Thursday, February 3, 2011
Fresh fish options
My youngest son will not eat fish sticks – a good idea; have you ever cut one open and really looked at it? He loves catfish, especially when it is one like this, caught by his older brother:
Obviously a 23-inch, fresh caught catfish is uncommon. So recently I chose a package of filleted tilapia at the local grocery store. Tilapia is a common farm-raised freshwater fish. It is a good source of protein and because it eats a plant diet and grows quickly, it does not accumulate mercury. The fish is low in saturated fat, low in calories and is a good source of niacin, vitamin B12 and potassium. This fish contains low amounts of omega-3 acids; other fish like salmon provide those heart benefits.
I prepared the tilapia very simply; it is a firm, white fish and I wanted that to shine through. I absolutely love various flavored croutons and think they make a great addition to other recipes. I fashioned a tasty topping for the fish by crushing some of the sea salt and black pepper variety.
Salt and pepper tilapia
3 tilapia fillets
Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
8 seasoned croutons (sea salt and black pepper), crushed
Place the tilapia fillets in a casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick coating. Sprinkle the fish with lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, parsley flakes and the crushed croutons. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, until fish is firm, but not dry. Serves 3.
The tilapia fillets nearly filled the pan I chose:
The fillets smelled wonderful once cooked; the croutons were a tasty, easy way to make a delicious topping.
I also prepared some shrimp; I gave them a quick toss in a skillet with some garlic, lemon juice, Old Bay and parsley. Don’t overcook your shrimp; as soon as they turn opaque, give them a quick flip in the pan, another minute or two on the heat and take them out.
This is a delicious, fast cooking meal that is easy to make and much better for your family than processed fish sticks, artificial crabmeat or fried shrimp.