Thursday, May 15, 2008

Crispy Low-Carb Tilapia/Marie Rose Sauce

This recipe makes a pan-fried tilapia that's crispy but virtually zero carb (just a trace for the eggs and cream). And, in case you're wondering, even though it uses pork rinds for a coating, the result does not taste anything like pork. This isn't a really original recipe, but I couldn't find a low carb one when I was searching that really told me what I wanted to know, so here's my take on this (and there's a bonus sauce at the end). Note that this is (obviously, but not all "breaded" fish recipes are) wheat free and gluten free.

Note: This also reheats very well. 400 degrees in a toaster oven for about 10 minutes.

You will need:
Tilapia or other white fish (cod or haddock would be fine)
1 bag pork rinds (4 oz.)
eggs (1 is plenty unless you have a lot of fish)
cream (about 1/4 cup)
salt and pepper
oil for frying

The only trick to this is to process the pork rinds in a large food processor until they are very fine, like bread crumbs. Processed pork rinds look just like bread crumbs, but they're more dense. Mix the egg and cream (use 2 eggs if you have a lot of fish) and season with salt and pepper (you could also add cayenne or some herbs).

Heat oil in a large frying or saute pan. I used olive oil; I know it's not the greatest for high heat, but I don't like peanut oil, and I try to avoid grain oils. Vegetable oil might be ok, I suppose. You want it to be quite hot before you put the fish in, or it won't be crispy.

Pat the tilapia with a paper towel so that it's really dry, and then dip in the egg/cream mixture. Roll lightly in the pork rind crumbs. Really lightly, because as I said, these are dense, and you can use practically the whole batch on one piece of fish if you're not careful. I stretched one bag to 7 pieces of fish (alternately, if you want really crispy, you could just make double the pork rinds). Fry the fish in the hot oil, about 2 minutes per side.

If you're making a lot, so that you need to do more than one batch, you can put the cooked ones on a cookie sheet (or other large flat pan) in the oven at about 300 degrees to keep warm. Don't stack them or they'll lose their crisp.

I served these on a bed of field greens, which was really nice. A great alternative to tartar sauce is Marie Rose sauce, common in the UK but not so common in the US. The way I make it is like this:

Marie Rose Sauce

1 cup Hellman's or other mayonnaise
Heinz 1-carb ketchup ( you can really use any ketchup because you need hardly any)
lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce
pepper or cayenne

Put the mayonnaise in a small bowl, and blend in just enough ketchup to make it pink. You don't want it to taste like ketchup, so go easy. Then add the juice of about 1/4 lemon, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, and pepper to taste. Again, go easy on everything... it's easier to add more than to try to compensate for putting too much in. A dash of Tabasco or other hot sauce is also good. Carbs on this depend completely on the carbs in your mayonnaise, but are minimal.

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