Monday, July 12, 2010

Corn Tortilla Chip Encrusted Tilapia

My dad is the greatest fisherman on the planet. I remember many Saturdays as a child, waking up at 4am, padding out to the car and driving down to Fortescue with my parents and sister. My parents were armed with coolers of snacks, one big bag of Barbies, and 2 Snoopy life-jackets. The Delaware Bay is home to lots of fun fish to catch, but I remember catching flounder and weakfish the most. My dad has this weird sense of where fish are going to be, like Thomas Muller knows where the ball is going to be so he can score a zillion goals, my dad can catch a fish in a puddle. He is so good, that I think fishing almost bores him now because it is so easy. He has basically retired and has moved on to golf which has opened up a whole new competitive side of him. We catch him sneaking off to the golf course all the time now: Sunday morning, after work, his anniversary (OK I made that last one up…he doesn’t have a death wish). We ate seafood all the time growing up, but this cute boy I know is very skittish about our friends from the sea. I am trying to introduce him to fish without scaring him away so this is my attempt to ease him in.
Corn Tortilla Chip Encrusted Tilapia
3 fillets of tilapia (we had small ones so I made 3 fillets for 2 people. If you’ve got larger ones, then 2 should do it)
1 cup corn tortilla chips
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
Zest of one lemon
1 egg
3 Tablespoons milk
Hot Sauce
Oil for frying

1. Set tilapia fillets out and at them dry with a paper towel. Liberally sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
2. Make corn chip coating by crushing up corn chips in a bag until they are a coarse, sandy texture. It doesn’t have to be perfect. A few chunks in there won’t hurt it.
3. Mix the crushed corn ship with chopped parsley and the zest of a lemon and set on a plate.
4. Mix one egg with milk, a few dashed of hot sauce, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Pour this onto a plate for dunking.
5. You are setting up a little assembly line with the two plates. First, dunk the fish in the egg mixture to moisten and then lay in the crushed chips to coat.
6. Allow them to sit for a few minutes while the oil heats up so that the chip mixture really adheres to the fish.
7. Fry them up on medium-high heat in about 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil until they are tender and flaky inside and crispy on the outside. About 4 minutes per side (maybe longer depending on the thickness of your fillets).
8. I served roasted squash and tomatoes on the side. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic and throw in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Perfection.
9. Even those who don’t love seafood will sink their teeth into these beauties. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I will make this with a variety of white fishies. Tilapia is boring, but a good intro course for Mark. Great idea for using chips.