I don’t remember my mom making fish very often when I was growing up. I remember swordfish (which I still don’t care for), stuffed clams and certainly lobster and shrimp, perhaps some fish sticks but beyond that, I don’t remember eating much fish at home. I know I never learned how to cook fish from my mom. The first fish recipe I recall preparing for myself was salmon stuffed with spinach, feta and sun dried tomatoes from the South Beach Diet cookbook. There is no way I started there, is there? Maybe. Much like the Parmesan Crusted Tilapia recipe below, the fish simply bakes in the oven until it flakes with a fork. Pretty fool proof. Regardless, I try to serve a fish or seafood dish at least once a week. It’s healthy, it’s fast, and it’s usually less expensive than meat. Tilapia is quickly becoming a favorite fish in the house since it has been extremely affordable at the store lately: around $4.99/lb. (By contrast, I haven’t seen my precious salmon for less than $14.99/lb.) Plus, being that tilapia is a mild white fish, it’s easy to impart flavors into the dish without fighting a “fish” taste.
This parmesan crusted tilapia is a nice contrast to the blackened tilapia I posted a few weeks ago. The fish is first marinated in citrus and then coated in a panko, parmesan and herb crust. It bakes in the oven until flaky and golden brown. Served with a side of wild rice and roasted broccoli, this dish clocks in at less than $10 for two servings — cheaper than going to a restaurant, and it leaves enough in the budget to pair it with a nice bottle of wine.
- 1/2-3/4 lb tilapia filets
- 1/4 olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup panko
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Lemon for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat in non-stick spray.
- In a shallow dish, combine olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and add in the tilapia. Marinate for 20 minutes, turning once.
- In a shallow dish, combine parmesan cheese, panko, and seasonings. Press each tilapia filet into the coating then flip and press firmly again. Place coated filets onto a baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and the fish flakes easily with a fork.
- Squeeze fresh lemon over the prepared fish prior to serving.