I guess a lot of people like to fry fish in cornmeal. Not being all that into fish, I didn't have a clue. This recipe for cornmeal crusted tilapia from The Boho Birdie is a slightly more healthy version as it is baked instead of fried.
Then I tried some with some Tartar Sauce. Oh. My. Word. I could just eat the tartar sauce by itself. It's that good. SERIOUSLY.
Yes, yes. I know. A lot of bloggers say that about the things that they make, but I swear, this really is the best tartar sauce. Mrblocko doesn't even like tartar sauce, and do you know what he said about this tartar sauce-mana-from-heaven? "It kicks all the other tartar sauces' butts"
It really truly does.
One more quick thing before you get to the recipe, we halved the breading as I used 3 thin tilapia fillets from the freezer section. The fillets in the original recipe are nice and thick, like the kind you might buy fresh from the fish counter. So unless you are using the thick fresh stuff, half the amount of breading called for in the recipe below.
Also, we didn't have any Old Bay. Instead we used Bavarian seasoning from Penzeys Spices. It had bay in it, so I thought it would be a good swap. The thing was, we could barely taste the seasonings. Next time we will double the amount of spices
Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Mom Pat’s Tartar Sauce from The Boho Birdie
for the fish:
2 thick tilapia fillets, cut into pieces (cod or sole would work well here, too)
1 c. flour (I used all purpose)
1 c. cornmeal
2 eggs, beaten or 1 c. egg beaters
2 tbsp old bay seasoning, divided, plus more for sprinkling (I used Bavarian Seasoning)
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
preheat oven to 350 F.
Set up an assembly line with 3 bowls for breading the fish. In the first bowl, combine the flour, 1 T old bay seasoning, salt, and pepper, in the second, eggs, and in the third, cornmeal with 1 T old bay and garlic powder.
Cut tilapia into pieces (if needed) and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Dredge tilapia pieces in flour first, egg second, and cornmeal third. Use one hand to coat the fish in the flour and cornmeal and the other hand to coat the fish in the egg. Ensure all sides of the fish are coated in each mixture before moving on to the next. Sprinkle with more old bay.
Place the breaded fish on the greased cookie sheet (or, you could place the fish on a wire rack on a cookie sheet and not have to flip it during cooking). Mist the fish with more spray if you like, this will create more browning during the baking. Cook the fish for approx 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Mom Pat’s Tartar Sauce
1/2 c. mayonnaise (I used the kind with olive oil)
1 tsp minced onion (I used onion powder)
1 tsp pickle or lemon juice (I used a tsp of each)
1 tsp pickle relish (we use dill pickle relish)
1 tsp. olives (optional) (We were out of olive so I used another tsp of relish)
Cayenne pepper or paprika to taste and add color
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and drown yourself it it's goodness.