This recipe was originally concepted as seared cod over a pea pesto puree, but when shopping for the ingredients I found the cod's market price to be a bit out of my weeknight dinner price range. So just like that, cod was out and the much more affordable tilapia was in. Tilapia is a nice mild, white fish that can easily stand up to being fried, grilled or baked. I chose to lightly coat the fish with corn meal for texture and prepared a creamy polenta to add contrast. Last I drizzled a roasted red pepper sauce around the polenta for a burst of flavor and color.
- 2 tilapia fillets
- Yellow corn meal (for dredging)
- Cayenne Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Lemon, cut in wedges for garnish
- In a plate mix cornmeal, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
- Dredge tilapia fillets in the mixture on both sides and set aside
- Heat olive oil and butter (enough to coat the pan well) over medium high heat
- Add the tilapia fillets and cook for a few minutes until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes
- Turn the fillets over and repeat cook for an additional few minutes
- Pull the fish out of the pan and set on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oils
- Season the fish lightly with salt while still hot
- Serve fish over a bed of polenta and finish with red pepper puree and garnish with fresh lemon
I like frying the tilapia in a combination of both olive oil and butter for added flavor.