Boys Night Recipe: Quick & Easy Pan-Fried Tilapia

April 23, 2010

By Mark Bishop, Deputy Director

Sometimes you need a quick dinner but still want a home-cooked meal. My wife pulled some tilapia out of the freezer the other day; when she had to work late, Henry, the defrosted tilapia and I had the place to ourselves. Here's what happened: baseball in the backyard, a bit of running around in the park, and then a return home to cook dinner together for the two of us. Boys night was on.

It was getting late and a bath was in order, so I wanted to eat ASAP. And of course I wanted Henry to help me. He loves to cook, he feels proud when he cooks, and it just warms my heart to watch him. So to keep this quick, easy and short on clean up, I did everything all in one pan. (Not the best classical technique, but in a pinch it works.) After a hardcore scrub of both of our hands, we dug into cooking the fish.

Ingredients and instructions for this quick meal:

1 lb. tilapia fillets

2 tbs whole wheat flour

1 egg

1/2 cup of breadcrumbs 

1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese

Salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Olive oil

I put the fish in a shallow pan and had Henry add the flour. I made sure the flour coated the fish. Henry cracked the egg into the pan, and by hand I made sure the egg coated the fish. Then Henry poured in the breadcrumbs, and I added a pinch of salt. Then Henry said that he thought the fish needed some brown sugar. How could I say no to his creative embellishment?

I heated a skillet, added olive oil, and added the fillets for about 5-ish minutes — until browned. I flipped them over and sprinkled the Parmesan cheese on top. Five-ish more minutes. I flipped one more time to melt and brown the cheese — about 1 minute.

I put the fish aside, then tossed some spinach into the pan with some more cheese and wilted it with the drippings from the fish, then served it all together with a side of sliced cucumbers. A tasty and successful meal. And we were only 15 minutes late for bedtime!

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