Pistachio Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Goat Cheese

In my continuing quest to not hate fish, I try to find ways to dress the fish up a bit – and mask any potential fishy flavors. This particular idea hit me like a bolt of lightning as I was staring into the Trader Joe’s fish case (some people get struck with ideas for the next Great American Novel… I get struck with the next Great American Dinner)… and lucky for me, it worked out pretty fantastically. I’ve actually been craving it since I made it, so I’m pretty sure that’s a good sign in regards to my war on boring and fishy fish.

Pistachio Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Goat Cheese

Pistachio Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Goat Cheese
serves 2

2 tilapia fillets
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 eggs
4oz shelled pistachios, ground until coarse
1 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
2 oz goat cheese
juice and zest of half a lemon

Pistachio Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Goat Cheese

1.) In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, kosher salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Crack the eggs into a second bowl, and whisk well. Add the ground pistachios to a third bowl.

Pistachio Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Goat Cheese

2.) Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pan. While the pan heats, bread the tilapia fillets – first with the seasoned flour, then the eggs, and finally the pistachios, pressing the pistachios into the fish gently to make sure they stick well.

3.) Cook the fillets for about 3-4 minutes per side, flipping once, until the fish is cooked through. Be very gentle when you flip the fish, as the pistachio crust is relatively delicate, and will come off the fish if you’re not careful!

4.) While the fish cooks, make your lemon goat cheese. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.

Pistachio Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Goat Cheese

5.) Remove the fish from the pan; top with the goat cheese, and serve!

If you like pistachios, you will LOVE this fish. The pistachios get all roasty and brown in the pan, and they add a beautiful crunch to the delicate, flaky tilapia. The tart lemon goat cheese cuts the richness of the nuts, and adds a fresh, light note. You could definitely use this crush on a chicken breast, or a pork tenderloin – or you could switch it up and use something like pecans, instead. Best of all, the whole thing came together in less than 15 minutes… amen for quick-cooking fish! (I am imagining this crust used on a piece of chicken – sliced and added to the top of a salad filled with goat cheese and dried cranberries and a lemon vinaigrette, and now I’m starving. Dammit.)

Pistachio Crusted Tilapia with Lemon Goat Cheese

I wouldn’t say I’m a FAN of fish these days, but I’m not NOT a fan…


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