Panko-Breaded Tilapia in Wine-Butter Sauce

Today was a great day for cooking! I honestly didn't much care what my main dish today was--I just needed something to go along with my cheesy broccoli rice casserole. I had planned on just making salmon (it's basically the only fish I have ever made well--until now, of course), but the cheapest cut I could find at the grocery store was $10. Right next to the salmon, however, was a comparably-sized filet of tilapia for $4, and it was pre-breaded with panko bread crumbs. I bought the tilapia and figured I would find something to do with it later.

Then, while I was waiting for the cheesy broccoli rice casserole to cook, I located this recipe for Tilapia with Lemon Butter Sauce. And, since the grocery store was already kind enough to bread my fish for me, I really only needed the sauce ingredients. But, in case you are not so lucky, I will include ingredients for both the fish and the sauce below:

-2 filets of tilapia, about 4 ounces each (or, one big one that you can cut in half yourself, as I did)
-1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs (these are found in the Asian foods aisle)
-1 egg (lightly beaten)
-1/2 cup of flour
-1 lemon (or teaspoon of lemon juice)
-1/4 cup white wine (and extra to serve along with the meal ;) )
-2 tablespoons of butter
-Salt to taste
-Parsley (fresh or dried) to garnish

First, if you need to bread your fish, arrange your flour, beaten egg, and bread crumbs in three separate bowls. Dip your fish filets into the flour, then the egg, and finally, the bread crumbs.

Next, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat until melted. Add your breaded tilapia filets and cook for three minutes. Flip the filets and cook for three minutes on the opposite side. At this point, my broccoli casserole was still happily cooking away in its 350 degree oven, so I took the tilapia (now beautifully-browned on both sides) and placed it, skillet and all, into the oven to finish cooking the inside of the fish. My two filets took about two minutes to finish cooking, but you basically just want to make sure your fish flakes easily with a fork--then you know it is done!

Finally, plate the fish and prepare the sauce. In the skillet (now empty of fish), mix together the wine, remaining butter, lemon, salt, and one teaspoon of flour (to thicken the sauce). Let the ingredients simmer for a minute to meld the flavors and cook off a bit of the wine, then pour over the top of your tilapia filets. Sprinkle with parsley if desired, and serve! The fish and the sauce were beautiful together: buttery and melt-in-your-mouth tasty. And, I can now proudly say that I know how to make TWO types of fish! So if you haven't already, give tilapia a try--with a nice butter sauce and glass of white wine, it is impossible NOT to enjoy!

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