28 April 2013
Tilapia with smoked almond crust
Ok, y'all. I am back on the wagon. By "back on the wagon," I mean I am writing things. And yes, I am allowed to use the word "y'all" in good health & good conscience. I lived in North Carolina for a whole year!
I am also glad to hear that my MFA is standing me in good stead even 12 years after the fact. Thanks, guys.
So. Let's talk about nuts.
Every Sunday on my trip through our local farmer's market I make my way to the far back corner. That's where the almonds are.
I'm sure by now I've mentioned the amazing array of almonds at the farmer's market. There have to be at least 30 different spice mixtures. Cinnamon, toffee, sesame, citrus; cheddar, jalapeno, applewood, hickory. They're all out for the sampling, and the sample strategy works, because I regularly come home with a $6 container of fancy luxury almonds when I could totally get some ordinary roasted ones from the supermarket bulk bins. Still. These are better.
My favorite are all smoked. This time I got applewood.
They're delicious on their own, but they're even more delicious with something else.
Let's make some smoked almond-crusted whitefish, okay?
Smoked almonds! Beautiful white fish! Ten minutes of cooking! What's not to love?
Seared tilapia with smoked almond crust
smoked or roasted almonds
tilapia or other whitefish filet
Finely chop a large handful of almonds per fish filet. You can use a food processor if you want to and have one, but otherwise, a knife will be fine.
On a shallow plate, mix your chopped nuts with a tablespoon of flour and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Wash and pat dry your filet of fish. Dip it into the dish of chopped nuts, pressing gently to coat. Turn it over and do the same to the other side.
Sear your fish in a hot frying pan with a pat of butter. The timing will depend on the filet's thickness. Mine took about three minutes per side. When the first side is cooked and the nuts are beginning to turn dark brown, carefully turn it over with a spatula.
Sear the other side until the fish is cooked through. Plate. Melt another pat of butter in the hot pan and pour it over your finished fish, if you like.
Eat your fish with a side salad or some sort of serious green vegetable of your choice. Lemon is not really necessary with nuts, but it can be delicious. It's up to you.
I am ok. How are you guys doing?