tilapia with creamy white wine sauce

This delicious fish recipe has a smooth creamy sauce that will make you sigh. The white wine gives it a delicate flavor and the onions add body and crunchiness.

This recipe calls for tilapia fillets but you can use any white fish fillet. Tilapia fillets have no bones and they are usually cheap and very easy to find. There are lots of information about the nutritional value of tilapia in the internet, some of which are contradictory. I will stick with the good news which are that farmed tilapia has very low levels of mercury, they are low in saturated fat, and are a good source of protein.

I know some of my readers hate chopping onions but if you want this recipe to work you really need to chop or at least shred onions. Take a look at the How To Peel and Chop an Onion and you'll see that is not that hard. With practice you will get faster, so why not start today.

What You need:
  • 1 lb tilapia fillets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
Note: the amount of fillets in 1 lb of tilapia will vary according to the thickness of the fillets. It may range from 3 to 6 fillets. The thickness of the fillets will influence the cooking time. The thicker the fillets the longer it takes to cook them. However no matter how thick the fillets are the cooking time is really short.

for the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup (about 4oz - 1/2 onion) finely chopped white onion (shredded onion will work as well)
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream with 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in it. (whisk it well)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley OR 1 teaspoon dry parsley
What To Do:

Gather the ingredients.  

Wash the fillets and dry them with paper towel.
Season with salt and pepper and squeeze half a lime over them. 
Turn them so they get lime juice on both sides.
How much salt? a thin layer.

Place the fish fillets in a colander to drain excess lime juice while you make the sauce.

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
Add the onions and sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Turn heat up and add the wine. 
Let it boil.

Turn the heat to medium high and let it boil for about 5 or 6 minutes to reduce the wine until it's mostly all evaporated.

Add the cream with cornstarch and stir until the sauce thickens. About 1 to 2 minutes.
Important: stir the cream and cornstarch mix right before you add it to the pan to make sure the cornstarch is not sitting at the bottom of the container.

Stir in parsley, turn off the heat and reserve. 
The sauce is ready, so now let's fry the fish.

Place a large sauce pan over high heat with 2 tablespoons oil. 

FTI: Frying fish over high heat helps create a crunchy layer but of course you have to be careful not to burn it.

When the oil is hot add the fillets. 
If you have 3 or 4 fillets they might all fit in the saucepan. 
If not, then fry them in two batches.
It will take from 1 to 3 minutes to brown one side of the fillets. The time will vary according to their thickness, so keep peeking the color underneath by carefully lifting the side of the fillets.

Turn the fillets and brown the other side. Careful because tilapias are flaky and they can fall apart. Use the widest spatula you have to turn the tilapias fillets.

Carefully place the fillets on paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Pour the sauce over the fillet.
Bon Appétit!

Suggestion: serve with Creamy Mashed Potatoes

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