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Fish 4 Friday: Creole Tilapia, Easy Peasy Dinner

This entry is part of a series, F4F 2011» , RdJ Marathon»

Tilapia

Tilapia comes from an African tribe’s word for fish. Simple, eh? Tilapia are warm-water fish, with a white, almost fat-free flesh that flakes nicely when baked. According to Wikipedia, tilapia are the 5th most important fish in aquaculture, behind species like salmon, trout, catfish and carp.

Because tilapia are easy to grow in fish farms, their fillets are available pretty much everywhere in the States. For reasonable prices too! So if you’re looking for a fish to experiment with in the kitchen (and I mean cooking here), then consider tilapia.

Here’s one of my experiments:

  • 2 pounds fresh tilapia fillets
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon yellow (or green) onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon basil leaves, julienned
  • 1/4 cup black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper sauce
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded & minced (optional)
  • colored bell pepper rings, for garnish

This looks like a tough recipe, but it’s dirt-simple, really. Start by heating the oven to very hot, somewhere about 475-500° F. Lay the fillets out in a large, glass baking dish, like a 13 x 9 inch one. Mix everything else except the garnish in a large mixing bowl, then pour over the fish to cover. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Yes, it really is only 8 minutes in the oven! Tops, 10 minutes. More than that, the sauce will begin to dry out. So watch it like a hungry hawk…

Enjoy the (Looziana Style) Heat!

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