Friday, July 27, 2012

Crunchy Tilapia "Chicken"

No, it isn't actual chicken. But this one has a story.

My husband and I lived with my parents for a year while he was waiting results from his bar exam and looking for a job. During that time, I learned a lot of recipes and cooking techniques, such as grilling. I'd never grilled before I lived with them!

One recipe I learned pretty quickly was this delicious tilapia recipe. If you've never had tilapia, it's relatively inexpensive and pretty mild. It has a very suble fishy flavor. While my kids had had fish before, it was somewhat of a practice in bribery to get them to eat it. So when my dad made this recipe (a montly staple at the very least) he called it tilapia chicken. The name sorta stuck. And best of all...the kiddos ate it up.

It's now a monthly staple at our house, and the kids now know it's fish, but they still eat it up and ask for more. I get my tilapia in bags in the frozen section. I find it at Albertsons on a buy 1 get 2 free promotion, so we're always prepared. And yes, use panko. Without it you won't get a crunchy effect which is one of my favorite parts.

And surprisingly, you barely taste the ranch. It offers an herby flavor that compliments the dry herbs in the panko bread crumbs. Trust me, this recipe is a keeper.

I just use two plates for the preparation but the one with the panko is bit higher on the sides. I think a normal plate would be fine as long as you're careful.

I always have panko in my pantry. And I never buy it seasoned. No matter what I use it on, it comes out crunchier than normal bread crumbs.

You know that random roasting pan you get with your oven and you don't know what to do with it? I use it for cooking the tilapia. It allows the bottom of the fish to get crispy, not soggy. My dad found some metal cookie sheets at a restaurant supply store. Those work well too. Just place a cookie sheet underneath to catch crumbs.

Crunchy Tilapia "Chicken"
by Girls in Aprons

6 tilapia fillets, patted dry
1 cup ranch dressing
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1Tbsp dried oregano
1Tbsp dried basil

Place ranch dressing on a plate. In a shallow bowl or plate, mix together panko bread crumbs, oregano, and basil.

Dip each tilapia fillet in ranch dressing, coating all sides. Let excess drip off. Coat in panko bread crumb mixture, pressing to make sure coating adheres and every part of the fish is covered.

Place on a metal cookie sheet or roasting pan. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until fish is cooked through and top is lightly browned. Serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment