Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fresh fish options

I am pleased to see local grocery stores carrying more fresh fish options. I can easily find catfish, tilapia, cod, perch and other varieties in regular chain groceries in Bristol and Abingdon. As I have written before, I am focused on eating real food and staying away from more processed items (more fresh fish versus processed things like imitation crab or fish sticks.)

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.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I served this with brown rice. Trying to keep using it versus white rice.