I know good and well they're not native Louisiana fish, but tilapia have become a very popular “dominant fare” in all the groceries and fish markets around town here lately. So, per numerous requests from my viewers, I'm presenting these recipes as an answer to everyone who ever asked me how to fix the fish “our style.” Because contrary to what you may have heard, these fillets are doggone tasty!
2 cups lowfat, cultured buttermilk
6-8 tilapia fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each
1 medium Texas Sweet or Vidalia onion
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups stone ground cornmeal
3 tablespoons Frank Davis Seafood Seasoning
1 whole lemon, sliced in eighths
First, after washing the fish fillets thoroughly under cool running water, pat them dry and totally submerge them in a glass, stainless steel, or Corning ware bowl of cold buttermilk.
Then immediately, chop up the onion to medium-coarse grade and scatter it evenly over the fish in the buttermilk.
Now, with your fingers, gently push the chopped onions into the milk and fish.
At this stage, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the fish to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, but preferably over night.
When you're ready to eat, heat up the olive oil to medium-high in a heavy, non-stick 12-inch skillet.
Then, in a one gallon zipper top plastic bag, mix together thoroughly the corn meal and the seafood seasoning Prep the fish for pan-frying by first coating the pieces lightly—one at a time—with the cornmeal seasoning in the plastic bag..
Then, again one fillet at a time, lay the coated fish in the hot olive oil (it should be set to about medium high heat) and cook it until it becomes beautifully golden on the bottom.
At that point, turn (flip) the fillets over and repeat the procedure on the opposite side. Oh--do not overcook the fish! Fry them just until you can flake them with a fork.
While fillets are cooking, set the table and be sure to include the sliced lemons, a little garlic hot sauce, and maybe even a little tartar sauce if you so desire. Serve the fish right out of the fryer for the best flavor and “crunch.”
By the way, steamed carrots or broccoli and a big ol' bowl of N'Awlins creamed potatoes make this mean a winner every day of the week and three times on Sunday.