Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cilantro and Lime Encrusted Tilapia

I can't believe how easy and yummy it is to "encrust" fish.  Doesn't the word "encrust" sound so difficult.  Really, you just cook one side of fish, flip, top with some "crust", and cook until done.  That's "encrusting" something!  I've paid dearly for horseradish encrusted steaks and blah blah encrusted fish and really... it's something the chef throws on the meat, broils until it's crispy, and plates.  WOW!
I know, some "encrust"-ed foods are more complex, but this is what I've mastered, and will continue to do!

This is "a few of my favorite things" on some tilapia.  Tilapia is a "safe fish" in my house - it doesn't taste like fish, it's easy to tell when it's done, and it's pretty darn inexpensive at Aldi ... especially when you notice that tilapia is sold in a 24 ounce bag, not a 16 ounce bag (salmon) or even a 12 ounce bag (boiled shrimp).  Tilapia also absorbs the flavors of the crust nicely!

Lime Parmesan with Cilantro encrusted Tilapia
4 servings tilapia
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup cilantro
1/8 cup (2 Tbsp) lime juice squeezed
dash cayenne pepper
1/2 lime (to squeeze on fish)

In a small bowl, mix the cheese, crumbs, cilantro and 2 tbsp lime juice. 
Preheat Broiler
Place frozen or thawed fish in a hot, Oven-Proof, non-stick frying pan heated to medium over medium heat.  Cook until the fish releases from the pan when nudged with a spatula.  From frozen this is about 5 minutes, from thawed maybe 3.
VERY CAREFULLY flip fish - squeeze 1/2 lime evenly over pieces of fish.  LIGHTLY sprinkle with cayenne pepper (or paprika if you prefer).  Place the "crust" on top of the fish.  Cook for 2 minutes (assuming frozen fish). Place frying pan under the broiler for 3 minutes. (skip add'l cooking and just broil thawed fish).

remove from pan to plate and serve!
I tossed a bit of grated parmesan cheese on top of this just for fun!

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