There's a stall at my local famers market that sells the most amazing toasted pecans I've ever eaten in my life. I don't know how they do it, but they taste like happiness and I just can't get enough.
I recently tried pistachio-crusted halibut in a restaurant, and I really enjoyed the crunchiness of the nuts paired with the tender fish. Soon after, while savouring my daily snack of pecans from Heaven, I wondered how they would work in a similar recipe. Ooh, an experiment of the delicious kind!
I coated fresh tilapia fillets by submerging them in an egg wash, then a seasoned flour mixture, and once again in the egg; then, I pressed them into the toasted pecans that I crushed by putting them in a plastic bag and bashing them with a rolling pin (fun!) After a short fry in vegetable oil, the fish was ready for Jeff and me to enjoy.
The pecan-crusted tilapia couldn't have turned out any better. Both crispy and flavourful, it was a nice change from the usual bread crumbs (don't worry, panko, I still adore you! I just need a little variety!) This is a very special way to eat fish at home, and it's easy to do. I would eat it with guests at a dinner party, I would eat it by myself in my pyjamas; I would eat on a boat, I would eat it with a goat; I would eat it in the rain, I would eat it in a ditch somewhere (is that how it goes?)
As a little aside, fish needs a potato. I tossed some blue potato chunks with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly cracked pepper, and roasted them with the rest of the fresh rosemary that I had kicking around from last week's lasagna, removing the stalks before serving. Rosemary and potatoes is a combination that I just love!
I don't know what else to say but to try this recipe as soon as possible. I'm sure any type of fish or nut would work, but trust me that tilapia and pecans are a great match. I love discovering new favourites. Here's to successful culinary experiments!
Pecan-Crusted Tilapia : The Recipe
1 large egg
Fresh cracked pepper
1/2 lb toasted pecans
2 fresh tilapia fillets
vegetable oil for frying
Place pecans in a sealed plastic bag, and crush with a rolling pin or a heavy mug.
Beat egg with a little bit of water and place in a shallow dish. Cover a shallow dish with all-purpose flour, mix with kosher salt, pepper, and paprika. Spread crushed pecans in a third shallow dish. Pour 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a skillet, heat to medium heat.
Pat tilapia fillets with paper towel to remove moisture. Coat both sides of fillet in egg wash, then flour, then egg wash again. Press both sides into crushed pecans, shake fillet gently to remove excess.
Fry fillets in oil, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle immediately with kosher salt.