Pan-Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce

This single serving of pan-fried tilapia with lemon butter sauce is quick, easy, and delicious. I was never a big fish fan growing up, but I’ve grown to like it as I have gotten older.  If you’re a bit wary of fish, tilapia is a good “starter fish.” It has a mild flavor and doesn’t overwhelm your taste buds (or your kitchen).

I got the idea from someone who said she made tilapia with butter, lemon, and rosemary.  I thought that sounded good, but that it would be even better with some olive oil and mustard powder (it was).

You can put the whole thing together and have dinner on the table in less than fifteen minutes. Make the fish, steam (or zap) some veggies and you’re good to go.

I made this recently (just as spring is finally showing signs of arriving, after a truly nasty winter), but it would be great in the summer when you want something fast.  There’s no need to heat the stove or the oven for an hour.

By the way, the fish came from Trader Joe’s.  They have great frozen fish. The tilapia was in a package with individually-wrapped fillets. Normally, I don’t like extra packaging, but in this case it was perfect, since I only had to defrost one fillet, instead of the entire bag.




 

Pan-Fried Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce Substitutions and Variations

  • If you don’t have tilapia, use another mild, white fish such as cod, flounder, or Dover sole
  • Swap the rosemary for some capers
  • Skip the mustard and the rosemary and use dill instead

 

More Easy Fish Recipes

fish fillet with yogurt sauceIndian Fish Fillet in Yogurt Sauce

Fish in a rich, tangy sauce that seems more decadent than it actually is.  There’s a bit of warm spiciness from cumin and garam masala, but it’s not “hot” spicy.

 

greek fish with lemon and tomatoesGreek Fish with Lemon and Tomatoes

Make a quick marinade, let it sit, and pan-fry the fish. Dinner is done.

 

fish in peppery tomato sauceSephardic Fish in Peppery Tomato Sauce

In America, we tend to think of “Jewish” food as brisket, potato pancakes, and bagels. But there’s a whole world of spicier and more varied foods from India, Lebanon, and the Mediterranean. This is one of them.

easy mediterranean fish stewEasy Mediterranean Fish Stew

A variation on the classic cioppino, popular in San Francisco, this stew is easy and accessible.  You can even start it in advance (up to the point where you add the fish).

 




Homemade Tortilla Crust Pizza

I wanted homemade pizza one day and was feeling too lazy (and too hungry) to take the time to make dough and wait for yeast to rise.  Usually, I’d use pita bread for this, but I didn’t have any.  I didn’t have any of the usual substitutes either, (not even an English muffin). Necessity being the mother of invention, I decided to create another “base” for my pizza. The answer was homemade tortilla crust pizza.

It turned out that a homemade tortilla made a perfect crust for my pizza.  I didn’t roll it out that much, but left it fairly thick (so it would be more like pita bread).

And, while I was low on pizza base substitutes, I did have sausage, fresh eggplant, and plenty of tomato sauce.

I made a quick tortilla crust, chopped  up the veggies, put it all together, and baked it.  It made a great, fairly easy lunch.




Tools for this Recipe


J.K. Adams FRP-1 Maple French Rolling Pin

I had been making do with a tiny, carved rolling pin my grandma gave me.  It was pretty (and rolled out cookies or crackers with designs), but really too small to do much good.   So, I went and got this rolling pin instead. It rolls the dough more easily, and with much less pressure required.

More Tortilla Recipes

fried egg burritoFried Egg Burrito

Super-quick (ready in about 10 minutes) and perfect for any meal. Great for a light snack or when you’ve got a bad case of the hungries.

 

egg chili cheese burritoEgg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

Chili, cheese, and eggs, all wrapped up in an easy sandwich. No fuss, one pot, and super-fast.

 

cranberry chipotle turkey enchilada

Cranberry Chipotle Turkey Enchilada

Use up leftover holiday turkey and relish, add some chipotle and you’ve got a whole new set of flavors.  Spicy, sweet, and tangy too.

 

pear dessert crepeEasy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person

I know what you’re thinking. This is a tortilla page, where did the crepe come from? Look closely. It’s a tortilla. A super-sneaky easy way to get a crepe.

 

 




Spinach and Feta Cheese Omelette

This spinach and feta cheese omelette has salty feta, tender spinach, and a mild oniony bite from scallions.  I had a craving for spanakopitas (spinach and feta triangles, wrapped in phyllo dough), but unfortunately, I had no phyllo dough handy.

I suppose I could have gone out to get some, but believe me, when you have to go up and down (or maybe down and up) all those steps, all 56 of them, you think twice before running out to the store for just one ingredient!

So, I decided to improvise.  While I didn’t have phyllo dough, I did have the other ingredients, and plenty of eggs.

I figured with the eggs, the spinach, some feta cheese, some scallions, and a little creativity, I could get a similar flavor in an omelette without any phyllo dough. It was delicious!  And, I admit it was also a lot easier to prepare than spanikopitas!  The spanakopitas take quite a bit of time and effort to make (all that dough rolling). Unlike spanakopitas, this spinach and feta cheese omelette is ready in about fifteen minutes, which is much faster (and easier) gratification!

You can make it for breakfast on a weekday (since it doesn’t take long to prepare), or have it for a weekend brunch or quick lunch.  Just add some fruit or a chunk of crusty bread.




Omelette Cooking Tips

Omelette making can seem a bit intimidating, but it’s not that hard to master.  And, while you’re practicing, you still get to eat the results (even if they don’t look perfect, they will still taste good).

I’ve explained this in more detail in the recipe, but the idea is to coat the pan with the oil first. There’s a lot of talk about using seasoned cast iron pans, but an ordinary frying pan is just fine. Then add the eggs, and tilt the pan to spread the egg mixture evenly over the bottom. Use a fork (or a spatula) to move the uncooked (and still liquid) eggs around in the pan.  Then, once the edges firm up (and are no longer liquid), add the filling on one side.  Flip the empty half over the filling, cook it, and then slide (or flip) the omelette onto your plate.

Since it’s a bit easier  to explain omelette preparation with video and pictures, rather than words (and because I can’t hold the pan, the fork, and the camera all at once), here’s a video from the BBC that demonstrates the basic technique for making a plain omelette.

More Single Serving Egg and Spinach Recipes

fried egg burritoEgg Chili Cheese Burrito Recipe

A super-quick and easy meal that’s good any time of day.  Just a few basic ingredients, but still lots of spicy cool flavors.

 

frittata recipe for one personFrittata Recipe for One Person

Think part omelette and part quiche. It’s super-versatile too;  use broccoli, spinach, ham, peppers, or whatever veggies you like.

 

eggs with spinach and chili pepper

Eggs with Spinach and Chili Peppers

A light meal with a touch of heat from garlic and ginger (and the peppers). Only one pot.

 

spinach and egg frittataSpinach and Egg Frittata for One Person

Eat this hot out of the pot, or let it cool and wrap it to go. The spinach, eggs, nutmeg, coriander, and fresh dill add lots of herby and savory flavor.