It’s recipe time! Today I’m serving up Parmesan Fish with Cheddar Biscuits. I know, I know, some of you are saying, “Ewwww, Talapia!” for reasons. Some may not like it for the taste, some may not like it because it’s supposed to be a dirty fish or some such. But, I’m feeding a family of seven on a budget. Have more money or less mouths to feed? Get another kind of white flaky fish that better suits you. Easy as that. Also, keep in mind that most of my recipes are geared toward the many mouths to feed around here (two of them teenage boys), so feel free to cut the recipe in half, or into 1/4, or 3/5, or 7/16, whatever floats your boat.
You will need about 8 fish filets. I use talapia, but feel free to use whatever white fish you want. I’ve never tried it with any others though, so I can’t say how it will come out. You’re on your own there.
Mayo. Lots of it. Like a cup of it. Maybe cup and half depending how much cheese you use. (NOT Miracle whip, it does weird things in the oven)
Shredded Parmesan (do not attempt this with powdered Parmesan *shudders*)
Shredded Italian blend cheese (the really find shreds work best. “Fancy” shreds they call it because apparently that appeals more to consumers)
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoon dried basil
Other than the basil, there are no exact measurements on the seasonings. I use a good palm full of parsley. Less cilantro. A good amount of garlic powder (but then I love garlic), a few shakes of paprika. And of course salt and pepper are to taste as well. Some people like more or less of those two.
Place the fish in a greased baking dish (please use real butter to grease it, I promise you won’t die…unless you are allergic to it, then you should probably use something else) I find a glass cake pan works best, but use what you have.
Brush lemon juice liberally over the fish.
In a bowl (obviously, because a plate wouldn’t work too well for this), mix the mayo with all of the seasonings. Add a huge handful of the shredded Parmesan. Yeah, I don’t measure that either, I tend to heap it in. I just know when it looks right and know how much this family loves cheese. And a much smaller handful of the Italian blend cheese. Mix that all up together. If you find you have a little too much cheese to mix it up well, just toss in a little more mayo to loosen it up a bit.
Spread the cheese mixture on the fish. I know, it doesn’t ‘spread’ real easy. Tasty isn’t always easy. Then place the fish in the oven at 350 *F for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up, turn off the oven and kick the broiler on high. It only takes about 5 minutes to brown the top. If you step away from stove and quit checking ever few seconds, it will take exactly 45 seconds to burn and catch fire. Your oven will be screaming, your smoke detector will be screaming, you will be screaming, it will be a total mess.
Okay, so maybe not that bad. But you get the idea.
Now for the biscuits. Yay, more cheese! (I’ve been known to double this recipe, but I’m sharing it in it’s original measurements)
Get out your mixing bowl and put in:
3 cups of flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
Mix all of together.
Add one stick of butter and cut it in well (again, unless you are allergic, please do yourself and the biscuits a favor and use the real stuff. It’s not like this is a healthy recipe anyway)
Once you are done with that, stir in shredded marble cheddar (about a heaping cup, this is another thing I don’t actually measure), a couple of heaping spoonfuls of chopped garlic (told you I like garlic), and a bunch of chopped, fresh chives. Can use the freeze dried ones too if you have to because winter or whatever.
Once that’s all happily mixed together, add 1 1/4 cups whole milk and mix. Yeah, it’s a tough one to stir, you’ll live.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup (not the liquid kind) and get heaping scoopfuls. Put those on the pan. Don’t try to smoosh them around or make them look pretty, you’ll just make them tough.
Then put them in the oven at 400 *F for 18 to 20 minutes or until they look like those in the pic. Again, keep an eye on them.
Put the fish on a plate, add a biscuit, and then whatever green you want with it. We were out of salad stuff, so we went with home-canned green beans the night I took the picture. Mashed cauliflower is a yummy side too and offers up another veggie. I won’t claim my mashed cauliflower is healthy because mine have real butter and sour cream in them, but they are tasty.