Here's an easy and crowd-pleasing recipe that's great for a quick weekday meal or for special occasions. Best of all, it's flexible—you can tailor it to your tastes or to what you have on hand.
This version is simple, using only sweet baby peas, but it's equally delicious with mushrooms, carrots, and/or broccoli florets. You can add minced parsley or chervil if you like, or for a bit of color and zing, add a teaspoon or two of hot pepper sauce.
You can use any firm, mild fish here (catfish and snapper are excellent), but good old economical tilapia is ideal. Crab-flavored surimi is used here, but if you want to use real crab, it would only make it even better!
- 3 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 12-ounce tilapia fillets (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 6 to 8-ounces peeled and deveined cooked shrimp (any size, but Medium to Extra Large are best here)
- 4-ounces flake or chunk style crab surimi
- 1 cup (or more) frozen baby peas (and/or sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli florets, cooked carrots, etc)
In a large skillet, cook the onions in the butter over medium heat until softened. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the milk a bit at a time (start with a couple of tablespoons and increase as you go along), whisking or stirring well to incorporate. Add the seasonings and cook, stirring regularly, for 2 minutes.
Add the tilapia pieces. Cover with the sauce and cook for 5 minutes, stirring very gently once or twice.
Add the shrimp, crab, and vegetables. Cook a few more minutes until heated through and serve over rice, orzo pasta, grits, biscuits, or puff pastry squares.