myself. Alright, so I’ve only made one fish dish to date, but every mile starts with one step, right? Well, if you’re like to me and reluctant to either A-eat fish or B-cook fish, I encourage you to try a mild fillet to begin. I started with sea bass and halibut, both delicious and prepared for me. I figured the best way to start eating the healthy rock-star itself was to have a chef cook it for me. I’m glad I did as my taste buds were taken by surprise and in love. Eventually, I tried swordfish, but that was a touch too “meaty” and wasn’t a dish I would attempt at home or order again for that matter. Nevertheless, on my radar for the future are the following: mahi mahi, flounder, and perhaps grouper.
                Anyway, back to this meal. I must thank my Mother-in-Law first for presenting this cookbook to me for Christmas. Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible is a cookbook that I had heard about but hadn’t actually seen or perused it. Oh, what a gift it is! The pages are filled with some awesome looking plates that I look forward to cooking and sharing with you asap! My husband came across this specific recipe en route to the food store and asked what I thought. Well, I am eating fish these days and it sounds pretty good I thought. He volunteered to go to the fish counter and get what we needed and from that point on, it was tilapia for dinner!
                The crust was so easy and remarkably crispy. I could not believe how the chip pieces created almost like a fried crust on the fillets. The white meat was juicy and flaked right apart just after 12 minutes of cooking. And to think I thought cooking fish was a time-killer! I served it aside a simple almond rice pilaf that I spruced up with some roasted zucchini. It was a healthy and scrumptious meal that I look forward to having again. Enjoy…..

Crispy Tortilla-Crusted Tilapia
Serves: 2-3
Adapted from: Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible Cookbook

OBJ: TCW be able to prepare and cook fish in her own home

¾ C crushed tortilla chips
2 TBS unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp lime zest
¼ tsp dried parsley
3 skinless tilapia fillets (about 1lb total)
S & P: salt and pepper
Garlic powder

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil
2. In a medium bowl, combine the crushed chips, melted butter, lime zest, and parsley
3. Place the fish on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle each with S, P, and a pinch garlic powder
4. Spread the tortilla mixture over the fish, pressing down to make it stick:
5. Bake the fish until it is opaque and just cooked through and the tortilla crumbs are golden around the edges, about 12-15 minutes
6. Put your broiler on high and broil the fish for 1 minute to really get a golden brown crisp, remove from oven and place fish fillets on platter to serve!

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