Thursday, September 1, 2011

crispy tilapia fingers with lemon and garlic mayonnaise, pan fried potatoes and roasted asparagus

Sometimes it's hard to beat a nice piece of crispy fried fish, and when I saw that these golden brown tilapia fingers I was just totally taken with the lemon garlic mayo that went with them and had to make them.

Dredged in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, the filets are seasoned with salt and pepper and then fried, two to three minutes a side in olive oil over medium high heat. It's fried fish, which is always a treat, but what made this preparation a little different is that it calls for extra crispy panko breadcrumbs. I of course have been hearing about how wonderful and crunchy panko breadcrumbs are for years but it's one of those specialized ingredients that has always kind of intimidated me. Let me tell you: I am glad I finally sprung for a can. They add a nice crunchy element to all sorts of dishes, and I'm getting great use out of them.

The accompanying mayo was simple enough: mayonnaise, minced garlic and lemon juice are mixed together. I had some chives on hand, so I minced those and mixed those in for color. Normally I just squeeze a little lemon juice on my fish, so this was a great way to dress up some simple fried fish with a nice zesty sauce. (You'll notice I still couldn't resist tossing an extra lemon wedge on the plate.)

I served the fish with some asparagus that I quickly roasted with garlic and olive oil. I am not big on asparagus, but this was a pretty decent preparation of it.

I also made these little smashed potatoes, first boiled and then pressed down into a hot frying pan with olive oil and butter until the bottoms get fried to a beautiful golden brown and finally served with a sprinkling of fresh chives. The crusty edges are pretty tasty, but of all three components of this meal, this is definitely the one I am least inclined to make again. This just isn't a special enough way to make potatoes.

So there you have it: a tasty dinner of fried fish, roasted asparagus and smashed potatoes. Not too shabby.

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