Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pan Seared Tilapia with Secret Ingredient !

Forever I was afraid to make fish at home.  It never even crossed my mind to give it a try.  I was petrified of trying it.

Heck I didn't even know what kind of fish to buy and where to buy it.  Cod?  Halibut?  Bass?

I literally had no idea what to get.  All I knew was I think frozen fish sticks and McDonald's fish sandwiches were Cod.  Come to find out, I guess they aren't even Cod anymore, but that's another story all together.

Tilapia is my fish of choice. It's buttery and flaky and has NO fishy taste.

Pan-Seared Tilapia is how I started making fish at home and it's the easiest way to get your feet wet in cooking fish.  Just searing it on both sides in a hot skillet with Olive oil or Butter.  Simple.

First of all, I always get my Tilapia in the freezer section of my grocery store.  You can buy a bag that has either 4 fillets or 8.  They are each individually wrapped so it's easy to just take out 2 or 4 at a time and thaw them on an as needed basis.  Sometimes they have frozen Tilapia that already is coated with a rub or marinade.......forget it...... just get the plain! 

My secret ingredient for good Pan Seared Tilapia:

Cavenders Greek Seasoning. 

Located in the spice section.  Normally on the bottom shelf.  Most grocery stores have it because I just went to Denver, and they had it there too, so I'm guessing its pretty popular.
Be sure to get the one with the yellow border.  They have another kind, I think it's low salt or something, but the yellow border is the best.

Ok so here you go, don't be afraid.

Thaw your fish fillets. In the fridge is good (overnight), or you can lay them frozen in a large bowl (still in their wrapper) and cover with cold water.  They should thaw in about an hour or less (this is what I always do).

When thawed, take them out of their individual packages.

Pat them dry with a paper towel and lay them on a large plate or platter.

Gently sprinkle Cavenders Greek Seasoning on ONE side of the fillet.

DON'T over do it because this stuff can be pretty strong, so just gently sprinkle on one side.

Take out your skillet.  Cover the bottom with Olive Oil (be generous) and turn the heat up to #8 for you electric folks or if you have gas, I would say Medium High.

Get the skillet nice and hot and then gently lay the fish in the hot oil, seasoned side down.  When you put the fish in the skillet, it should not start to splatter like crazy, but just gently sizzle.

Fry on the first side 3 to 4 minutes. You will start to see the sides of the fish turn white.  That's a good hint on when to flip over.

Flip the fillet and fry another 3 to 4 minutes.

These guys are pretty thin and really don't need to be cooked too long.

Plus...OVER COOKED FISH TASTES LIKE RUBBER!   It's true!  That is the one reason why people don't cook fish at home.  They tried it once......cooked it too long........ it turned out like silly putty.......  and then never attempted it again.

So basically 3 to 4 minutes on each side should do it at medium high heat.

Now isn't that beautiful?  So flaky.  So buttery tasting.  So good for ya!

Ok, now don't laugh.
Uncle Ben's has the BEST 90 second Microwavable rice that goes perfect with your fish.  Good ole Uncle Ben has about 10 or more "Ready Rice" flavors.  All of them take 90 seconds in the microwave!  Seriously.  I think I've tried literally all the flavors.  They don't disappoint!
Here are just a few, they are ALL GOOD.
Rice Pilaf
Garden Vegetable
Roasted Chicken
Whole Grain Brown
Butter & Garlic

So pan-sear 3 to 4 minutes on one side................3 to 4 minutes on the other side......90 seconds for your rice......think about it........... In 10 minutes voila!  Be afraid no more, Tilapia awaits!

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