Friday, March 4, 2011
Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
I'm not a huge fish person, but I do like a bit of variety and the fact that fish is good for you is incentive enough to try it now and then. Andy and I picked up some tilapia fillets at the grocery store the other night, so I thought I'd finally pluck up the courage to broil them.
My previous experience with broiling consists of one night: I invited a bunch of friends over for dinner when I was living in Pennsylvania, and on top of the dish of baked tortellini, I was supposed to put a layer of shredded mozzarella and broil it until it was melted. Instead, I broiled it until it was charred unrecognizably, and ended up scraping the goop straight into the garbage (but don't worry, the tortellini was fine!).
So I was hesitant to try it. But it seems like so many recipes for tilapia, salmon, and other fish recommend broiling so I figured that I needed to get over this crazy fear.
The recipe that I found required a mix of shredded Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise, lemon juice, basil, black pepper, onion powder, and celery salt.
All mixed together, it looked like this:
The recipe said to broil the fillets briefly on both sides first, so that's what I did.
Then I spooned the cheese mixture directly onto them.
Just two more minutes under the broiler, and it looked like this:
I've always thought of tilapia as a tasteless fish, but Andy pointed out that its lack of fishiness makes it receptive to flavors. He must be right, because I couldn't believe how good this turned out. The spices weren't anything special, but the creaminess of the cheese, butter, and mayo combined nicely with the tart lemon juice and the bite of the spices. I suppose it wasn't real healthy (though I did use mayo lite instead of regular mayo), but at least there really wasn't very much of the sauce. I'm glad that I tried this dish, and I will make it again.
I keep changing my mind on whether or not to include the exact recipes in my blog posts. Do you care if I do or not? I had at least 2 requests for the recipe for the Greek dressing, so I am going back to that entry to add it in, and I'll include today's recipe here.
The recipe (I halved it because we didn't have 2 lbs of fish):
Broiled Tilapia Parmesan
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp celery salt
2 lbs tilapia fillets
1. Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil (I lined a cookie sheet with foil and sprayed it with nonstick cooking spray)
2. In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder, and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.
3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches away from the heat for 2-3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for a few more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and the fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to overcook.