Friday, May 14, 2010

Pecan-Crusted Tilapia - an easy 30 minute meal

Pecan-Crusted Tipalia with Caper Butter Sauce


When my husband Meakin offered to cook dinner the other night, I asked, “What can I do to help?” “Nothing,” he said. That was much too good of an offer to pass up, don’t you think?

But you should also know that Meakin is a great cook. If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, you know that when we first married I could barely boil water.  Meakin showed me the basics of cooking and encouraged me to buy cookbooks and give it a try. He even offered another deal I couldn’t refuse: if you cook something and it’s awful, we’ll go out to eat. Who could pass up an offer like that, so here I am umpteen years later with food as my favorite hobby. I also might add we haven’t had to go out but a couple of times in all these years because of a cooking disaster.

He had been anxious to try coating fish with nuts since we’ve seen nut-crusted this and that on restaurant menus for a long time. I had cut a recipe for pecan-crusted trout from a Cooking Light magazine and he used that as a basis. Here’s a link to the original version. The recipe used ground nuts and Panko bread crumbs for the crust. Meakin substituted tilapia for the trout, added two additional steps by dusting the fish with flour first and dipping it in a beaten egg before he coated it with the nuts and bread crumbs. To finish the dish, he made a simple caper butter sauce, which is optional. If you are counting calories, feel free to omit it. He used pecans, but you could certainly use walnuts or almonds. This meal can easily be made in 30 minutes if you include simple side dishes such as orzo with Parmesan and parsley and steamed asparagus.

Pecan-Crusted Tilapia


Pecan-Crusted Tilapia
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine

All-purpose flour for dusting fish
1 egg, beaten to blend
¼ cup finely ground pecans
¼ cup Panko bread crumbs, unflavored
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1 – 2 tablespoons canola oil

Salt and pepper the fish, coat lightly with flour and dip in a beaten egg. Combine the pecans and bread crumbs and dredge fish in nut mixture. Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet large enough to accommodate the fish. Do not crowd the fish and, if necessary, cook in batches. Place the fish in the pan and cook, turning once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove the fish, cover and keep warm. Serves four.


Optional Butter Caper Sauce

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Splash of dry white wine
1 tablespoon drained small capers
Squeeze of fresh lime juice

Discard the oil in the skillet and wipe clean. Add the unsalted butter to the skillet and heat over medium heat until it just starts to brown. Add a splash of dry white wine and a tablespoon of drained capers and continue to cook until the butter is brown. Pour over fish fillets, then squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on them, and serve immediately.

46 comments:

  1. well since it would take me longer than 30 minutes to get to you I guess I am going to have to make this for myself - it looks super good.

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  2. What a delicious looking crust for the tilapia. I love the caper sauce as well. I am always happy to let my husband cook as well!

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  3. Oh yum! We had catfish with panko just the other night. I'll try the addition of pecans next time!

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  4. This look delicious, I love tilapia! gloria

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  5. This really looks delicious! I am adding this to my list to try.

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  6. I love tilapia and can't wait to try this one!

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  7. Tilapia look so delicious and crunchy, its been a while since I cooked it, after what I read that it contains lots of mercury we stopped buying it... and your photos are making me drilling.. looks so good...

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  8. Meakin has done well, and you are both accomplished cooks. Such a bond has been created in the kitchen.

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  9. looks super good..And guess what I have four tilapia fillets thawing in the refrigerator. What a timely post :)

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  10. wow he really can cook this looks amazing

    yummy

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  11. The tilapia looks wonderful, Sam. That crust looks delicious. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  12. It looks delicious! I love capers, so I would definately leave them in as part of the meal. Thank you for the recipe!

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  13. I love your journey of cooking with your husband. That going out to eat bit has always made me smile. I am going to do this - and I love capers - and maybe if I use Earth Balance butter I wouldn't feel so guilty. This is just spring-summer-deliciousness.

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  14. Un repas qui semble bien délicieux.
    See soon.

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  15. I love this version and used to cook it like that a lot, on just about anything! usually chicken; bet it tastes wonderful with that caper sauce. Here is one meal worth spending 30 minutes on!

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  16. This looks and sounds fabulous. I love tilapia and I'm always looking for new recipes for it!

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  17. What a perfect meal.......my hubby does not cook too often. I don't even think he would attempt to try this,,,darn! How lucky you are to have another cook in the family!!

