Cornmeal-crusted tilapia on tomato ragu


Makes 4 servings

This is a perfect dinner for a busy weeknight and also a just-right meal for easy entertaining. Serve the sauce and fish in shallow bowls and add a mound of rice (or garlic-mashed potatoes if you have a few extra minutes) to absorb every last drop of the luscious sauce.


4 tablespoons canola oil

½ cup yellow cornmeal

4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

2 (14-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano


Spread the cornmeal in a shallow bowl. Press both sides of the fillets in the cornmeal to lightly coat.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 fillets. Cook for 3 minutes per side or until lightly browned and thoroughly cooked. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and fillets.

Meanwhile, stir together the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Pour the tomatoes into a medium saucepan. Warm, stirring occasionally, over medium heat.

To serve, spoon the tomatoes into shallow bowls. Top with the fillets and sprinkle with the parsley mixture.

Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.