Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Crispy fishy

Tonight's Menu

  • pan-fried tilapia
  • coleslaw
  • leftover warm salad of caramelized veggies and spinach
Okay, so I was a little bored with my usual tilapia sauteed in EVOO and decided to try something a little different. It was a bit more time-consuming than usual but not at all difficult (because, you know, I don't DO difficult). Here are the steps as I went through them:
  1. Cut some boneless, skinless tilapia fillets in half lengthwise and put them in a shallow dish/pan of milk. Yes, milk. Stay with me here.
  2. Take another shallow dish/pan and put in some flour mixed with salt, pepper, dry mustard, dried dill, basically whatever herbs and spices your little heart desires.
  3. Take yet ANOTHER dish/pan (incidentally, pie pans and round cake pans work great for stuff like this), crack an egg into it, add about a tablespoon of water, and whisk to combine.
  4. Take a fourth dish/pan and pour a bunch of panko into it. (You should be able to find panko at your local market -- look in the Asian/ethnic food section or in the baking section with the bread crumbs and cornmeal and whatnot -- but if not you can order it from Amazon or some other online retailer.)
  5. Now you want to get a heavy-bottomed skillet with relatively high sides and pour in enough canola oil to cover the bottom about a half-inch deep. (You COULD do this in a deep-fryer, but deep-frying scares the hell out of me. I am a pan-fry kind of gal.) Heat the oil over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes.
  6. Okay, now the fun part! Take a (half) fillet out of the milk, dredge it in the seasoned flour, swish it in the egg mixture, then dredge it in the panko until it's entirely coated. Then oh-so-carefully place it into the hot oil.
  7. Repeat with other fillets, working in batches so as not to crowd the pan (that lowers the temperature of the oil and makes everything soggy). Watch fillets closely and turn when golden brown on the bottom (this only takes about 2-3 minutes, tops).
  8. Remove from pan when both sides are a nice, golden brown. Place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
That's all there is to it! It sounds like a lot of steps, but once you get all your little pans o' stuff ready it's an absolute breeze. The fish comes out moist on the inside and crispy-crunchy outside, not at all greasy, and because you made it from scratch, YOU control how much salt and fat is in this stuff (hello, have you ever read the label on a box of frozen, breaded fish? it ain't pretty, y'all).

Everyone absolutely raved about this fish tonight, and you longtime readers might want to sit down for this one: The girl. Had. SECONDS! The child who lives on cheese and crackers and air actually went back for more of this stuff! You KNOW it has to be good.

We've discussed coleslaw before, right? Just shred up some cabbage with a knife, combine a little mayo with equal parts sugar and white vinegar, maybe throw in a little celery seed, toss and chill? It's like the easiest salad in the world, y'all. I was feeling fancy today and added some grated carrot! WOO! We live on the edge around here.


daysgoby said...

Clapping for the Girl!

Shelly Kang said...

Hi, I finally got around to trying this recipe, and my whole family loved it! Thank you so much! I'm blogging about it right now, so the post will be up in a few minutes with a link to you.

J. Denae said...

I found you from Shelly's blog... that sounds fabulous and we will be trying it soon. I tend to shy away from fish, but wow... and Shelly used the leftovers for a home made fillet o'Fish sandwich. Yum!

Anonymous said...

We made this for dinner tonight and loved it. My husband ate four pieces! We had 1 1/2 lbs. of fish (10 pieces) with only four left for Shelly's filet-o-fish tomorrow. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.