Cornmeal is my friend…

A culturally mixed dinner

A culturally mixed dinner

What a delicious dinner I made today! I had just over a pound of beautiful tilapia filets, and while tilapia isn’t the most politically correct or environmentally friendly fish, I do really love it. I had to cook them today, or else they’d have to be frozen, and I really don’t love frozen and then thawed fish.

Since I did cajun-style blackened tilapia last week, I wanted to do something a bit different tonight. I had recently bought fresh cornmeal, and I wanted to explore a new Penzey’s spice that is in my over-crowded spice cabinet. I also really really really wanted some polenta, another thing thats just fantastic with fresh cornmeal! In this one meal, while very culturally mixed, I completed both my goals! A new spice, polenta, AND a vegetable! Since Beadie told me that I had to start taking pictures of my dinners, I tried that today. It came out pretty well! Thanks for the suggestion!

Here’s the tilapia recipe:

Spicy Cornmeal Tilapia


1 lb. tilapia filets

1/2 c. cornmeal

1/2 c. flour

2 Tbsp. Penzey’s Southwest Seasoning

1/2 c. skim milk

2-3 tsp. olive oil


Pour the skim milk into a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, mix together the cornmeal, flour, and Southwest seasoning. In a fry pan, heat the oil. Designate one hand your “wet” hand and one your “dry” hand. With the “wet” hand, coat the tilapia with milk. Transfer to the dish of cornmeal mixture. With the “dry” hand, evenly coat the fish with the mixture. Place the fish in the pan, coat the remaining fish, and cook about 4 min. on either side. Serve alone, or (as my fiance likes) on an Arnold’s sandwich thin with some mayo.

My side dishes were simple. Steamed green beans, cooked in the microwave for about 2 minutes gave my meal some color. The polenta was simple and delicious!

Mozzerella Polenta Cakes

Ingredients (for one serving)

1/4 c. cornmeal

1 c. water

1/8 c. mozzarella

1 tsp. olive oil.


Mix the cornmeal and water together in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave on high about 2 minutes, then remove and stir in the mozzarella. It should be sticky and form almost a ball. Heat the olive oil in a small pan, then place polenta in the pan and press to form a patty. Cook until brown and turn.

So, in all, my dinner was 3 cultures: “Southwest” tilapia, Italian polenta, and French green beans. Ok, the green beans were a stretch, but it sounded good. Tomorrow, the cornmeal extravaganza continues, when some of my Mexican students bring in homemade tamales for my class to celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). They’re beyond excited to share their culture with their class!

Happy Friday all!!


3 thoughts on “Cornmeal is my friend…

  1. sounds very good – i’ve never used cornmeal like that, it sounds like a great idea. i’ve never understood what kind of fish tilapia is, exactly – when i looked it up on the internet, i seemed to have got the idea that the name represented most white fish out there, which i guess makes sense because i’ve never seen tilapia in UK shops, ever!

  2. Hi! Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog earlier! I’ve never tried polenta before, but since I love all things cheese, this might be the recipe to pop my polenta cherry! Looks yum!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s