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Tilapia with Chile Lime Butter

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I have been enjoying a lot of flavorful & healthy meals lately, this being perhaps my favorite of them all.  This fish is just bursting with flavor and while I enjoy fish normally, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed it to this degree, except for with my favorite salmon.  But I like this fish even more than the salmon!

I don’t think it’s just my pregnancy hormones tricking me into thinking this is one of the most wonderful things I’ve ever eaten.  I got the recipe from Suzie, who proclaimed it a restaurant-worthy meal (I so agree!).  Her husband is super picky and usually will only eat things like pizza and burgers, but even he ate this and enjoyed it.  I knew it must be good if he was willing to even taste it, let alone eat a whole serving. My hubs couldn’t stop at one piece, he had to have two. :)

The chile-lime butter is the key here – it’s your secret weapon to make tilapia, which isn’t that exciting by itself, seem like the most incredible edible thing ever.  It has so much flavor that you don’t need much to make your filet absolutely craveable, so it only adds 50 (healthy!) calories to your meal.  Light, fresh, totally amazing.  Do it.

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Tilapia with Chile-Lime Butter

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

For the butter:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped shallot (I used green onion)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh Thai or Serrano chile, including seeds (this adds almost no heat – use more if you like it hot!)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cilantro for garnish

For the fish:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tilapia fillets

Stir together butter, shallot, zest, lime juice, chile and salt in a bowl.  Pat dry the fillets and sprinkle with salt.  Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over moderately high heat until just smoking, then saute the fillets, turning over once with a spatula until golden brown and just cooked through (4-5 minutes).  Transfer to a plate.

Serve each warm fillet with a dollop of chili lime butter spread over the top.  Garnish with cilantro.

Recipe Source: Two Dogs in the Kitchen

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Breadless Breading

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Pictured: Chicken in Basil Cream, using Breadless Breading

This is a fabulous low-carb, gluten-free substitute for breading that can be used as a coating for things you’re either going to be baking or frying.  I use it on both chicken and fish (it’s best for mild white fish, though it’s pretty good on salmon too) and have even added it to meatloaf*.  I prefer this tremendously over any other coating I’ve used, as it has so much flavor in comparison to even seasoned breadcrumbs.  The first time I used it on fish, my husband said, “this is like…onion ring-fried fish!!”  While this breading isn’t overly onion-y (in my opinion, it is perfectly seasoned), I will say that if you like onion rings, you’re going to love it as it does lend a similar flavor and texture experience to your meal.  I hope you enjoy!

Breadless Breading

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 (3.75 oz) jars (2 cups) dehydrated minced onion
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried coriander
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves, crushed
1 ¼ cups grated Parmesan cheese

Place dehydrated onion in food processor bowl and process for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients except the cheese and process 30 seconds. Add Parmesan and pulse to blend. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Recipe source: adapted from Suzanne Somers’ Fast & Easy Bake & Fry Mix

*This doesn’t replace bread crumbs in meatloaf because there is nothing in it to absorb moisture the way real bread can, but it does add great flavor!  For a gluten-free meatloaf, you can add in quick-cooking oats along with some of this breadless breading.  You will not need to add onions to your meatloaf if you use this breading because it adds plenty of flavor, but I added a red pepper to mine and it was really good!

A quick and easy meal: coat one side of fish (this is swai) with breadless breading and fry in olive oil until golden.  Flip and cook until the fish flakes easily.  Enjoy your Onion Rings-Fried Fish!

Fish Tacos

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Back when I was preparing to make that Razzcherry Pie, I was browsing other recipes that included both raspberries and cherries in pie filling and ran across this one.  Minstrel Boy’s main blog theme is music but he also enjoys cooking (he’s a truffle maker too), so he puts up a recipe every now and again.  I questioned his method of refrigerating the pie two hours before baking and that started us chatting a little.  He saw my shrimp tacos blog and shared the link to his fish tacos.  I am always up for something new and although fish tacos aren’t exactly new to me, I’ve never had one where the fish was fried, or with cabbage, or with ranch dressing (particularly not with a ranch dressing this unique), so I figured I’d try them out.  They are the best I’ve had to date, so I thought I spread the word!

To make these tacos, you’ll need

Cod or some other meaty deepwater fish
Buttermilk
Fry coating: I used 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder & 1/4 tsp. cayenne whisked together in a shallow bowl–you’ll need more if you’re making lots of fish
Queso fresca, crumbled (I used shredded cheddar b/c I’m a “gringo heathen”–lol)
Shredded cabbage
Diced tomato
Large 5-6″ corn tortillas (I had small ones and couldn’t fit much in them)
Good ranch dressing*
Lime wedges (optional)

Cut your fish into bite-sized chunks and soak them in buttermilk overnight.

Dump a bunch of oil in a skillet–about an inch high–enough to cover the fish once dumped in.  While it is heating to 360 degrees, remove your fish from the buttermilk and coat it with the flour mixture.  Once the oil is hot, put the fish in and enjoy the delicious smell of fish frying.   The fish will cool down the oil, so I turned it back up to high once it was in.  It didn’t take long–just a few minutes–remove once the fish is golden brown.  Let them drain on a paper towel lined plate.  Discard the oil.  No need to wipe out the skillet-you’ll be using it again soon.

Stack your tortillas five at a time and wrap in a damp paper towel, then microwave on high for 50 seconds.  Take them one at a time and put some fish chunks in, fold it over and put as many as will fit in your skillet.  Once the heated side is firm enough to hold it’s shape, turn over and repeat on the other side.  Once done, layer on the cheese, shredded cabbage and tomato, then “hose it down” with that good ranch dressing (*recipe below).  I also squirted some lime juice over mine and that was wonderful.

Minstrel Boy’s Good Ranch Dressing
1 packet Good Seasons instant Zesty Italian Mix (I used a generic Italian dressing mix)
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup buttermilk
Mix & serve

I served mine with Green Rice  & some mixed vegetables.  It might sound strange, but this dressing (which is sooo wonderful, by the way–you’ll need to add more buttermilk if you actually intend to use the leftover for dressing b/c it’s thick like dip) tastes really good on top of green rice.  Try it!  Oh, and we used about three times as much dressing on the tacos as what is pictured–it was that good.

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