So when hungry, what do you do for dinner when there is nothing in your own fridge to eat?! You go raid your neighbors fridge and see what you can find, that’s what. Hee-hee! Well, it’s kind of like that with us, as her knowledge of my cooking abilities is very evident (pretty convenient I’d say). I feed her quite often and she’s not even my girl friend, nor someone I’m even remotely or intimately involved with. But all of that being said, food was scarce chez moi and I thought, hmm! where can I find something to eat. I know! Lorin left some fish behind: she’s a mutual friend that sometimes takes up residence next door; long story short. Food being in short supply here, I found these frozen tilapia fillets beckoning for some culinary adventurous type to create something with them. Here’s what I made…a crusted pan fried tilapia fillet with a beurre noisette and an aromatic vegetable wild rice that was out of this world and the perfect accompaniment to my meal. Clean and simple and so so satisfying.
tilapia fillets (as many as you like)
1 cup of flour (or less if making small batch)
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1 whole egg (or more if larger batch)
1/2 tsp black pepper (I use a pepper mill)
1/2 tbs kosher salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Prepare a dredging station using 2 or 3 stations for dredging (dusting) and dipping your fillets in the flour and egg. This time I just kept it real simple and had two stations going, because I mixed the flour and cornmeal together and seasoned with my seasoning ingredients. You technically should have 3 stations, but I broke the rule a bit here. You can set up your flour in one dish, the cornmeal in another dish and the egg in yet another dish. Preferred dredging order: flour then the egg, then the cornmeal. In a medium baking dish, mix the flour and cornmeal together and add your seasoning. Whisk one or two eggs together and place in a medium bowl or baking dish. After rinsing your tilapia fillets and patting them dry, slightly season your fillets with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge them first in the flour and cornmeal mixture and pat them slightly to shake off any excess flour. Dip them in the egg mixture to cover completely. Shake off any excess egg before placing again into the flour mixture. Coat one last time in flour mixture and shake off any excess flour. You want to fillets coated well, but not dripping from either too much egg or flour. They should be nicely and evenly coated. Place on a dry and clean plate and set aside. In a large skillet, bring to heat with 4 tbs of cooking oil or extra virgin olive oil. I use a mix for this recipe. Just pour 2 tbs of each oil to combine in the pan. Once pan is hot, add your fillets and fry till golden brown on each side, about 3 minutes each side. Done! Make any sides your heart and palette desire and serve warm. If not serving immediately, keep warm by placing on a baking sheet or jelly roll tray covered with paper towel or parchment paper and place in a warm 200 degree oven to keep warm. To make a warm brown butter sauce. After pulling the fillets, add 2 or 3 tbs of butter to the hot skillet and allow the butter to melt and brown. Pour immediately over the fillets. They will crackle and snap and pop as you pour the beurre noisette over the fillets. If you time this meal right, it’s best to do this part just before serving. So make sure you have your side dish prepared in advance of the fillets being finished.