Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Baked Tilapia with Lemon Parsley Matzah Crust

As our ancestors ran from Pharoah's army on their escape from slavery and their journey out of Egypt and into the promised land, they had no time to wait for their bread to rise. Instead, the bread baked unleavened on their backs in the hot desert sun. This was the first matzah, and we eat it today to remember the sacrifices that our people had to make so that we could be free. The following is an application of matzah that I doubt our ancestors would have ever imagined, much less had the time or ability to prepare on their backs!

If using Matzah isn't quite your thing, this could just as easily be made with my favorite, panko bread crumbs.

Baked Tilapia with Lemon Parsley Matzah Crust
Two (6 ounce) tilapia fillets
2 sheets matzah
1/4 cup parsley
peel of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon(2 tablespoons)
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375. Put foil down on a small cookie sheet. Place the fillets on top.

In a food processor finely grind matzah, parsley, lemon peel. Add salt and pepper and the lemon juice to moisten (add more to taste).
Brush one side of the tilapia with the mustard. Spread the breadcrumbs on top of the fish. Drizzle about 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil on top of the crumb mixture. Bake in the oven for about 5-6 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Serve with the remaining 1/2 a lemon (cut into quarters).

I served this with roasted asparagus and mashed potatoes with crispy shallots.

To make the roasted asparagus: place the desired amount of asparagus (3-4 per person) on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat. Roast for 8 minutes.

To make the crispy shallots: In a small saucepan over medium high heat, add 1/4 cup olive oil. Once hot, add a teaspoon of butter. Add 1 shallot thinly sliced. Turn the heat to medium and let brown, 20-30 minutes. Remove the shallot from the oil onto a paper towel lined plate.

To make the mashed potatoes: Chop your desired amount of peeled potatoes (1 to 1/5 lbs a person) into 1 inch cubes and place in a medium saucepan with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and let bubble until a fork easily pushes through the potato (about 8 minutes). Drain and return to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste and enough milk to moisten to desired consistency. I mash with my pastry cutter, because I don't have a potato masher. That's just how I've always done it.

I thought I would include all the elements of my meal to show that it can all be done together. Here is how the meal would come together.
1. Start the shallots.
2. Put the potatoes to boil...once they are ready, mash and cover to keep warm.
3. While this is going on, prepare the fish and asparagus and turn on the oven.
4. In the last 10 minutes of the shallots cooking, put the asparagus in the oven. Two minutes later, add the fish.
5. Everything should finish cooking about the same time. Serve it up and enjoy!

Also, I had some extra topping, so I added a little bit of olive oil to moisten and topped the asparagus with it!

I am submitting this to this year's Passover Round Up hosted by the talented Lori Lynn at Taste With the Eyes.


Katherine Aucoin said...

I would definitely try this with the matzah. It looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing about your heritage. I find it so fascinating. I love learning!

The Blonde Duck said...

I could write an ode to this tilapia...and how I love thee...

Jen @ MyKitchenAddiction.com said...

Great recipe - I am not usually a fish fan, but I do love tilapia! This is a great new recipe to try - always looking for new tilapia recipes.

5 Star Foodie said...

Happy Passover! The matzah crust sounds wonderful for tilapia!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Thanks for a good looking recipe for talapia. I don't normally buy it but now I have a good reason.

julie jams said...

Great recipe!

Reeni♥ said...

Your so clever!! The meal as a whole looks delicious!! I have ground matzah meal in a container like bread crumbs-would that be the same as crushing the matzah?

Christy said...

Looks delicious! I just may have to plan on tilapia for next week's menu. Thanks for sharing!

Donna-FFW said...

I lobe the idea of using the matzoh as a coating.. loooks delicious paired with the tilapia.. winner!!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm glad you like the story! :) It made me blush.

Lori Lynn said...

Hi Amy - thank you so much for contributing to the Passover Round-up. And I look forward to using your matzoh crust recipe!
Lori Lynn

Anonymous said...

Where did you read that the matzah baked on their backs as they left? I've never read that and was just curious as to your source.