Tilapia for Two

Tilapia ready to eat

Tilapia was on sale the other day, so I bought some knowing that I would not be able to grill it since it was too rainy and cold outside. Brad and I love oven-baked fish that has some sort of coating on it and I had seen this recipe for Tilapia Milanese courtesy of Food Network Magazine that I wanted to try. And I’m glad I did!

This is so easy to make and quite tasty. The fresh bread crumbs, parsley and lemon zest are an excellent coating for this mild, white fish.  Tilapia generally has low levels of mercury and is low in saturated fat, calories, carbs and sodium. There is some debate on which country to buy it from, but by most accounts U.S. tilapia is the best choice.

It is unusual for me to follow a recipe exactly, even the first time I try it, but that’s basically what I did here, with great results. However, next time I make this I will either add some parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs or use La Brea Bakery’s three cheese semolina bread (available at Harris Teeter) instead of plain white bread. I might also add some nuts like I did in my earlier post Crispy Oven Baked Tilapia.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Tilapia for Two ingredients

  • 2 tilapia fillets (5 to 6 ounces each)
  • ¾ cup 2% milk
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 slices of white bread, torn into pieces
  • ¼ cup of fresh parsley leaves, stems removed
  • Lemon zest from ½ fresh lemon, plus lemon slices for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Soak the tilapia in a bowl with the milk and a cup of ice cubes for at least 15 minutes.

Soak tilapia in milk

Mix the flour with salt and pepper in a medium-sized dish and beat the eggs in a separate shallow bowl. Using a food processor, pulse the bread, parsley, lemon zest and salt (to taste) until you have a coarse crumb mixture and place on a plate.

Place bread crumbs, etc. in food processor

Take each tilapia fillet and dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess and then dip in the egg mixture.

Tip tilapia in eggs

Coat with the fresh breadcrumbs, making sure the fish is completely covered.

Coat tilapia with bread crumbs

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet and sauté the fillets until golden brown on each side (about 2-3 minutes per side.)

Brown tilapia on both sides

Transfer the tilapia to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 8 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges.

Tilapia for Two

Food Network’s recipe pairs the tilapia with arugula tossed with olive oil, but I used the Mom’s marvelous marinated carrots as a side and was happy with the combination. A nice, dry white wine is perfect with this.

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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