Growing up down South, one would encounter Piccadilly Restaurants, at one point in their lives. Piccadilly was first opened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1944. Their cafeteria style menu still features a wide range of items with a focus on homestyle meals. As a kid, my family and I would often eat at Piccadilly after Sunday church services and my favorite meal was the fried fish and green beans with tartar sauce. Forget fish sticks, it was real fish. This recipe actually brings back a taste of my childhood, with this pretzel-crusted fish dish. The technique of breading fish in pretzels is derived from a French method called paner à l’anglaise, which refers to coating proteins with breadcrumbs. Once you try this variation with your favorite brand of pretzels, you probably wouldn’t want to have pan fried fish any other way. And the bonus, kids will love the crunchiness of pretzel coated fish.
1 Tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 lemon, divided
2 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, divided
10 ounces green beans
10 ounces tilapia
½ cup flour
1½ cups pretzels
2 Tablespoons butter
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
½ Tablespoon horseradish
Lemon zest, for garnish
Prepare Ingredients.Halve lemon. Mince garlic. Rinse remaining produce. Finely chop parsley leaves, discarding stems. Trim and discard scallion roots and cut on a diagonal into ¼-inch slices. Trim ends of green beans. Rinse tilapia and pat dry with paper towel.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add scallions and green beans and sauté, stirring, until bright green and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and ½ of parsley and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Stir in juice of ½ lemon. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Pour flour onto a large plate. Season with kosher salt and pepper as desired. In a large shallow bowl, beat 1 egg. Place the pretzels in a ziploc bag and seal.Using a mallet or rolling pin, crush the pretzels and pour onto a separate large plate. Dredge tilapia in flour, shaking off excess. Dredge in egg, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge in the pretzel crumbs, pressing to adhere.
Wipe pan from green beans clean and add butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. When butter is foamy, add tilapia in a single layer and sear without moving until crust is golden on bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip, add another 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan, and sear until opaque, about 3 minutes more. Remove from pan and set aside.
While tilapia sears, make the horseradish sauce.Stir together mayonnaise, horseradish, juice of remaining ½ lemon, and remaining parsley in a medium bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
To serve, place the tilapia on the plate and place the green beans alongside. Sprinkle a little of the lemon zest over the green beans for a nice garnish.Enjoy with horseradish sauce for dipping.
Crushing the pretzel as finely as possible will help them adhere to the fish. Your fish is finished cooking when it flakes easily with a fork.