Crispy Tilapia with Peppers & Arugula

I love it when an idea comes together this perfectly! I had stumbled across a fish recipe a while back and couldn’t stop thinking about the combination of perfectly fried fish with the most amazing local peppers (that I’m completely obsessed with). But I’m always craving bright greens, and thought that lightly dressed arugula would be the perfect accompaniment. I can’t remember ever being this pleased! Crunchy and tangy and spicy and just right.

Crispy Tilapia with Peppers & Arugula

Crispy Tilapia with Peppers & Arugula
adapted from bhg

1 pound small tilapia fillets (catfish would also be good!)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (see below for a homemade recipe)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup sliced and/or chopped miniature sweet peppers (I used Mama Lil’s)
1 lemon, cut in eighths
2-3 ounces arugula
white rice

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Prepare the rice as directed.
In a shallow dish, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and Cajun seasoning. Place flour in another shallow dish. Dip fish in buttermilk and flour. Repeat to coat fish twice. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully add fish to hot oil (working in batches, if necessary). Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until golden. Add more oil, if needed. Drain on paper towels. Drain oil from skillet; wipe clean with paper towel. Add peppers to skillet and cook 2 minutes or until crisp tender. Juice half the lemon and toss with the arugula. Serve fish with peppers over the rice and arugula, with remaining lemon on the side.

Cajun Spice Mix (makes about 1/4 cup)
2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

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