Thursday, May 28, 2015

Time for a Recipe: Crunchy Tilapia

I started this blog a little over five years ago when I moved across the country.  I was excited about my new adventure, but I was also really afraid of being on my own without my boyfriend and my family nearby.  This blog gave me a hobby that was all my own.  I experimented with new recipes, I explored Washington DC, and I had a place to document everything I was experiencing.

I used to use this blog mainly to share healthy and adventurous recipes.  Side note - sadly, and for the wrong reasons, my most popular recipe post is titled "Meaty Balls." So I am hoping that if I get back into posting recipes, I can top that post sometime in the near future.

Although I don't post as many recipes anymore, I still cook almost every single night for me and Travis, and I thought I would share one of our favorites here today.  This recipe is a new spin on tilapia, which I find kind of bland and boring most of the time.  But tilapia is a really affordable and healthy fish, so I finally found a way to make it super flavorful and borderline decadent. 

Okay, so it is kind of half eaten in this picture...I am a terrible food-blog-picture-taker, I just can't justify putting more effort into the photos because then it starts to take away from the relaxing experience of cooking.  And when the meal is finished, I always start devouring it and forget to grab my camera.

Oh another reason - I often don't plan to take pictures of my food for this blog.  What happens is, I take a bite and I think "OH WOW, SO GOOD!", and I want to share that with people.  So I then jump up and grab my iPhone to take a photo.  Anyway, I digress...

The recipe for Crunchy Tilapia:
2 fillets of tilapia, more if you're really hungry :)
Cooking spray
Panko breadcrumbs (already seasoned, or season yourself with dried Italian seasoning)
Store-bought pesto
1/2 lemon
Splash of water or stock

First, all you do to make this delicious fish is take your tilapia fillets and pat them dry. Season them with salt and pepper, then spray them lightly with cooking spray and set them aside.  Mix a bowl of breadcrumbs.  I buy Italian-seasoned panko breadcrumbs, but you could use plain and just add your own seasoning like garlic, oregano and/or basil.  Then just dip the tilapia fillets into the bowl of breadcrumbs and make sure they are coated completely.  Add some canola oil to a pan at medium-high heat.  Sear the tilapia for about three minutes on each side - they cook fast!

While the tilapia is cooking, I always make a simple no-cook sauce. My go-to lately has been with the following ingredients: Pesto, lemon, and chicken stock mixed together - just taste it until you get the right balance of flavors.  As soon as the fish is cooking, I pour a small amount over top of the crunchy fish.  The lemon and pesto compliment the flaky, crunch tilapia perfectly.

This elevates tilapia to a whole new level, trust me.

How do you spruce up plain meals?

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