Thursday, June 11, 2009

potato crusted tilapia in a sour cream and chive sauce

  • tilapia fillets
  • 2 eggs
  • instant potato flakes
  • white pepper
  • fat free sour cream
  • fresh chives, chopped fine

In a bowl beat the two eggs. On a plate combine potato flakes with white pepper and salt. Dredge fish fillets in the egg and then the potato mixture. In a little bit of olive oil over a medium high flame, saute the fish for about 3 minutes per side (the topping will fall off so try to be gentle). Once cooked transfer to an oven at 350 degrees. Reduce heat in pan and add chives to pan drippings and saute for 3-5 minutes. Shut off the heat under the pan and add sour cream, mixing until consistency becomes sauce like. Spoon sauce over cooked fish and serve.

The dish: I already let you know that Lee Iacocca was my favorite childhood hero, but there were a few other runner ups. Dave Thomas, the iconic founder of Wendy's restaurants was always near the top of the list. Dave was an orphan who grew up fast and had no one to rely on but himself. He worked a variety of kitchen and restaurant jobs, always dreaming of having his own establishment. What you may not know is that Dave left his mark on the fast food industry long before anyone knew the name of his daughter with the red hair and pigtails. Working his way up through the ranks, he essentially saved Kentucky Fried Chicken from collapsing into certain bankruptcy (a fate that GM would have you believe is some kind of milestone). All the delicious menu items, Dave thought those up; that timeless red striped bucket, his invention; creating the image of the Colonel being a jovial old man instead of a crabby, fouled mouth hot head, his doing as well. It wasn't until he achieved a fair amount of success in the fast food industry that he opened Wendy's, and he stayed active in its operations well past what most would consider to be normal retirement age, especially with his means. Why do I mention all this? Simple, he was the first (and only to my knowledge) fast food executive to realize that sometimes fries just won't cut it, and every now and again people need a baked potato. Few things in American cuisine are as widely accepted as a baked potato with sour cream and chives. Not too healthy, not too decadent, simple, affordable and with flavors that taste like they were made for each other. That was the thinking I had when putting this dish together. It worked well, but I still like salmon better. Of course, after typing this I see a trip to Wendy's in my near future.

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