Tilapia is a great fish to cook with. It’s inexpensive and readily accessible and there are no tiny fish bones to worry about. It’s a mild tasting fish but that can be a good thing. It lends itself to a myriad of different flavors.
This recipe is one example of the versatility of Tiliapia. Pan frying is a great option because of the fish’s firm texture, it will not tear up too easily in the pan.
Tilapia Piccata ( Cooking Light March 2007)
8 ounces uncooked orzo (1-1/2 cups) (I only used 1 cup for the two of us, leaving me with plenty of leftovers)
3/4 to 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
3 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (flat or curly)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
3 tablespoons flour
4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets ( I used a little less that 3/4 of a pound (12 ounces) for the two of us, and it was just right)
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup dry white wine, not sweet
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
1 tablespoon drained capers (I did not add but I probably will the next time, it was still yummy without them)
*Mise en place all your ingredients:
Put a large pot of water onto boil. Place parsley in mini bowl. Put 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in another mini bowl. Cut tomatoes and put them in a small bowl.
Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/8 teaspoon and flour in a large shallow dish, like a glass pie plate. Dredge fish in flour mixture. Set aside the butter, wine, lemon juice and capers (if using).
*Because of this step, I was able to cook the fish and the side dish of sautéed spinach in 11 minutes, the time it took to cook the orzo. I think this was one of the quickest and most delicious dinners I have made.
When the water comes to a boil, add your orzo, omitting salt and fat, cooking for 11 minutes, or whatever the directions on the box says.
While the orzo cooks, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large nonstick fry pan over medium/medium high heat. Add fish and cook 2 minutes on each side, until golden brown on both sides and tender. A serving fork or very sharp paring knife should be able to go into the thickest part of the fish, with ease. Remove fish onto a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Add wine, lemon juice and capers, if using, to pan and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add the 2 tablespoons of butter, stirring until butter melts.
(At this point I sautéed my spinach, and it was done just when the orzo was done.)
When orzo is done, drain. Add tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper and stir together. Serve immediately with the fish and sauce.
mise en place orzo:
mise en place fish: