Published August 22, 2012 - Last Updated January 22, 2021
Some weeknights, we’re just too busy to cook a complicated meal. With my stepdaughter’s school starting up again and Rosh Hashanah around the corner, time is at a premium here on the homefront. Fast and easy dinners are on the menu. Of course, we have our regular rotation of favorite recipes for every season… simple classics that never go out of style, the “oldies but goodies.” Once in a while, I like to stir things up by adding a new sauce or spice to a family favorite. It’s a good way to keep things interesting at the family table. Always keep them guessing!
The base of this recipe is one of our family faves, a simple recipe for pan fried fish that was handed down from my husband’s mom. It’s a super easy preparation– fish (we usually use tilapia), sprinkled with pepper and salt, breaded with flour and paprika, and quickly fried to a crispy golden finish. I make fish this way every couple of weeks for dinner; it takes less than 15 minutes from start to finish, and the results are always tasty. The great thing is, I can change the dish completely by adding a new sauce. I’ve been known to top the fish with tahini sauce or leftover matbucha. Sometimes I throw together ingredients that are left in the fridge to create a fresh salsa fresca. Or, if I’m feeling really worn out and uninspired, I use jarred Arrabiata or Indian masala sauce. Each variation gives a new flavor, and we haven’t found one combination yet that we didn’t like. The fried fish creates a crispy, flavorful base that can be dressed up in a variety of ways.
It’s been a really hot month here in Los Angeles. Last week, I was in the mood for cool and creamy flavors– something similar to tzatziki. We had Greek yogurt and leftover buttermilk in the fridge, so I combined the two into a lowfat, richly flavored sauce. The buttermilk added a nice tang to the yogurt. I tossed in some fresh mint, garlic, and red pepper flakes for a kick. The result was a creamy, perfect counterpoint to the crispy fish fillets.
You can whip up this dinner in no time flat. Those of you who are gluten free can make this dish with King Arthur gluten free multi-purpose flour— I made it again this week, testing it with the King Arthur substitute, and it worked just fine. Try this fish with saffron rice or an Israeli salad on the side. It’s a simple and creative entree, and a unique way to dress up fish.
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Thanks for stopping by! I am fascinated by the story behind the food – why we eat what we eat, how the foods of different cultures have evolved, and how yesterday’s food can inspire us in the kitchen today. Read more...