Have you tried tilapia? A once never heard of fish is gaining popularity here in the US but has been around for hundreds of years. Tilapia is a mild white fish with little fishy taste which makes it a good canvas for any flavor that you'd like to pair it with. It is also relatively inexpensive which makes it family friendly. The couscous that I served on the side is also quick easy and cheap when bought in the bulk section. Couscous is a finly ground semolina pasta that looks like little tiny balls. It has little flavor on it's own but goes well with anything, much like white rice. This meal is so quick and easy that you can have a nice meal even when you are short on time. I served the fish with lemon parsley couscous which is another time saver, taking only 5 minutes to cook.
I decided to bread the fish in garlic croutons mixed with some panko bread crumbs. The croutons gave the dish flavor while the panko helped with crispness. I also threw in some lemon zest to give it a slight lemon kick. This meal was so quick, easy and inexpensive that you've gotta try it.
Garlic Crusted Tilapia
1 1/2 cups of your favorite croutons
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
zest of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
4 tilapia fillets
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In the bowl of a food processor cruch the croutons until they resemble bread crumbs. Alternately, crush them in a sealed ziploc bag. Pour the croutons into a shallow bowl and mix in the panko bread crumbs and the lemon zest. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Place the flour in another bowl and the beaten egg in another.
2. Place a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. (This will allow air to flow under the fish to help it crisp on both sides.) Spray both with cooking spray.
3. Pat the tilapia fillets dry to remove any excess moisture. Dredge the fillets in the flour shaking to remove any excess. Then, dip them into the egg mixture letting the extra egg drip back into the bowl. Next, toss them with the crouton mixture, press to adhere. Place them on top of the cooling rack set over the cookie sheet. Spray the tops with a little more cooking spray to help them brown.
4. Bake for about 15 minutes or until crispy and fish flakes apart.
Lemon Parsley Couscous
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup couscous
zest of 1 lemon
juice of half a lemon
3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 Tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1. In a small saucepan, heat the broth until boiling. Add the couscous then cover and remove from heat. Let sit for five minutes.
2. Fluff couscous with a fork. Add the zest, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as needed.