pecan-topped tilapia

Pecan Crusted Tilapia

JENNIFER CHASE PHOTO/WASHINGTON POST

After I have developed a recipe at my test kitchen, I often bring home what is left over. So my husband and daughter typically serve as secondary taste testers.

They each dug in with a pleased but matter-of-fact demeanor that told me they found it appealing, but as soon as they took a bite their eyes simultaneously widened with delight , and I got an off-the-charts level, “Wow, that’s good!”

The dish is a good choice for those who avoid fish because they think it tastes “fishy.”

Pecan Crusted Tilapia

2/3 cup shelled, unsalted pecans

1/2 teaspoon sweet/mild paprika

1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic (powder)

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 1/4 pounds tilapia fillets

1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Pulse nuts in mini food processor or mini chopper to consistency of very small pebbles — but not as fine as sand.

Transfer to shallow bowl or plate; add paprika, granulated garlic, thyme, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and stir to incorporate. Press both sides of each fish fillet into pecan mixture.

Heat oil in large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once oil shimmers, add fish and cook until underside is browned, about 3 minutes. Turn them over and cook for about 3 minutes, until second sides are browned.

Transfer skillet to oven; bake (middle rack) for about 3 minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve warm; serves 4.

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