Baked Tilapia Iowa Cajun Style
This is my own recipe that has evolved over the years that I use for all different kinds of fish and large casserole samplers with different kinds of fish when I can afford it. Tilapia is affordable now. I was amazed when my picky eater 5-year-old grandson dropped in with his mom and started scarfing it down off her plate! I vary the spices to my mood, but this is what I used for this batch. You have to give exact amounts; I don't cook that way generally, so vary the flavorings to your taste. I've learned to work with a few basic spices rather than buy any of the hundreds of products out there now unless it's really special and necessary.
- Ready In:
- 6 tilapia fillets, frozen (or thawed)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons margarine
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon seasoned pepper (Schillings)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fines herbes (Spice Islands)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- Rinse and drain the fish; arrange skin side down and overlapping slightly in 9X12 or larger casserole if using more; heat oven to 400F; if using glass or nonstick, I don't bother to grease the pan.
- Melt the butter and margarine in small saucepan and pour over fish; the margarine dilutes the butter which causes burning easily but the butter imparts flavor.
- Rub the butter mixture over the top of the fish with your hands or spatula; with frozen filets (which must be fairly thin to cook right) the mixture will solidify; don't worry about it.
- The spices and herbs will not adhere well without moisture or the butter mixture but too much isn't good for you now so I try to drain it off when I serve.
- Most spices have plastic sprinkling inserts with holes so I don't measure but sprinkle to taste trying to get the right balance; watch the parsley as sometimes it's easy to get too much; same goes for other spices you're not familiar with amounts, better too little than too much if you're not used to cooking with them.
- Sprinkle on the seasoned salt, paprika, onion powder, pepper blend, fines herbes, thyme and parsley last.
- Put in oven and bake for 10 minutes.
- With a turkey baster or spoon, scoop up the butter and juices and drizzle back over the fish.
- Continue baking for 10 more minutes; it may be done or thicker pieces of fish take about another 5 or 10 minutes.
- You can tell it's done when you pierce with a fork or sharp knife; it will be tender and flaky with clear juices (not always apparent).
- Remove from oven and baste one more time, may have to tilt the dish so it will all pool at an end.
- Serve while hot with a spatula, draining off the excess melted butter mixture; it's not good for us; you can substitute an oil and less of it and it should be essentially the same.
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the fish at the table if desired (a must in the past for all fish but well everything is getting more expensive).
MY PRIVATE NOTES
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DH and I really enjoyed this! I really liked how the butter lightly crisps the edges of the fish (I don't keep margarine on hand, so I had to use all butter). Nice seasoning combination too. I had to omit the fines herbes because I didn't have any on hand, and I didn't have time to look up the components of it to make my own, but there were plenty of other seasonings in the mix to make up for it. I probably wouldn't do this all the time because it does have kind of a lot of butter in the recipe, but I have to admit that I couldn't bring myself to pour all the yummy seasoned butter off before serving. Instead, I spooned a bit of the butter sauce over the individual servings of fish. I served this with some seasoned cooked carrot sticks and Mexican rice. DH was very pleased with dinner last night, thanks for posting! Made for PAC Spring 2012