Fish in a Flash

Tilapia isn’t boring. I repeat: Tilapia isn’t boring. Whoever started this rumor obviously never prepared tilapia well. Whole Foods has particularly meaty, delicious tilapia that comes in freezer packs, two fish for $3. I stock up every time I go to WF.

I happen to prefer handling tilapia when it’s frozen, which means I can think of it last minute without needing to take the time to thaw it. A few days ago, I was feeling inspired but had no idea what I was going to cook when I wandered into the kitchen. Tilapia pasta! Delicious and underrated.

Hooray! I remembered that I have these handy dandy herbs frozen in my freezer and decided it was the perfect time to test them. So I popped an oregano one out of the tray and threw it in a pan. Fancy!
I took the frozen tilapia out of the package, rinsed and patted the filets dry, dipped them in a beaten egg, then coated each piece with parmesan Panko crumbs and tossed them in the pan. Okay, then I added a pat of butter for good measure.
Trick: Set your wooden spoon over the boiling pasta. I’m not sure how or why, but the wooden spoon keeps the water from boiling over!
This is not the most colorful meal I’ve ever made but it sure tasted fancy! I was too hungry (it was 8 PM after all) to bother, but I highly recommend sprinkling fresh herbs on top for color.

Fish in a Flash: Parmesan Crusted Tilapia Pasta

2 frozen tilapia filets
Oregano frozen in olive oil (or fresh oregano)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup (approx) Parmesan Panko crumbs
1-2 cups pasta
1 garlic clove
1 lemon
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
Kalamata olives for garnish

  1. Boil salted water for pasta.
  2. Heat frozen oregano in pan.
  3. Rinse and pat tilapia dry.
  4. Dip tilapia in beaten egg.
  5. Coat tilapia with Panko crumbs.
  6. Put tilapia in pan with olive oil and oregano. Add a pat of butter.
  7. Add pasta to boiling water.
  8. Peek under the tilapia. When the crust is golden brown, flip. When the second side is golden brown, remove from pan.
  9. This is where we get fancy. Don’t waste the flavor in the tilapia pan! Some crumbs are probably stuck to the bottom. Mince a fresh garlic clove and throw it in the pan. Take 1/2 cup of the pasta water and add it to the pan as well. This will get all the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan and add them to the sauce. Add a bit more butter and the juice of half of a freshly squeezed lemon.
  10. By now your pasta should be done cooking. Drain and add to garlic sauce.
  11. Toss thoroughly and let the flavors absorb for just a few minutes.
  12. Plate pasta, add a tilapia filet on top. Squeeze lemon juice on top. Add a few Kalamata olives. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

@krwatson

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