This is an absolutely delicious Italian recipe for baking or pan frying fish. Of course, you don’t have to use tilapia; that just happens to be one of our favorites that’s always available from CostCo. But you can use flounder, halibut, catfish, or any reasonably mild fish.
I have simplified the recipe if you are going to cook this for four or five (or fewer) people, avoiding heating up the oven to bake the fish. Why heat up the oven when I have a perfectly good hot skillet already here in front of me?
It worked fine and was a huge success. Everyone loved the flavor, and it was a nice change from fried fish.
Fish fillets or steaks, for four or five
1 medium onion
1 or 2 plum or medium tomatoes per person
2 tablespoons capers, chopped
8 to 12 pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
1/2 cup white wine
grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced
After you have the vegetables chopped and prepared, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, and cook three minutes. Add the garlic and cook one more minute. Then add the tomatoes, olives, capers, and oregano. Stir and simmer for five minutes or so.
Now, if you have room in the pan, push the vegetables over to the side to make room for the fish. If you are cooking for too many, spoon the vegetables out of the pan temporarily. Drizzle a little more olive oil in the pan, sprinkle the fish with a little salt and pepper, and lay them in the pan.
Sauté the fish for three or four minutes per side, depending on their thickness. Thin filets may cook even faster. Look at the edge of the fish; when the edge starts turning opaque, peek underneath to see if it’s getting brown. Undercook at this stage is better than overcooking because you don’t want it to break up when you handle it. It can finish cooking after the next phase.
Now here is where you use the oven if you are fixing too large a batch to use the skillet. Heat it to 400 degrees, prepare a baking dish with non-stick spray, and lay the fish in the dish. Bake for seven or eight minutes, until the fish flakes when you poke it.
Anyhow, take the fish out of the skillet to a plate for a few minutes, and return the vegetables to the skillet. Add the wine and scrape up the fond on the bottom of the pan. Stir the wine into the vegetables, and lay the fish on top. Cover the skillet for a few minutes to warm everything up.
Serve with grated Parmesan. In the second photo, I show the fish served with pan roasted zucchini and a simple Romaine salad.