Almond Crusted Tilapia

Do you ever get home starving from a really long day then realize there isn’t much to eat in the entire house?  Well, that happened to me a couple days ago and is how I came up with this almond crusted tilapia and let me tell you, I was quite impressed!  It was extremely easy to make and it turned out really well!  You just need six ingredients… ready?

1 ) 1/4C. panko

2.) 1/2 C.roasted almonds, put into a food processor

3.) a few tablespoons of garlic aioli

4.) 4 fillets of tilapia

5.) a few tablespoons of olive oil

6.) 2 Tbsp. butter

The night before, we had bought some tilapia.  Of course I hadn’t planned on how to prepare the fish and didn’t stock up on lemons or herbs while at the grocery store.  I figured there were plenty of ingredients at home.  Boy was I wrong.  I came home, opened the refrigerator and saw lettuce, sandwich meats, sandwich spreads and a whole lot of random sauces used in asian cuisine.  I saw my handy garlic mustard aioli, which was featured in my sandwich post and figured I could do something with it.  I looked through the cabinets and saw some leftover panko crumbs.  There weren’t enough panko crumbs so I started searching for something that could replace bread crumbs.  My eyes landed on some roasted almonds!

Genius.  Putting chopped almonds on fish gives a plain fish like tilapia, a lot more texture and taste.  It’s also an alternative for when you’re trying to stay away from fried foods.  Also, since we’re using the garlic mustard aioli, chopping garlic and stinking our fingers isn’t an option.  Surprisingly, the aioli went very well with the nuttyness of the almonds.  This dish has definately fallen into the weekly rotation.

There was some leftover steamed cauliflower and half a red bell pepper I needed to use.  Since I’m on some “healthy eating” phase this month, I ended up making cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes.  And for carbs, I just roasted a sweet potato that was laying around then sliced it up.

Instructions for Almond Crusted Tilapia:

In a food processor, chop the almonds.  Any roasted almonds will do.  I found a jar of unsalted roasted mixed nuts and picked out all of the almonds.  You can add a dash of salt if you’d like.  Pulse the almonds until they’re chopped.  Make sure they haven’t turned into sawdust.

On a large plate, mix the chopped nuts and panko crumbs together and spread across the plate.

Pat dry your tilapia and spread about a tablespoon of the garlic mustard aioli on one side of the fish.  Place the fish mustard side down onto the panko and almond mixture.  Place about another tablespoon onto the other side of fish.  Making sure the fish is covered with almonds on the underside, flip the fish so the otherside can be coated also.

Make sure both sides are covered well!

While doing this, prepare a large frying pan with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.  When it’s hot and ready for you, carefully add the pieces of fish.  Listen to the sizzling!  After about 4 minutes, carefully flip each piece and cook for about 4 minutes more.  Repeat with the last 2 pieces.

The fish is done when the meat is flakey and easy broken apart.  I determine whether the meat is cooked or not by pushing my spatula down onto the meat and if it’s soft, it’s ready!  If I feel a little firmness, I know it’s still raw inside.

I also made the fish with some garlic cauliflower puree and topped it off with some arugula.  The sharpness and crispness of the arugula really compliments the almonds and the mellow flavor of the puree and the crunchiness of the almonds goes really well with the smoothness of the puree.

Enjoy!

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