Saturday, October 15, 2011

Easy Recipes: Crusted Tilapia with Blueberry Gastrique

What to do when you look in the freezer the night before grocery-day and see frozen fish fillets, blueberries, and little else? Try out a new little experiment, that's what! Maestro looked at my Google search and said, "Blueberry fish?? YUCK!" But it's been a while since I put a recipe on here and this experiment turned into a real winner!

If you try it out, I'd love to see your critiques and comments!

Walnut-Crusted Tilapia with a Blueberry Gastrique 
accompanied by 
Coconut Rice


6 Tilapia fillets (fresh or frozen)
2.5 c. bread crumbs (4 slices of toast if you're making your own)
1/3 c. coarsely ground walnuts
pepper and salt to taste
1 jumbo or 2 large eggs, beaten
enough oil to fry the fish (I used about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
Dry-toasted walnut pieces
1/3 c. water
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. balsamic vinegar (try substituting a white or red wine)
3 c. fresh or frozen blueberries (alternately, try this out with blackberries or raspberries!)
1 can coconut milk
1/4 c. water
pinch salt
1 c. long-grain (basmati or Jasmine) white rice
1/4 c. dry-toasted coconut flakes

Handy Hints:
Get your rice cooking first, then the sauce, so everything finishes at about the same time. Take frozen fish out of the freezer and set on the counter to allow the fish to thaw a little before cooking.

1. Shake can of coconut milk prior to opening. Put the coconut milk, water and salt in a saucepan that has a well-fitted lid.
2. Bring the liquid mix to a boil and add the rice. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. DO NOT lift the lid during the cooking process, no matter how tempting it is. Turn off the heat and allow the still-covered rice to sit for the last five minutes of cooking time - as long as it stays covered, the rice will continue to cook, but will have a lower likelihood of burning on bottom.

4. Put all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
5. Reduce to a simmer. Continue to simmer the mix until it has reduced by half - about 20 minutes.
6. Resist the urge to use a thickener in your sauce. (I almost did but it turned out really well!)

7. Put the oil into a frying pan and turn on the heat to allow the oil to get hot while you prepare the fish.
8. Put the egg into a shallow dish.
9. Mix the walnuts, bread crumbs, salt and pepper together in another shallow dish.
10. Dip the fish in the egg, turning to coat both sides. Then dip the fish into the bread crumb mixture, turning to coat both sides.
11. Carefully place the fish into the hot oil and allow to brown on one side, then turn over to cook the other side. Partially-frozen fish will take longer to cook in the middle, so try to be aware of making sure you cook the fish all the way through.
12. Drain the fish or place on paper towels to blot the oil off. 

To serve, place the fish on a plate, top with a line of dry-toasted walnut pieces, then cover with the Gastrique, making sure to include some of the lovely blueberries on top. Alongside, put a scoop of the coconut rice, topped by the toasted coconut.

This post is linked to: Feasting in Fellowship Fridays


Deep Roots At Home


  1. as a PS to my own post: even the kids loved it!

  2. Tillie, I love experiments, and I'm glad this one turned out well! It sounds very good to me. My family would love it b/c of the fish and the rice. The blueberries and dry toasted walnuts sound divine. But the best to me is the coconut rice!! So good and good for you!!
    Thanks you for sharing and encouraging everyone to experiment with what they's a sign of a very flexible Mom :)

  3. Made this last night, using pecans and panko for the breading and a pint of fresh blueberries with about 1/3 cup each of brown sugar and marsala for the gastrique. It was delicious, thanks!


I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


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