Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Most if the time weeknight dinner at our house must be two things - super quick and relatively healthy.  Last year Troy asked if I would start cooking more fish.  Fish?  Seriously?  I eat fish two ways - batter fried with a side of hush puppies or wrapped in a nori sheet with sticky rice and plenty of wasabi.  Either way... the fish is prepared by someone else.  Cooking fish isn't something I do at all, not to mention well.  But I've never been one to turn down a challenge in the kitchen, so if Troy wanted me to cook fish, I would cook fish.  This recipe has been the most successful by far.

Tilapia is a mild, inexpensive and readily available fish.  You can find it in the frozen seafood section.  It's usually sold in individually frozen fillets.  This recipe is flavorful and crispy on the outside, flaky and moist on the inside.  It shouldn't be mushy or fishy at all.

Parmesan Crusted Tipalia


6-4 oz. tilapia fillets
1 cup breadcrumbs (you can use store bought or make your own.  In a pinch I have run croutons through my food processor.)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (Grate your own, preshredded, even the powdered stuff would be okay.)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp cajun seasoning (Use more if you want.  Use whatever dried seasonings you like!)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 450.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray, or if you have baking racks set them on the baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray.  Using the racks will keep the fish crispier on the bottom as well.

Place breadcrumbs, cheese and seasonings in the blender or food processor and process just until everything is combined.

Place olive oil in a small bowl and the breading on a plate.

Rinse each fillet and pat dry with paper towels.  Brush both sides with olive oil and coat with breading, pressing to make sure it sticks.  Place fillets on the baking sheets or racks.

Press a bit more breading onto the top of each fillet and let them rest for about 5 minutes.

Bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serve with steamed or roasted veggies and a salad for a quick, healthy dinner.

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