MR. FRIENDLY’S Caribbean Jerk Seared Tilapia with Sweet Corn Relish & Tomato-Cilantro Vinaigrette

November 8, 2011

Mr. Friendly’s has become the complete manifestation of it’s owners’ philosophy of using locally grown, seasonal ingredients to create unique, artisan interpretations of traditional southern dishes.  To demonstrate just a sampling of what he produces for Columbians during a typical busy day, Ricky Mollohan (owner) took some time after lunch service at Mr. Friendly’s (and before dinner service at all three of his restaurants), to personally prepare three different dishes (one from each) that he encourages the home chef to try.


  • 4 Tilapia fillets
  • 1 lb mixed salad greens
  • 1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber-peeled, halved, and sliced
  • 1/2 palmetto sweet onion sliced
  • 1/4 palmetto sweet onion diced fine
  • 6 ears sweet yellow corn, shucked
  • 1/2 bell pepper
  • 2 bunches cilantro-chopped
  • 1/2 cup V8
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups blended oil
  • Juice from one lime
  • Your favorite Jerk Seasoning blend
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder


Directions for Corn Relish

In a small sauté pan on medium heat (with a tablespoon of blended oil to coat pan), sauté half of diced onion for 1 minute.  Add shucked corn and mix, sauté for 1 minute.  Corn should be bright and still very fresh looking!  Season it with salt and pepper and transfer to a mixing bowl.  Add smoked paprika, chili powder, 1/4 of cilantro, and 3/4 juice from a lime to corn-onion mixture and toss ingredients until incorporated.  Set aside.


Directions for Vinaigrette

In a food processor, add remaining diced onion, V8, chopped tomatoes, red vinegar, garlic, remaining cilantro and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Blend until tomatoes are broken down and ingredients are well combined.  Begin mixing ingredients again and slowly add remaining blended oil or extra virgin olive oil until fully incorporated.  Add a dash of hot sauce if desired, and be sure to season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to bowl and place in refrigerator.


Directions for Tilapia

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In large sauté pan, coat with 1/4 cup blended oil on medium heat.  Season the Tilapia well with Jerk seasoning.  Sear Tilapia in pan for 2 minutes per side and transfer pan to oven for 4-5 minutes to finish.  Use remaining lime juice to top Tilapia once removed from oven.  Set aside.



Toss salad greens in vinaigrette.  Put tossed greens into four bowls and dress with cucumbers, tomatoes, and sliced onions.  Top with Tilapia and corn relish.



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