Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bacon Breadcrumb Tilapia

Sometimes it is the simplest meals that are the best. This is Rachael Ray's Haddock with Bacon and Onions except I've never made it with haddock. I usually use tilapia, and I have to admit that it is my favorite fish to use in this recipe. When I made the recipe pictured, though, I used cod because I had just found a ton of cod fillets in my freezer (go figure). Any of those three kinds of fish are acceptable, but I must restate that like tilapia the best.

There is something of magic or science to this recipe. Several of the ingredients seem dispensible, but I've made this several times, and I can assure you that none of them are. Each of the ingredients perform some scientificly awesome food-chemistry-magic that makes this dish fantastic. If you make this with all of the ingredients and then try it without one of the ingredients, you will be shocked, amazed, and surprised at the difference.

Step One: After you have rinsed and patted the fish dry, squeeze lemon juice on both sides, and salt both sides to taste.
FYI: The phrase "to taste" shows up in a lot of recipes everywhere. "To taste" does not always mean that you should taste what you are seasoning. You will know whether or not it means that you should taste what you are seasoning by using your common sense. There is raw fish involved here - Do not taste the raw fish that has just been seasoned with lemon juice and salt. "To taste" means that you should season the fish with about as much salt as you think would be good. If you really like salt (like me), you'll be generous with it, and it you don't like salt as much, you'll be more reserved.
These are cipolline onions. They are super important in this recipe, and they are really easy to find. Most grocery stores carry them, and they are usually in a little bag like this one. These onions are more sweet than onion-y, and they in many ways make this dish. Take the time to buy these :).

Step Two: Start cooking the bacon over medium heat. 
Isn't this the most bizarre bacon configuration you've ever seen? I'm not sure why I arranged them this way.

Step Three: While the bacon cooks, chop up the onions and garlic. 

When the bacon is done,...

let the bacon dry on paper towels,...

and (I am about to say something unprecedented to what a Southerner typically does after cooking bacon) keep the grease in the pan. Don't reserve it for later because you are going to use it right now.

Yes, you will need all of it.

Step Four: Cook the onions and garlic in the grease until soft.
Step Five: Add breadcrumbs,... 
...and stir to coat. as the breadcrumbs soak up all of that bacon-y goodness, and smile.  
Step Six: Crumble the bacon into the pan, and add parsley and capers. (Try to get some of the caper brine in there, too.)
If you are not a fan of capers (or thought you had them in your fridge until you get to this step), just put in a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. It's not quite as good, but it does the trick.  
Stir well. It looks like fantastic, edible confetti, huh?  

Step Seven: Play bury the fish. Move the edible confetti asid a bit,... a piece of fish in the "hole"...

...and recover with confetti. Repeat until all fish is buried. 

Step Eight: Bake until the fish is done (and your mouth is watering). The fish is done when it is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.


Bacon Breadcrumb Tilapia
Click here for printable version
4 Tilapia Filets
6 Slices Bacon
8 Cippolini Onions
, peeled and chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 c. Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs
1 Lemon
1 T. Capers
1 T. Dry Parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse fish and pat dry. Squeeze lemon juice on both sides, and salt both sides to taste. Set aside.

Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. When hot, add bacon, and cook until crispy. Drain bacon on paper towels. Add onions and garlic to the bacon grease, and cook until soft. Remove the pan from heat. Add breadcrumbs, and stir to coat. Add parsley and capers, and crumble bacon on top. Stir to combine.

Put the fish in the pan, and cover with the breadcrumb mixture. Bake 15 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
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1 comment:

  1. That sounds so very delicious! I'm going to try it and let you know how mine turned out!


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