When cooking for a big family there will be no leftovers if you use the simple, French style recipe below. For a single person cooking a few fillets at once, as it is difficult to cook only enough food for just one, you will not leave the extra fillet in the pan. The recipe is so juicy, so good and so simple – four ingredients, a few minutes and voila!
2 Tilapia fillets (approx 5 oz. each), if frozen thaw before cooking
3 T. Extra Virgin olive oil
2 t. olive juice from a jar of olives (If you have a container of gourmet olives, the water is more like oil but it’s so thick with flavor. Don’t dismiss it! Just use 1 t. instead of 2 t.)
2 t. honey, room temperature
Red pepper flakes or about a 1/8 c. of chopped fresh parsley (Optional: Just used to give the fish color)
1. Start with pouring the olive oil into a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the fillets, if fresh fillets are used, you’ll want the skin side down. Continue to step 2.
Note: The French cook their fish “l’unilateral” on only one side. To change the recipe and make it a little less French, flip the fish over and cook both sides. Start with the skin side up and cook for 3 minutes. Just for the Tilapia to go from a clear white to a solid white, then flip the fish over so the skin side is down. Continue to the next step.
2. Now comes adding the ingredients to the top of the fish. In the name of true French cooking, don’t leave anything to waste. Use about 2 T. of the salt water from a jar of olives to sprinkle over the fish. You won’t need to flavor with salt, you’re getting added olive flavor, which pairs extremely well with fish, and you’re making due with what you have. Next, drizzle or spread the honey over the fish. If you are entertaining or you want some color, add the red pepper flakes or the fresh parsley next.
3. Continue to cook the fish uncovered for about 5 minutes. Cook for 7 minutes total if you want a little crisp to your fish.
4. For serving: serve fresh off the pan and use the juice as a sauce either for the fish or for flavoring a side dish. Do not waste it! It’s what makes this fish mouth watering to begin with! If this fish cannot be served immediately, make sure to cover it with aluminum foil.
Makes 2 servings. Feel free to double or triple the recipe, just make sure you use a larger pan or the cooking time will need to be extended.