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Ceejamon's Beer-Battered Tilapia with Mint-Orange-Ginger-Balsamic Vinegar

Well, it's certainly been a while, hasn't it? I've been absent for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I recently moved several states north. Yes, I finally escaped Louisiana! Now I'm just outside Baltimore with a new job and loving it. I had considered letting the absence be the end of my activity here, but I think I've changed my mind. For now at least, I'm back.

So welcome to my new apartment's kitchen! It's small - so small that my stand mixer has to live in the hall closet - but at least it has a gas range. It's a temporary situation, though, so I can't gripe too much. We moved here on very short notice and didn't really have many options.

Ever since I moved up here, I've had strange cravings. Specifically, for southern comfort foods that I rarely ate back south: crawfish etouffee, purple-hull peas, turnip greens, and fried foods. Today, once such craving hit me - beer-battered fish. I decided to give in, and put a twist on the "fried fish with malt vinegar" thing.

Here's what you'll need:
4 tilapia fillets
1/2 cup and 1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup beer (as if I needed an excuse to drink)
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Olive oil
Kosher salt & fresh black pepper

~1 small handful of mint leaves
1 orange
~ 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
~3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Start off on the balsamic sauce. Toss some mint into a glass vessel if you have a muddler. If not, into a mortar & pestle. If neither of those, improvise.

Beat the hell out of it with your muddler until it's a leafy pulp.

Then, grate your ginger in and zest your orange. Use a microplane or your smallest grater. Then, add the juice of your orange and give it a swirl. It should look something like this:

Add the balsamic vinegar, and set aside. The flavors will come together while you do the rest. Now it's time to make your beer batter.

Go ahead and heat about a 1/2 centimeter of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Cast iron works best. You want just enough oil to come up half-way on the fillets.

In a large bowl, crack your egg and beat lightly. Add the beer, 1/2 cup flour, the baking powder, and whisk.

Put the rest of the flour on a plate and roll up your sleeves. No picks of these steps because it involves messy hands. Salt & pepper both sides of your tilapia fillets. Then place in the flour. Flip. You want a light even coating on both sides. Shake off any excess and dip into the beer batter. Place straight into your pan. Don't crowd the pan, I suggest doing 2 fillets at a time. Cook through, about 2 minutes per side. Remove and put on a plate lined with paper towels. Here's a pic of 2 done, 2 cooking:

Serve with the sauce on top. As for sides, fries & coleslaw are the typical choice. I wanted some healthier sides, so I cut up some random veggies I had around and roasted them. Plus some mashed yukon golds.

Recipe for the veggies: cut up veggies (zucchini, tomatoes, ren onion, mushrooms). Salt, pepper, & olive oil them on a cookie sheet. Roast at 450 until done to your liking, 10 - 15 minutes depending.

Hope you guys digg it.
You see the glass as half empty. I see it as the perfect level for blowing milk bubbles!
Old 10-01-2008, 07:20 PM ceejamon is offline  
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I own faces - <3 Toad
Lookin' good man.

I've made Tilapia fillets a few times in the past, but never really came out as anything special. This however, definitely looks delish. Nice job
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Old 10-01-2008, 08:50 PM jarhed13 is offline  
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dk again
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I really want to learn to prepare food
Old 10-01-2008, 08:52 PM dk again is offline  
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Had Tilapia for dinner tonight.
Old 10-01-2008, 08:53 PM red|dragon is offline  
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<3 Creepster
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Good to see you back man.
Old 10-01-2008, 08:58 PM Arnold_Layne is offline  
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Sweet mother of God, I just bought some tilapia last night. You are an amazing person.
Old 10-01-2008, 09:05 PM Frenetic is offline  
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God damn it, I found this thread after I went to the store. At least I found a coffee porter . . . .wait wrong thread for that.

Looks really damn good. I will have to make that this weekend.
he looks like m22 crossed with gordon freeman - maybe the haldron gordon freeman - Tongboy describing me
Old 10-01-2008, 09:14 PM godofcheese is offline  
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You have a very very lucky wife. This looks so good.
Old 10-01-2008, 10:07 PM LAZERGUNPEWPEW is offline  
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I'm more of a lurker but do enjoy your threads, hope you stick around.
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Old 10-02-2008, 11:32 AM mserrino is offline  
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Toxic | Vapor
sam adams boston lager is my favorite beer for my beer battered shrimp. ill have to give this a try when i do beer battered tilapia here in a few weeks.
Old 10-02-2008, 06:36 PM Toxic | Vapor is offline  
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looks delicious

i miss living in alaska and having a fridge stocked full of halibut and salmon all the time
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:53 PM prometheum is offline  
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