Pan-Fried Tilapia With Almonds and Mushrooms


This recipe grew out of a casual conversation with a friend. I told her I had Tilapia filets thawing for dinner, but wasn’t sure how I was going to prepare them. My friend mentioned that a co-worker of hers told her that his wife (still with me?) prepared Tilapia with mushrooms and slivered almonds. Well, I thought, I have those ingredients on hand. With little else to go on, I decided to just wing it and see what happened. The result was delicious.

I have made this recipe four times now and learned some things. First, make sure you prepare this in a non-stick skillet. Tilapia filets are a bit fragile and one night I ended up with “fish hash,” which, while still tasty, wasn’t what I was going for. Second, shaved or thinly sliced almonds work best in this recipe. The way I prepared the dish the first time left the slivered almonds too chewy for my (and my husband’s) taste. Third, the amount of olive oil required is variable. Sometimes the mushrooms and other ingredients absorb more of the olive oil than I expect. Last night I had to add another splash of olive oil to make sure I had enough in the pan so the filets wouldn’t stick. Fourth, removing the vegetables with a slotted spoon sounds like a pain, but it works best to make sure the vegetables don’t get overdone while the fish is cooking.

Pan Fried Tilapia With Almonds and Mushrooms

Ingredients:

4 Tilapia filets, thawed if frozen

1/4 cup shaved/thinly sliced almonds

1 tsp. garlic powder

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups portabella mushrooms, roughly chopped

Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet. As the oil is heating sprinkle in garlic powder. Once the olive oil is hot, add remaining ingredients, except filets. Saute until onions are translucent and almonds and mushrooms begin to brown. Remove vegetables with a slotted spoon, set aside. Add more olive oil to the pan, if necessary. Once the oil has heated, add tilapia filets in a single layer. Cook filets over medium-low heat until lightly browned, (approximately 4 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness). Carefully, turn the filets. Return cooked mushroom/almond mixture to pan, spreading the mixture over the filets as evenly as possible. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until fish is cooked through and lightly browned.

One more note: You can also sprinkle the raw filets with Cajun seasoning before frying. I made two separate batches last night, one with the Cajun seaoning (Slap Yo’ Momma! brand is what I had on hand) and one without. My husand and I ate the Cajun-seasoned batch and my kids had the less-spicy version. Even my four-year-old ate every last bite!

Enjoy!

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