take it to the bank.

Allow me to introduce you to your new weeknight friend: the broiler.  Yes, that scary bottom drawer on your oven that spews fire.  Get down there. Take a look.  All that fire? It cooks food–FAST. Melts cheese like a dream.  Gets dinner on its way in no time at all.

bonjour, mon ami.

You need to treat your new friend with much love and tenderness.  Don’t plan to stick something in the broiler and then…you know, go vacuum, watch tv, or anything else that doesn’t have you standing directly adjacent to your oven carefully monitoring your broiler. He gets lonely and will scorn you by burning your little fishy in the blink of an eye. Stand by your friend.
Ok, enough with the lovefest. Let’s get cooking. $10 says you have almost everything you need for this currently in your kitchen.  And less than $10 will buy you plenty fish for 2 people. Another $10 says you can make $10 betting your dining companion you can have dinner on the table in 15 minutes flat.
Ingredients (for 2 servings, original recipe is 8)
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 pound tilapia fillets


  • Preheat your oven’s broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Season with dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt. Mix well and set aside.

i do not have celery salt. life goes on

  • Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes.


  • Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork.* Be careful not to over cook the fish.

someone couldn't wait to dig in 😉

*First big of culinary knowledge from my class this weekend: cooking a fish until it “flakes with a fork” is equal to cooking a piece of meat to shoe-leather consistency.  WAY overdone.  They tell you to cook it that long because they can guarantee it will be cooked and therefore can’t be blamed for making someone eat undercooked fish.  Fish will become opaque as it cooks. You should remove it from the heat when there is stil a little line of raw in the middle–the residual heat will finish cooking  and it will be perfectly cooked and tender.  Take THAT to the bank. With your $10.


4 responses

  1. So, I don’t love mayonnaise, but this recipe intrigues me. However, what if instead of putting your mayo-parm topping, you eliminate the mayo altogether. Instead, on the topping, you saute some garlic in that butter, add all the other ingredients (except the cheese). Broil your fish until it’s “done” then top it with the cheese and pour your butter mix over the top like a sauce? I’ll try it this weekend and see how it works.

    I can’t overstate my deep-seated dislike for mayo. 🙂

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