Sometimes simple needs a quick pick me up, which was the case with last night's dinner of fried fish. Tilapia is a warm fresh water fish that has become more and more available in our markets mostly because it is very fast growing which makes 'em rather popular and therefore lucrative to fish farmers. It is also one of the most affordable of the finny varieties for those of us who are on a budget.
Personally I find the flavor to be so mild as to be almost nonexistent, which can be a good thing if you're not into fishiness. It also makes it an ideal candidate when you want to showcase a particular flavor - like this Romesco Sauce.
To continue your edumacatin', Romesco is a sauce that's common to Catalonia, Spain and consists of toasted almonds, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar and roasted red peppers. In this instance it also contains fresh bread crumbs (for body), and a little spice in the form of chili powder and cayenne along with some sweet paprika. I whipped it up about an hour before we were due to sit down to dinner because as with most sauces that are uncooked, it needs a little time to ruminate so the flavors can develop. It's lovely made with fresh roasted red peppers but if time is a consideration, the jarred version work just fine too.
It's mildly spicy, kinda' sweet, definitely garlicky and wonderful with fish, chicken or pasta. It is also absolutely divine as a vegetable dip too, so don't worry about having some leftover. You can even use it as a "schmear" on a nice crisp crustini and serve it as an appetizer along with a glass of wine.
We had our saucy fish along with an orzo spiced up with lemon, capers, dried oregano, basil, red pepper flakes and a touch of garlic and a nice green salad on the side. It was quick, satisfying and flavorful - what more can you ask for? By the way, that bright neon yellow wedge on the bottom right is one of our Meyer lemons and holy cow are they ever sweet this year. Sorry people - I just had to get that "brag" in!
Pan Fried Tilapia with Romesco Sauce An Original from JBug’s Kitchen Antics
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (I used 1 slice of Texas toast)
1 cup drained jarred roasted red peppers or 1 large red pepper roasted, skinned and seeded
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch salt & black pepper
3/4 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
In bowl of food processor combine all ingredients and process until smooth. Set aside for a minimum 1 hour at room temperature to allow flavors to develop. Store any leftovers in refrigerator.
1 pound tilapia fillets, washed and dried
Kosher salt and Lemon Pepper Seasoning
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat butter and olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Season tilapia with salt and lemon pepper. Coat in flour and shake off excess. Fry for 6 to 7 minutes, turning fish half way through. Serve with Romesco sauce and garnish with lemon wedges. Makes 2 to 3 servings.