Thursday, October 18, 2012

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Here's a quick way to perfectly and easily bake frozen white fish like tilapia. Remember kids, always thaw your fish in cold water and pat it dry before following any of these steps. If you thaw it in warm or hot water, your fish will start to cook and it's not recommended by food safety professionals who are just trying to keep you from using your sick days for real sick days. 

You'll need: 

- 4 tilapia filets (any white fish like cod or catfish will do, about 4-6 oz each)
- 1/4 cup olive oil based mayo
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder

Calories: approx 200 calories per filet, depending on the size

Notes: if you use regular mayo instead of olive oil based you might taste the mayo too much. Use Miracle Whip and you're screwed. If you're knew to panko, you can usually find it in the Asian section of your grocery store if it's not with the rest of the bread crumbs. I use panko because it's lower in calories per cup than traditional bread crumbs, but you could use unseasoned bread crumbs or crushed unseasoned crackers of any kind in a pinch. 

And for this dish especially, please don't use green can "parmesan." You'll make Julia Child's ghost cry and I do that enough on my own for the both of us. Don't worry, we have a glass of red wine afterward and laugh about my misdeeds together. (This doesn't really happen. I am not really friends with Julia Child or her ghost. But a girl can dream.) 

1) Set the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 8 x 8 square casserole dish with olive oil spray. 

2) In a small bowl, stir together the panko, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and onion powder. Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Place on a large plate so you can dip the fish into it. 

3) Preferably using a pastry brush, coat the fish filets with the mayo. I know this sounds odd, but trust me. It will make the most moist, flakey fish you've ever baked and it doesn't taste like a 50's housewife made nightmare. Promise!

4)  Dip the fish into the panko mixture on the plate, flipping to get each side evenly coated. Place in the greased casserole dish and if you have any leftover mixture, pour it over the top of the whole dish. 

5) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Keep an eye because you don't want to overcook the fish. If you over cook fish...

And enjoy! The mayo trick is my new favorite way to cook fish because it really keeps it from drying out, even if it's frozen instead of fresh.

As you can see above I served this with Ina Garten's Garlc Roasted Potatoes (the secret is a crapton of good olive oil) and this AMAHZING pesto twice baked spaghetti squash

No, really. Both those sides are AMAHZING.
Sorry I'm not sorry I use the word amahzing at an in-sehn frequency.

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