Tilapia with a Lemon-Tarragon Cream Sauce

When we’re traveling, we love eating at restaurants that use a lot of fresh herbs with an abundance of taste. People don’t often use fresh herbs as much as they should at home, but we try to as often as possible. We grow several different herbs and enjoy using them in many of the recipes that we prepare. One of the herbs that we have been growing is Mexican tarragon and we wanted to find a way to incorporate that into one of our meals. We decided to make a cream sauce and have it with some breaded tilapia. It was a very light and refreshing dish.


  •  3 Tilapia Filets
  •  1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  •  1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  •  1 Large Egg – whisked
  •  1 tbsp Whole Milk
  •  1 tbsp Garlic Powder
  •  1 clove Fresh Garlic – minced
  •  2 to 3 sprigs of Fresh Tarragon
  •  Juice of 1 Lemon
  •  3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  •  1/2 pint Heavy Cream
  •  1/4 cup Chicken Stock
  •  1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  •  Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Ingredients


Strip the tarragon off of the stems and chop the leaves. Combine the cream, butter, lemon juice, chicken stock, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and 2 sprigs of chopped tarragon in a small sauce pan and heat just to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Cook until the sauce reduces and thickens. Create a dredging station with three shallow bowls.  Put the flour on the first bowl, whisk the egg and milk together on the second bowl, and mix the panko with one of the sprigs of tarragon, the garlic powder, and salt and pepper in the third bowl. Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet to medium-high heat. Dredge the tilapia through the dredging station, coating with flour first, then the egg wash, and finally coating them with bread crumbs. Sauté the fish in the skillet until the breading browns and the fish is fully cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with the cream sauce and your favorite side dishes.

Tarragon Cream Sauce
Breaded Tilapia
Tilapia with Tarragon Cream Sauce and Roasted Beets


Tilapia with a White Wine Sauce

Pairing fish with a white wine sauce is quite common as they naturally compliment one another. It also works great with clams, mussels, or scallops, but we chose Tilapia as it takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with. We did it as a weeknight meal for two, but it certainly can be done for a larger group, although pan frying fish filets for more than four or five would require cooking them in batches. We have certainly had seafood with white wine sauce in many different European countries as well as in cities here in the United States. Any time you cook with wine, it is always important to cook with a wine that you would want to drink on its own as, even the alcohol will cook out, the flavor of the wine will clearly remain and intensify.

Clams with White Wine Sauce in Amsterdam


  •  2 Tilapia Filets
  •  1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  •  2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  •  1/3 cup Shallots – finely chopped
  •  1 cup Dry White Wine (we used a chardonnay)
  •  1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  •  1/3 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 tbsp Dried Parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Sautéed Tilapia


Place the flour on a shallow plate, mixing it with salt, pepper, and the paprika. In a medium skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat and sauté the shallots for 2 to 3 minutes until they are translucent. Add the wine and vinegar and simmer until reduced by half and the alcohol has cooked off, about 6 minutes. Add the cream and cook for another 5 minutes and then add the parsley, salt and pepper. Pour the sauce into a bowl and then add the remaining butter and oil into the pan. Dredge both sides of the Tilapia with the flour and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until browned and flakey. Place the fish onto serving plates and spoon the white wine sauce over top.

Cooking the Shallots
Reducing the White Wine
White Wine Sauce
Tilapia with White Wine Sauce


Fish and Seafood Recipes for All Seasons

We enjoy eating seafood whenever we travel to places, especially those located near the ocean. Our choices for fresh seafood can be somewhat limited at times, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy trying to recreate some of the meals that we’ve had throughout our travels. Regardless of the time of year, we can always find a seafood recipe that meets the need of the season. Although we often think of eating seafood during the summer months when we’re looking for lighter meals, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t recipes that work perfectly for the cold winter nights as well. Here are a few of our favorite recipes that we have created in the past.

  1. Pan Fried Tilapia – Lightly breaded with herbs and lemon, this dish can be paired with just about any side-dish. It is great for a weekday dinner, but is versatile enough to serve for a special occasion.

    Pan Fried Tilapia with Oven Roasted Asparagus
  2. Seared Scallops with a Lemon Butter Sauce – Sea scallops make for an easy and elegant meal, especially when sautéed with lemon, butter, and little bit of saffron. Served over a bed of pasta, it is a delicious meal for any time of year.

    Seared Scallops with Lemon, Butter, Caper Sauce
  3.  Pumpkin-Sage Shrimp – If you are looking for a seafood recipe that is perfect for autumn, then pumpkin-sage shrimp is a perfect solution. It is also a meal that works perfectly with scallops as well.

    Pumpkin-Sage Shrimp
  4.  Crab Lasagna – Using a béchamel sauce with crab meat to create a lasagna is an excellent way to take a new twist on an old favorite. Since it is warm and cheesy, it is a perfect meal for a cold winter night.

    Cheesy Crab Lasagna
  5. Salmon Oscar – Serving a breaded, crab mixture over steak or flounder is quite common, but we had Salmon Oscar in Old Town Alexandria in Virginia. We loved it so much that we had to create it ourselves for a wonderful dinner at home.

    Our Version of Salmon Oscar with Asparagus
  6.  Shrimp and Grits – Grits are very similar to palenta and it pairs perfectly with shrimp. We have had shrimp and grits in several places, including our recent trip to New Orleans. This one is a little unique as it is paired with a soft-boiled egg.

    Shrimp and Grits with a Fried Soft Boiled Egg
  7.  Salmon with an Herb and Honey Sauce – Sweet and savory sauces work great with salmon and we have tried several different styles. This is a perfect meal for a warm summer day or even a cold autumn night.

    Enjoy the Salmon with the Capers and Honey Sauce
  8.  Shrimp Frittata – This was a recipe that we did not that long ago and it was a great way to do something different with shrimp. Frittatas are so versatile and can be a perfect vehicle for serving whatever vegetables are in season at the time of year that you are cooking.

    Plated Portions of Shrimp Frittata

Having had so many unique seafood dishes around the world, taking a look back at our recipes has reminded us that we have not recreated nearly enough of them. It really is one of our favorite things to do, to recreate a meal from someplace we’ve visited and letting the flavors take us back to the time we were traveling. Tastes and smells are as much of a reminder of places as the photographs that we have taken.