This TK recipe caught my eye last week, and for good reason. We’d just come off a weekend of meat: we had barbecued beef and pork Friday night at Uncle Sam’s. On Saturday we chowed down on grilled chicken, burgers, hot dogs, bratwursts, bacon, and beef all day long at Aunt Jacquie’s birthday party, courtesy of grillmeisters Martin and Eleanor. And then, to top it all off, we had grilled steaks Saturday night with my in-laws.
By the end of the experience, I felt like my stomach contained 5 pounds of steel, and possibly a few pounds of random autombile parts. A wrench and a hammer might have been in there, too.
So both my husband and I entered the brand new week on the same page: bring on the veggies. I love it when we’re in synch like that: neither of us wanted to look another piece of meat in the face for a nice long while. Hence the fish, which is so much lighter. Let’s make our stomachs a happy place this week.
My default tilapia cookery method is simply flouring it lightly and pan-frying it in butter, adding a little lemon juice (and/or zest) during the last few minutes of cooking. I will always love it that way, but I was intrigued by the thought of topping the fillets with cheese and letting the oven do the work instead. And it’s delicious!
2 tilapia fillets
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 TBS butter, softened
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/3 c finely grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
Pat the tilapia dry with paper towels, and season it generously on both sides with salt and pepper.
I should add that doubling or tripling this recipe would be a cinch, for those of you who have more than just a spouse to feed.
Lay the tilapia on a lightly oiled baking sheet (or in a dish), and bake it for 10-12 minutes. While it’s baking, mince the garlic, grate the Parmesan, and rip the tiny leaves off the sprigs of thyme.
Mix the butter, Parmesan, garlic, and thyme into a paste.
Refrain from eating the paste. My faults don’t have to be your faults.
You could also use this time to chop up the lemon.
Why not, I ask? Why not indeed.
As soon as you remove the fish from the oven, carefully turn the fillets over–they may still look a little raw on the reverse side.
Spread the paste evenly over the top . . .
. . . and it’s ready to go back into the oven!
Put the fish under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
Serve the fish with the lemon wedges. Lemon and fish were meant to go together from the dawns of time. Who are you to question that plan?
It’s so good, guys–perfectly tender, perfectly flavored.
We had it with that creamed corn I shared about on Tuesday, and it was perfection.
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