Tilapia is a tropical, spiny-finned freshwater fish native to African and the Middle East and a member of the cichlid species. Over the years it has become an important food product has been introduced and cultivated worldwide. The meat is basically white, although may have a reddish tint to the meat because of the skin. If it has traces of brown, it because it was not skinned deeply enough e red skinned tilapia. Cooked the meat is opaque but stay away from the skin. Tilapia's have a pretty skin but should not be eaten due to a bitter flavor.
- 1 - 1 1/2 lb. filets ( 4-6 oz. ) filets, rinse, clean well for bones and drain.
- 1-2 sticks of butter
- Some good olive oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves chopped
- 1/2 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed and equal amount of seasoned Italian bread crumbs
- Small diced onion
- 1 stalk diced celery / leafs diced
- 1/4 to 1/2 of fresh plump crab meat
- Small handful of chopped Italian ( flat leaf ) parsley
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Some lemon juice
- A splash of clam juice
Preheat the oven to 325°. Preheat a sauté pan to Med. / high and add some oil. When hot, add the chopped veggies, crab, S&P to taste and sauté until al dente. Add 1/2 the butter, some garlic and parsley, lower heat after the butter melts and mix in the bread crumb mixture. You want the mixture somewhat moisten but not mush. Taste and correct seasonings as required, however, you probably did such a fine job it won't need a thing. If you're satisfied remove from heat but don't forget to shut the heat off, duhhh???
In a baking dish or individual oven proof dishes add some butter in the center and arrange filet in single layers accordingly. Drizzle with lemon juice and clam juice, add a dab of butter then top with stuffing as required. Place on a high shelf to lightly brown the stuffing and at the same time cook the fish. 15 -20 minutes. As you test for doneness and browning adjust height accordingly. You want the topping to be slightly browed and the meat is starting to flake and to pull apart with a fork. Keep an eye on this because you don't want to over cook it because it will get too dry and all ovens don't have the same heat.
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Source: SOUTH SIDE SOCIAL CLUB COOKBOOK
Submitted By: VINCENZO PAOLINO
BAKED STUFFED FILET OF FISH