Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lemon-Butter Tilapia

I like fish. Pretty much any kind of fish. Tilapia, catfish, salmon, trout. Fishy fishes, oily fishes, fried fishes.

We don't eat fish often. Oklahoma is, after all, landlocked, though I'm sure there are river or lake fish that you could find nearby.

But honestly?

I'm scared of fish.

I like to eat it, hate to cook it.

First, it's expensive. I mean, yes, I buy pretty expensive high quality land animal meat sometimes. But I'm confident in my ability to coax my money's worth out of a steak or chicken breast or pork roast.

But a fish? Not so much. I've ruined too many fishes to be willing to commit much money to their purchase.

However, frozen fish fillets (usually salmon or tilapia) do come in my meat co-op bags periodically.

So I make the DDH cook them.

I have ruined every fish I have ever touched. But he makes a pretty mean salmon, and is pretty handy with a tilapia, too. They're nothing fancy, but they're tasty and simple and fishy (in a good way).

Here's the DDH's super-simple tilapia recipe. But in this category, I definitely welcome other people's suggestions!

Lemon-Butter Tilapia

Heat 2 Tbs. butter and 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice in a skillet until the butter is melted.

Butter frothing just slightly.
Place your tilapia fillets in the pan.

Fishy fish.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

The trick with fish is keeping it from overcooking. Such thin fillets as this take barely two minutes a side. You'll want to flip them as soon as you notice them going opaque at the edges.

Compare this opaque white to the translucent pink of the
uncooked sides in the pictures above.
A fish spatula makes this process much, much easier.

Sprinkle the other side with more salt and pepper.

Continue cooking until done. Again, this will not take long. As soon as it starts flaking apart when you poke it with your spatula, snatch it off the heat. It should be just opaque all the way through, and flaky but still moist.

Opaque, flaky, moist--delicious.
Repeat with any additional fillets, adding more lemon juice and butter as necessary. (The first two he cooked were deliciously lemony; the second two barely lemony at all. I like super lemony fish and he prefers it less lemoned, so that works for us, but you may wish to adjust.)

The second batch, cooked in a hotter skillet, browned some on the edges, which gives it a nice flavor. If you want this browning, make sure your skillet is really hot before putting the first batch in--you don't want to leave your fish on the heat too long trying to get it to brown and end up drying it out and overcooking it.

Browned fish. The weird yellow color is just our heinous
kitchen lighting, but you can see how there are more
browned spots and edges than the batch pictured above.
Serve with vegetables, or perhaps over rice.

A balanced meal.
The other problem with fish? There are never any leftovers. ^_^

1 comment:

  1. JM is pretty good at cooking fish, but I'm horrible at it. :-)

    ReplyDelete

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