Ok so this is something I made up in my head. A dish I really liked at this excellent mediterranean restaurant was a fish I no longer remember, on a bed of greens served with fennel. Several permutations in my head later, we’ve got this.
- Natural honey (the cloudy stuff, though your normal clover honey should be fine)
- 1 tangerine
- 1 stick butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- Sea salt (I like the gray stuff)
- 6 tilapia fillets (add more for hungry people/more than three people)
- Panko bread crumbs (they’re Japanese – they might be in the international section of your grocery store)
- 1 pkg bitter greens (anything with baby spinach and/or arugula)
- 2 eggs
- 1 Fennel Bulb
(Note: I also used a side dish of frozen roasted potato wedges and baked them in the oven. Feel free to add an easy side dish of either salad or some sort of potato based on your preferences. A baked or microwaved sweet potato would also go great with this dish.)
The first thing you’ll want is time. You don’t want to rush this since the sauce needs low heat. Start there first. Melt about 3 tablespoons of butter in a small pan on the lowest setting on your burner. Once melted, add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir that in. Let that sit while you prepare the other things.
Dust the tilapia fillets with a little itty bit of flour. It’s ok if the fillet isn’t completely covered. Dip in egg, then push it into a bed of panko bread crumbs, and push some more crumbs on top. Place in a pan with a tablespoon of butter and just a little EVOO. Fill the pan with fillets and let them cook for about 7 minutes on medium heat. When you flip the fillets over you should see a nice light to golden brown color. Let them cook another 6 minutes.
Now peel the outer layer of the fennel bulb and chop it into thin slices, it will come apart like an onion. Throw in a pan with some sea salt, pepper, and EVOO or 1 tablespoon butter, let this cook on medium heat, stir or shake the pan occasionally. Let them cook down. They won’t carmelize like an onion, but they will get floppier.
Now your first batch of fish is done. Remove the fillets and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm. Prepare a second batch, same as the first, but add a dash more oil or half a tablespoon of butter (a thin slice). Repeat your earlier work.
When the second batch of fish is cooking, add 1 tablespoon honey to the sauce. Stir it in, it may take a few turns, and then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter, depending on how thick it looks. Squeeze out the juice of the whole tangerine (I did this in slices) into the pan and let it sit on the lowest heat. Stir occasionally if you see the butter separating.
Once the second batch of fish is done, remove and put in aluminum foil. Take out the first batch of fish, which should still be plenty hot, and place on a bed of the bitter greens on a plate. Add the sides of fennel and whichever other sides you’ve used. Let the sauce cool a bit before pouring on the fish, serve.