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Tilapia For a Tuesday

I got some tilapia on sale at the market the other day and was looking for a new way to cook it without frying. I came across this recipe on the Food Network and it fit perfectly. I already have everything in the house, which made it even easier. It’s a very quick recipe and goes perfectly at this time year when tomatoes are ripe and tasting great.

Baked Tilapia with Tomato and Basil

Non-stick cooking spray

2 (8 ounce) tilapia fillets

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano leaves

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large tomato, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a shallow baking dish with the nonstick cooking spray.

Sprinkle the fish evenly with salt and pepper. Arrange the tilapia in a baking dish and sprinkle evenly with basil, oregano, onion powder and garlic. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Arrange the tomato slices evenly over the fish and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 to 25 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish and serve immediately.

The fish turned out perfectly and the flavor from the tomatoes mixed very well with the fish and the spices on the fish. As side dishes, I made corn on the cob and I decided to make some black beans and rice. The black beans and rice could easily be a meal on its own if you wanted it to be. It’s not a tough recipe and takes a little longer, but you can make it ahead and re-heat it if necessary.

Black Beans with Rice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 red or yellow pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3/4 cup dried black beans, washed, picked over and soaked if you have the time

1 1/2 cups long grain rice

1 cup chopped tomato

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Put th oil in a large ovenproof pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low so that the mixture bubbles gently. Cover loosely and cook, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary, until the beans are about half-done, softening but still tough in the middle, about 40 minutes (if you didn’t soak the beans, it will take about an hour or more) Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Use an immersion blender or a potato masher to semi-puree the beans in the pot. Leave at least half unpureed.

Stir in the rice, tomato and a good amount of salt and pepper. If you don’t want a crust to develop, cover the pot. Bake in the oven until the rice and beans are tender, about an hour, adding a little water if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with parsley and serve or store, covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If storing, when you re-heat, stir in a little water and olive oil just before serving.

As I said, the black beans and rice could easily be a meal as themselves. You could eat it this way as a vegetarian meal or you could add in things like chorizo, some diced cooked chicken or some shrimp.

All in all, it was a very nice meal for the two of us.For tomorrow, I do have some chicken that I am not sure what to do with yet. Check back and see what I can find. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Seafood

 

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It’s a Baked Fish Friday!

It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for our seafood meal for the week. it doesn’t get much easier than this one. i am making a very simple Baked Tilapia, with Brown Rice and a nice veggie dish of Sautéed Snap Peas, Asparagus and Peas with Herbs. First, the fish dish. There’s very little to do with this one, so it can be done quickly.

Baked Tilapia

7 tablespoons butter

4 (6 to 8 ounce) tilapia filets

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 lime, finely grated zest and juice

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large cast iron pan, Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Rinse the fish and pat it dry; season the fish with salt, pepper, lime zest and lime juice. Add the fish to the cast iron pan and place 1 tablespoon of butter on each filet. Cook the fish in the oven until tender, about 8 to 12 minutes.

For the side dishes, they are both pretty easy to make. The first is Brown Rice. You can substitute brown rice for white rice in just about any recipe, just keep in mind that brown rice takes longer to cook the white rice. To me, tastewise, it isn’t any better or worse than white rice, just a little different, and it has much more nutrition than white rice, so I am trying to introduce it more into our diet. This is just a simple recipe on the stove top for the brown rice.

Brown Rice

1 1/2 cups brown rice

Large pinch of salt

Put the rice in a small saucepan with water to cover by about 1 inch. Add the salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then adjust the heat so the mixture simmers gently. Cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, checking occasionally to make the sure the water is not evaporating too quickly. When the liquid has been absorbed, taste and see if the rice is tender or nearly so. If not, add about 1/2 cup more of liquid and continue to cook covered.

When the rice is tender, you can serve it or turn the heat off, or keep it at an absolute minimum, and let it sit for 15-30 minutes, during which time it will become a bit drier. There are a lot of things you can add to the rice at this point, like a little butter or extra virgin olive oil, some fresh herbs, grated cheese, some shrimp, or instead of cooking in water, cook in some kind of stock. Once the brown rice is cooked, you can use it as a substitute for white rice in recipes like pilaf.

Now on to the vegetables. This is a recipe that I literally picked up at Willams Sonoma. They had a recipe card on the counter for it and it looked really good, so I thought I would try it. It is Sautéed Snap Peas, Asparagus, and Peas with Spring Herbs and Salt. It’s a great showcase for some spring vegetables.

Sautéed Snap Peas, Asparagus and Peas with Spring Herbs and Salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 small leek, white and light green portions, thinly sliced

3/4 pound sugar snap peas, cut in half

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, spears thinly sliced

1 1/2 cups fresh shelled peas (you can use frozen if you can’t find fresh)

1/4 cup water

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as chives or parsley, or a combination

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, warm the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leek and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas, asparagus and shelled peas and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are evenly coated with the oil, about 1 minute. Add the water and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until the water has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and remove the pan from the heat. Add the lemon zest and herbs and stir until evenly distributed. Transfer the vegetables to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

Yummy, yummy! It’s a pretty easy meal to put together. If you’re looking to save some time, you can always use white rice instead of the brown, but I think it goes nicely with the fish.

I have no plans for dinner tomorrow since we have plans for the evening, but I do hope to have our menu plan for next week set for tomorrow, so I will be posting that. Until then, enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Rice, Seafood, Vegetables

 

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Jennifer Probst

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Laissez Faire

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