This is my own personal copycat recipe mimicking Johnny Carino's sandwich. Their menu description is "Fried fillet of tilapia with a garlic-jalapeño cream sauce, provolone cheese and sliced roma tomatoes." I think that I have accomplished this by using ideas from CoffeeMom's Super Easy Ritz Cracker Breading (Super Easy Ritz Cracker Breading) and ketchup's Garlic Cream Sauce (Garlic Cream Sauce for Chicken/Seafood/Pasta). (Thanks, guys!) We love this sandwich.
- 4 tilapia fillets
- 1 cup Club crackers, finely crushed
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small jalapeno, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1⁄4 cup sour cream
- 8 slices hearty country Italian bread
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 roma tomatoes, sliced thinly
- 8 slices provolone cheese
- Crush crackers and combine with pepper.
- Dip fish fillets into beaten egg, and then coat with cracker crumbs.
- Fry in 350 degree oil until breading is golden and fish flakes easily.
- Remove to an oven-proof plate in a warm oven.
- Melt butter on low heat. Add jalapeño and garlic. Sauté until jalapeño is softened, but be careful not to burn garlic.
- Add flour and stir while heating about a minute.
- Add chicken broth and cook stirring until sauce thickens. Stir in sour cream.
- Set aside until ready to assemble the panini's.
- Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil or spread with butter.
- Assemble sandwiches with oiled/buttered side of bread to the outside, layering provolone cheese, sliced tomatoes, tilapia fillet, cream sauce and final slice of bread.
- Spray a cast iron grill pan with cooking spray and heat to sizzling. Reduce heat to medium.
- Place sandwich in grill pan and top with second cast iron skillet. Press down lightly. (You want to smush the sandwich lightly, but not squash it completely.).
- Cook for 1-2 minutes, depending on the heat of your pan, until the sandwich is browned and grill marks are evident.
- Flip sandwich and again top with second cast iron skillet. Cook for another minute or so, until fully browned.
- Serve warm with fresh salad or crunchy kettle-cooked chips.
I haven't tried the restaurant variety so can't compare to that. However, this was a good sandwich. The cracker crumb breading was a little heavy for the fish to me to have in a sandwich. To make again will just pan sear seasoned fish with no breading. The sauce, cheese, tomato combo really put this panini over the top.
was perfect--as good as the restaurant version. :)
Sounds great. Just a note for those who may not have 2 cast iron skillets, a brick well wrapped in foil will do the trick too in pressing down on the sammie.