Cheap, Nutritious, and Delicious: Lemon Piccata Tilapia
This is another of those cheap, nutritious, and delicious recipes that you'll need during the coming weeks. Stay tuned. I'll be posting more, including some for using up those cans of stuff you have on hand or panic bought. In this case, inexpensive tilapia is sauteed and turned into a company-worthy dinner with a few simple ingredients. No, you don't have to include the capers if you don't like them or don't have them on hand. Nonetheless, the capers provide a nice zing and briny flavor to the dish, so I recommend using them. The tilapia cooks quickly, so you can have this dish on the table in less than half an hour, if you're in a hurry. What do you serve with the fish? Rice is great to catch the pan sauce, or you might try noodles, if you prefer them. A green vegetable and/or salad also make good accompaniments.
Lemon Piccata Tilapia -- Serves 2-4
2-4 tilapia filets (about a pound for four and a little less for two people), cut in half,
lengthwise down the center
2-3 tablespoons of flour
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper
2-3 tablespoons of canola oil
1 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth or reconstituted chicken "Better than Bullion"
1/4 cup of lemon juice, preferably fresh, plus the zest of a lemon
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes
2-3 tablespoons of capers, plus about 1 tablespoon of brine from the jar
1 tablespoon of butter
Dust the tilapia with the flour and lemon pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet or chef's pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the tilapia to the pan and brown it on each side for a few minutes per side. Carefully remove the tilapia from the pan and put it aside on a plate. Add the broth/bullion to the pan along with the lemon juice and garlic powder and stir them together and to loosen the bits on the bottom of the pan. Turn down the heat to medium low and let the mixture simmer a few minutes or until reduced by about one-third. Add the parsley, capers, brine, and butter to the pan and stir everything together well. Return the fish to the pan, turn off the heat, and spoon some of the sauce over each filet. Serve the fish with rice, noodles, or the carb of your choice.