Happy Kansas Day, everyone!
Don’t tell me you’re unfamiliar with the holiday. It occurs every January 29 and celebrates the day Kansas was admitted to the union as the 34th state on January 29, 1861. (duh.) Kansas is 153 years young, and she barely looks a day over 140.
Growing up, my school celebrated Kansas Day every year — not necessarily with a lot of pageantry, but at the very least we would get packets of sunflower seeds in our school lunches on those days.
[Kansas being the Sunflower State, if that wasn’t clear to you coastal dwellers]
When I was little, I assumed that everyone celebrated their state’s birthdays, but since I’ve lived other places and met all kinds of non-Kansans, I’ve learned that it’s actually a pretty strange thing we Kansans do. Every January 29, my Facebook feed is flooded with “Happy Kansas Day!” and “Ad Astra Per Aspera!” posts, but I’ve never once seen a single “Happy birthday, Maine!” or “Merry Delaware Day!” post. I’ve never even seen an Ohioan post a single lyric to Hang on Sloopy, and that state has the coolest song of all time (sorry, Home on the Range).
Anyway. In true Kansas fashion, I should probably be posting a yummy BBQ recipe here (or, according to Deadspin, “hamburger casserole”), but it’s been quite awhile since I’ve made anything BBQ-y. Plus, I don’t have a grill. So how about this: my dad, who lives in Kansas, would really dig this tilapia. Good enough?
GARLIC-HERB OVEN FRIED TILAPIA (adapted from Cooking Light: The Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook)
1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1-2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 6-oz tilapia fillets
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Combine first 5 ingredients (panko through garlic powder) in shallow dish. Place egg whites in second shallow dish, and place flour in third shallow dish. Pat fish dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge fish in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg mixture. Dredge in panko mixture, pressing to coat.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish fillets (can work in batches); cook 2 and 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place fish on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining fish if necessary. Bake fish at 450 for 6 minutes, or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
This is really quick and tasty, but it’s a little annoying how many dishes it dirties. Great night to make someone else do the dishes. We had this with some simple roasted veggies.