March is the wild-card month.
We’re almost out the door with winter, but Mother Nature might still give us a jab or two. I hope not, because I just finished burning my snow shovel to stay warm.
Between my stand-up comedy and cooking career, I bring to you a great recipe for a Friday during Lent. St. Peter’s fish, as tilapia is referred to in some parts of the world, is most commonly farm-raised. It has a very neutral flavor and suits many culinary applications well. The best tilapia to purchase would be found in the fresh-fish section at your grocery, but you can use the frozen variety.
What I am presenting is simply a fish sandwich, a very good one. Stay home and cook on Friday and save the pizza for Saturday. Large pie with sweet sauce and pork sausage please.
PANKO-CRUSTED TILAPIA GRINDER WITH CHEDDAR,
TARTAR SAUCE AND
For the sandwich
3-5 ounce tilapia fillets, enough for everyone
flour, egg-wash and panko breadcrumbs for breading
oil for pan-frying
sliced cheddar cheese
baby spinach, sautéed
Start out by breading your fish. Flour, egg-wash, panko; then reserve in your refrigerator until the tartar sauce and slaw is made.
For the citrus tartar sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
zest of an orange
juice and zest of a lemon
3-4 dashes of hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons pickle relish
salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the orange/carrot slaw
2 oranges, peeled and wedged
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoons sesame oil
salt and pepper, to taste
In a small bowl add the vinegar, honey and mustard. Slowly whisk in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the carrot and oranges and incorporate.
Put a large sauté pan on the stovetop. Pour about 1/4 inch of oil into pan and wait for it to heat. The fish will be pan-fried for about 3-4 minutes on each side. It’s important for the oil to be hot when you begin frying. Also, a fish spatula is a great tool to have in your culinary toolbox. When the fish is cooked, place on a plate with a paper towel to absorb some of the extra oil. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Panko breadcrumbs are great to fry with because they already absorb less oil than regular breadcrumbs. Put fish on the roll, cover with cheese and spinach and top with tartar sauce. Serve with some of the carrot and orange slaw on the side and boom! A great fish sandwich for some even better people.