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  18. Lucky you. My husband cooks chili. Once. A. Year. This looks fantastic!

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  19. Tilapia is one of my favorites and I MUST give this recipe a try as I am always looking out for different ways to prepare tilapia....many thanks! Roz

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  20. that looks wonderful. I love Tilapia...thanks for sharing!

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  21. Ha, do you think we can rub a little of your man off on my man- I am sad to say I will have to make this, because my hubby only 'makes' the $$ appear when we shop, otherwise I do all the rest. He is good for a loading of the dishwasher, a good thank you, and the best dinner partner I can ask for :)

    Happy Belated Mothers Day to you, even if you do not have children, we all are mothers in our own way to someone out there :)

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  22. Sam,

    Beautiful tilapia dish. Love the use of pecans for the crust. I would not change a thing on the dish.

    The butter caper sauce makes the perfect compliment.

    Two thumbs up Meakin!

    Cheers!

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  23. Delicious! I think the combination of nuts and panko is a wonderful way to really kick-up the crispiness of the coating. Nice!

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  24. You speak my language Sam ... easy, 30 minutes, and a great picture .. that's all I need to say Yes!

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  25. Pecan encrusted anything is a win-win for me! delicious recipe you have here and I enjoyed my visit to your Bahamian blog.

    Thanks

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  26. I'm allergic to pecans and don't care for fish but *$*# that is a gorgeous looking plate. You rocked that fish.

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  27. Sam - it's hard to imagine there was a time when you couldn't boil water! And, by the way, the person who invented the pecan-crusted technique is a genius in my book!

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  28. YUM-think he'd cook for me : ) I'm thinking my whole family would like this recipe-I may just have to give it a try.

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  29. Waw,Sam!!

    What a fabulously looking plate of fine foods!!

    Looks so inviting!! I so love the combo of great & lovely flavours!!

    MMMMMMMMMM,...marvelous!

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  30. Sam, David will be all over this. He is the fish cook in the family. Aren't we lucky that the guys love to cook too.

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  31. Sam, you could coat a piece of bologna in nuts, and I would love it! But this... this sounds divine!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  32. This looks like a great recipe that would please just about everyone. I'm saving this one for when we pick up trout or tilapia next.

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  33. Oh that looks absolutely wonderful. Delicious coating. What a great pick. I love when MEN cook.

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  34. What a lovely dish! A great combination. Surely extremely scrumptious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  35. Sam, thanks for following my travels. It's good to be home and to be able to check in with you. This recipe looks wonderful--I happen to have some pecans! Thanks for posting it.

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  36. Lucky you, Pam! Having a husband who loves to cook! And he has really done a job on these! The photos alone are making me hungry. So dark and crunchy!
    And the best thing? It's quick and easy. I get so bored with plain grilled or broiled fish.
    Already copied the recipe!

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  37. Wow, nice way to cook tilapia...crusted with pecan, will definitely try it...like that is fast as well :-)

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  38. The former Beaufort House down in Beaufort, N.C., used to serve the BEST pecan-crusted grouper. I miss that dish! And that restaurant! This would be a nice stand-in.

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  39. For the longest time, everyone has tried to sell me on tilapia. One day, I got some and cooked it up in a little butter and some seasoning and we did not like it.

    I can't imagine not liking it with the pecan crust. You just may have inspired me, to try again.

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  40. My sister makes a recipe very similar to this. the other day she tried it on chicken and enjoyed it. since I have a fish allergy, I'm going to have to try it on chicken :)....which should be in the very near future

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  41. I prepare sole fillets in a similar way and they are delicious. What a lovely presentation.

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  42. That looks delicious. I have a lot of pecans in my freezer so that will be a good way to use some of them. You are lucky to have un mari qui cuisine. Mine, does the cleaning up – but that is a great help too.

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  43. Why is it that I always read your blog when I am hungry? Not helping Sam!! More deliciousness....xv

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  44. This meal is perfect for us! I am always looking for new and simple ways to prepare fish using wonderful ingredients!

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  45. Oh the tilapia looks so good!

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  46. Aren't these great ingredients that go swell together. I've made something similar...however instead of using flour and egg...I baste in plain yogurt. Then, instead of using a skillet...I put in a pre-heated oven 375F...for about 20 minutes...and I run away to do other things ;o)
    I'll be trying your very tasty Butter Caper sauce the next time I make a similar dish.
    Thanks for your experience...I will be following your future posts.
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

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Sam