My family loves fish. But with all the warnings about high mercury content, the endangered fish lists, and the perils of farmed fish we’ve really scaled back on our consumption. Still, we love the taste of fish, its versatility and the many health benefits, so we try to eat it once a week if possible. The La Honda Country Market has made that a lot easier for my family with their flash-frozen Tilapia.
Native to Africa and the Middle East, Tilapia (or St. Peter’s fish) is a spiny-finned fresh water fish that has been around since Ancient Egypt. This mild tasting white fish has become the third most important farmed fish in the world. Tilapia is on the approved list from Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, so we eat it often. Breaded and sautéed in a bit of oil, it is like a Friday fish fry without the calories. Or the guilt.
4 Tilapia filets
1 cup breadcrumbs (or parmesan for low carb eaters)
1 egg (with a tablespoon of water)
1 T parsley or mixed fresh or dried herbs of your choice plus salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying
Sprinkle breadcrumbs, herbs, salt and pepper into a pie plate. Mix with your fingers and set on the counter.
Whisk egg and water together in a bowl large enough to hold one piece of Tilapia. Set this bowl next to the breadcrumb pie pan in a line so you can easily move from fish plate to egg bowl to breadcrumb pan. Dip each piece of Tilapia in the egg mixture bowl, letting any extra egg drip off before you place it into the breadcrumb plate and flip it over (patting extra breadcrumbs on to make sure the entire fish is covered). Place breaded fish on a clean plate while a quarter inch of oil heats to medium high in a frying pan.
When the oil is rippling and popping slightly, place each breaded Tilapia in the pan. Do not move the fish for at least two minutes. This allows a crust to form and brown on the bottom. Lift one fish at the wide tip to check for brownness before turning over with a spatula. Do this gently to avoid oil splatter. You can even flip it against the side of the pan if you do it gently, but it takes practice. Do not get the oil onto the flame or a fire can flare up. Be careful! Depending on the thickness of the fish, one or two more minutes on the stove and it’s done. Easy!
To plate this dinner I like to put mashed potatoes or rice in the center of the plate and lean the fish up against it. Then I sprinkle chopped parsley on the fish, scatter steamed veggies around it and place a lemon wedge on the plate for those who like a squeeze. It’s healthy and very tasty. This recipe actually works with any type of fish, so experiment.
See you next week with another La Honda Country Market recipe.
About countrymarketcooking I am Laurie McLean and I’m blogging about my experiment in sustainable community through cooking in the tiny mountain town of La Honda, California. Each week I’ll be buying ingredients for a family-of-four-dinner at our fabulous local La Honda Country Market (and encouraging my neighbors to do the same so we keep it in business). Then I’ll blog about it at: https://countrymarketcooking.wordpress.com and share my recipes for that meal at the store. Mangia!