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January 2011 Issue
by J. Sinclair
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Tilapia is rapidly becoming one of the most popular seafood choices in the United States. And with good reason. It's inexpensive, versatile and healthy. It cooks quickly and blends with a wide range of ingredients and flavors easily. Beyond that, it's also readily available at most markets and not on the list of ever-growing endangered or over-fished seafood options. So this month, I'm sharing a few of my favorite tilapia recipes with you. Enjoy and Happy New Year!


Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce

  • 3/4 c. chicken broth
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. drained brine-packed green peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 (6-oz.) tilapia or sole fillets
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
Combine the first 3 ingredients.

Melt 1 teaspoon of butter with the oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat.

While the butter melts, sprinkle the fish fillets with salt and black pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge the fillets in flour; shake off the excess flour.

Increase the heat to medium-high; heat for 2 minutes or until the butter turns golden brown. Add the fillets to the pan; sauté for 3 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Remove the fillets from the pan. Add the broth mixture to the pan, scraping to loosen the browned bits. Bring to a boil; cook until the mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Remove from the heat. Stir in two teaspoons of butter with a whisk. Serve the sauce over the fillets. Garnish with lemon wedges, if desired.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes


Tilapia Tacos with Peach Relish

  • 2 c. finely chopped peeled peach
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped red onion
  • 2 T. chopped cilantro
  • 1 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 1 lb. tilapia, cut into 2-inch strips
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
To prepare the salsa, combine the first 8 ingredients (peeled peach through minced garlic) in a medium bowl. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Combine the panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add the fish to the bowl, tossing to coat. Place the fish in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until desired degree of doneness, turning once.

Heat the tortillas according to the package directions. Divide the fish and salsa evenly among the tortillas.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes


Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple Relish

  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 4 (6-oz.) tilapia fillets
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped fresh pineapple chunks
  • 1/3 c. chopped onion
  • 1/3 c. chopped plum tomato
  • 2 T. rice vinegar
  • 1 T. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 lime wedges
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine the Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the fish evenly with the spice mixture. Add the fish to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Combine the pineapple and next 5 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a large bowl, stirring gently. Serve the pineapple mixture with the fish. Garnish with the lime wedges.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes

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