I was not a fan of fish growing up. I think it was partly because my mom did not like fish and I wanted to be like my mom. Also, my dad loves sardines and I don’t think there is a smell more fishy (in my mind, icky) than that. So other than the occasional Highliner fish stick, I stayed far away from fish.
And then I got married to a man who LOVES fish. Now, he is amazing and will eat whatever I decide to serve for dinner, but I just felt bad not making fish. I just couldn’t see a way to meet in the middle, since I prefer to eat what I cook.
And so, he introduced me to tilapia. If you don’t really like fish, tilapia is the way to go. It hardly tastes like fish! And yet it’s filled with all the brain-building nutrients you might need. And it could save your marriage. And, children love it. Our daughter ignores all the other food on her plate to eat up the fish. So really, you should try it!
This recipe is from Rachael Ray’s Yum-O! cookbook. The cornflake-crusted tilapia is amazing on it’s own, but with the watermelon salsa, it’s even better.
Cornflake Tilapia (with sweet and spicy watermelon salsa)
What you need for the salsa:
1/2 mini seedless watermelon
1/2 green or yellow pepper
1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed)
1/2 small red onion
juice of one lime
What you need for the fillets:
1 lb tilapia fillets*
1 cup cornflake crumbs or about 3 cups cornflakes, processed into crumbs
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
What do to:
Make the salsa. Chop up the watermelon into bite-sized pieces. Dice the pepper. If you like a lot of spice, finely chop the jalapeño pepper and red onion. If you prefer less spice (like me), chop them into bigger chunks (then, right before serving, you can remove the chunks and you still have the flavour without having to bite into them). Add everything to a medium bowl, pour lime juice on top and season with salt and pepper. While you are cooking the fish, stir it up from time to time to really let the flavours come together.
Mix together the cornflake crumbs and spices in a shallow dish or (carefully) on a plate. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and then coat them on each side with the cornflake mixture.
Heat 1-2 Tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Cook the fillets for 3-4 minutes per side, until they are nicely browned and cooked through. If you do this in batches, add more olive oil between each batch because the crust really soaks it up.
Serve the fillets topped with salsa.
*I usually just use the package of frozen ones, thawing them first, but fresh would be amazing, I’m sure. There is also extra salsa and extra cornflake coating, so if you are serving more fish, you don’t really need to increase the rest of the ingredients.