Potato Crusted Tilapia With Hollandaise Sauce

Potato Crusted Tilapia with Hollandaise Sauce


One of my family’s favorite fish dishes is tilapia fillets. It makes for a great weeknight dinner because the preparation is simple and they cook quickly. In fact, the ingredient that takes the longest time to cook is the rice that we serve with it. Normally, I would season the fillets with salt, pepper and soy sauce, then dredge them in bread crumbs and fry them in vegetable or canola oil (whichever I had on hand). However, I was getting bored with the dish, which prompted me to search online for other creative ways to prepare the fish. 

I chose this recipe for several reasons. First, I already had nine out of the thirteen ingredients at home. Second, the preparation of the fish was very similar to what I was already using. Third, the Hollandaise sauce intrigued me, as I cannot recall consciously trying one. Soon, I discovered that it was a component in Eggs Benedict. 


The author of this blog did a superb job of taking pictures during the process of cooking the fish, but it lacks sufficient pictures for the sauce. I will try to remedy this below in my notes. 



Originally, I had planned to have this section read like an episode of 24 because I had a theory that this would still make a good weeknight meal, but a few unforseen events occurred. One was my two-year old daughter who grabbed a plastic bowl I was using for the lemon juice and spilled it on the floor. Others I describe below. 

1.  The recipe itself. I believe the recipe is backwards because I would advise to prepare the sauce first before frying the tilapia. The recipe doesn’t specify this, but I’d fry the fillets only four to five minutes per side over medium heat. I also used the lowest setting on my blender to reduce splatter, as I added the heated margarine. 

2. Ingredient substitutions. I’m not a big fan of butter, so I used margarine instead. I also used a ground mustard powder, instead of dry mustard. In addition, I don’t have a double broiler as referenced in Step 6 of the directions for the Hollandaise sauce, so I put the sauce in a Pyrex bowl and put it over a saucepan of simmering water. I got this idea from my experience with Beatty’s Chocolate Cake. 

Makeshift Double Broiler

3. Hollandaise sauce. Once I ran the blender, my next task was to transfer the sauce from the blender to the bowl to heat it, however I had to take a brief bathroom break. When I came back 5 minutes later, the margarine had re-thickened to the point where when I re-ran the blender on the highest setting, it wouldn’t liquify. I ended up using a spoon to transfer the sauce into the Pyrex bowl I used to reheat. If I were to prepare this sauce again, I’d transfer immediately to the bowl. Finally, when I put the bowl over simmering water, I had to stir it every few minutes, as I observed the lemon juice separating from the margarine mixture. 

Final Thoughts 

I didn’t start this dish until my wife arrived home to test my theory I referenced above when I started white rice in the rice cooker, chopped the parsley, and separated the eggs. I wasn’t really racing against the clock, more measuring the time elapsed. I theorized that, by the time the rice was finished (roughly thirty-five minutes), I would have the Hollandaise sauce completed and could start frying the tilapia. With some of the hiccups I described above and going back and forth to the computer to confirm amounts of ingredients, it was eighty minutes before I took the picture of the final product above. A second attempt at this dish would reduce the cooking time significantly. 


Filed under: Recipe discussion Tagged: all purpose flour, butter, dry mustard, egg yolks, eggs, extra virgin olive oil, fresh parsley, instant mashed potatoes, lemon juice, pepper, red cayenne pepper, salt, sugar, tilapia fillets, Tobasco sauce

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