Monday, July 30, 2012

Parmesan–Herb Crusted Tilapia

A little crispy, a lot tasty!
Cover just about anything in parmesan cheese and chances are I’d eat it. Even fish, which is a big deal for this gal since most seafood makes me gag. But this dish is far from gag-inducing. In fact, when I spied my inspiration for this recipe on  Pinterest, it made my mouth water.

That particular recipe called for crackers, flour, and egg. I didn’t want to use any of those, so I fished around (pun intended) and came up with kind of a Frankenstein. It’s basically pieces and parts of several recipes that I thought sounded good.

Feel free to adjust the spices based on what you have on hand or whatever you think sounds good. Want spicy? Add a little cayenne. Don’t like oregano? Leave it out. You get the picture.


3-4 boneless, skinless tilapia fillets (or other white fish)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan &  Romano cheese (I used the Trader Joe’s one in the green canister)
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon dried basil
½-1 teaspoon black pepper
¼-½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry tilapia fillets. In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Pour parmesan-herb mixture into a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, stir together olive oil and lemon juice. Coat each tilapia fillet in olive oil/lemon juice and then roll them in the parmesan-herb mixture until they are covered completely.

Set the fillets aside to “rest” for about 5 minutes to let the coating set. (I did this on a wire baking rack.)
Line a baking sheet with tin foil, spritz with olive oil spray, and place fillets on the baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden and a little crispy.

Don’t like fish? I think this coating would be DELICIOUS on chicken as well. You’d just need to increase the oven temp to 400 and bake for 20-25 minutes until the internal temp reached 165.

Before making this dish, one of the only other fish recipes I liked was
Tomato Basil Tilapia. (Go figure, that one uses parmesan cheese too!) But—dare I say it?—I may like this just as much. It’s full of yummy flavors and it’s easy to make. The husband gave it high marks as well.

I served the tilapia with a fresh spinach, tomato, and bell pepper salad and one of my latest Trader Joe’s obsessions, their Harvest Grains Blend. It’s a combo of Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa and it is awesome prepared in chicken broth and flavored with a little no-salt seasoning.

We didn’t have any leftovers so I didn’t get to test this one on the toddler. But, it was so good that I’ll be making it again soon. Next time, I’ll be sure to cook up a little extra to see if the real boss of the kitchen approves.

Until next time,

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