Last week’s new discovery

I got a bit behind last week but before I launch into what we’re having this week, I did want to bring you up to date on my newest easy dinner creation.  We love tilapia and I love the way I usually fix it with a little butter caper sauce.  I thought I should try something different and decided to broil it with pesto.  The result is another winning tilapia recipe.  (Keith didn’t think he would like it because although he likes pesto, he doesn’t like it as much as I do but he was quite  enthusiastic about the result.)

Pesto Tilapia

  • 1 tilapia fillet per person
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • pesto

NOTE: I cooked this in our countertop oven but you could obviously cook in your conventional oven.

Brush tilapia with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Broil about 2 1/2 minutes and turn.  Broil another 2 1/2 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover with a thin layer of pesto.  Return to oven and broil for another 2 1/2 minutes.  Remove and serve.

I served with roasted garlic potatoes:

Roasted garlic potatoes

  • 6 small Yukon gold or  12 small fingerling potatoes
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic, cut in slices
  • 2 Tb olive oil

Scrub potatoes and toss in a bowl with remaining ingredients until all are well coated.  Preheat oven to 400.  Spread potatoes out in a ceramic baking dish and roast for 40 minutes, stirring once midway.

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Tilapia experiment

Last weekend I sampled some tilapia at the grocery store last weekend and wanted to try to create it.  It turned out that Keith had a meeting so he ate the leftover shish kabob and chicken salad before the meeting.  i went ahead with my scheduled plan,

Garlic Parmesan Tilapia

  • 1 tilapia filet per person

Per tilapia filet

  • 1 1/2 TB butter
  • 2 TB panko
  • 2 TB grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425.  Melt butter in a small pan.  Combine panko, Parmesan cheese and garlic in a bowl and add in 2/3 of butter. Put olive oil in a ceramic baking dish and place tilapia in dish.  Cover with panko mixture and bake for 12 – 14 minutes.  Add lemon juice to remaining butter and pour over cooked fish.

I served with lots of broccoli (because I got the broccoli on Sunday when I thought Keith would be home for dinner too.)  It was good but I still go for my caper butter sauce over my crispy pan sautéed tilapia as my favorite preparation.

Parmesan garlic tilapia with lots of broccoli

Parmesan garlic tilapia with lots of broccoli

Tilapia Thursday

It is Thursday (meaning I have less energy than I did earlier in the week) and tilapia is on sale at Graul’s.  That made the choice for dinner this evening very easy.  This is one of our favorites – few ingredients, healthy and easy to fix.  Make it a staple in your house!

Tilapia with Butter Caper Sauce

Per Serving

  • 1 Tilapia filet
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp capers
  • 2 tsps olive oil

Combine flour with salt, pepper and paprika and dredge tilapia filets in flour.  Heat a non-stick saute pan over medium heat and swirl in olive oil.  Brown tilapia 3 – 4 minutes per side.  While cooking fish, in a small sauce pan, melt butter with capers.  When fish is cooked, spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Broccoli

  • Broccoli florets
  • 1 oz. parmesan cheese

Steam broccoli, 5-6 minutes or until tender.  Grate parmesan cheese over broccoli and serve.

Something new

As I have been enjoying the bounty of my freezer this week I haven’t had much new for you.  Tonight I tried a brand new experiment using one of my husband’s favorite things – pistachios.  If you follow blog you know that we eat tilapia fairly regularly – it’s inexpensive, it’s healthy and it’s good.  I usually cook it simply and serve it with capers but I thought it would be fun to try something different.  I thought it was excellent and my husband liked it although he said he likes the original preparation a little better.  I’ll serve it that way next time but I like this variation.

Tilapia with pistachios

  • 1 tilapia fillet per person
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup pistachio meat 
  • 1/4 cup panko
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter

Rinse and dry tilapia.  Set up 3 shallow plates – one with flour, one with egg beaten with 1 tsp water and 1 with chopped pistachios, panko and lemon zest.  Dip fish in flour and then brush one side with egg wash.  Dip egg side in nut mixture.  

Heat a saute pan over medium heat.  Add olive oil and butter.  Put fish in pan, nut side down and cook about 4 minutes on first side and 3 minutes on second.  Serve with steamed broccoli.

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Catching up

Last night we had a friend over for dinner and I didn’t get a chance to update blog.  Tonight I’m catching up.  We fed him crabcakes, zucchini fritters and sliced tomato with Green Goddess dressing.  (I also made brownies and froze some for a neighborhood party on Sunday.)

Crab cakes

  • 1 lb lump or jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 4 TB mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • dash paprika
  • 1/3 cup panko or bread crumbs
  • wondra flour
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp olive oil
Whisk together egg, mustard, mayo, spices and panko.  Gently fold in crabmeat.  Sprinkle Wondra flour on a plate and form crab cakes with your hands – place on flour.  Sprinkle tops with flour and refrigerate until ready to cook.
Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat.  Melt butter and olive oil and add crab cakes.  Cook 4 – 5 minutes per side until crisp and golden brown.
Zucchini fritters
  • 2 zucchini grated with a coarse grater
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • olive oil
Combine zucchini with garlic, scallions, Parmesan, eggs, lemon zest and flour.  Heat a heavy saute pan over medium heat and add olive oil.  Plop zucchini mixture into hot oil by tablespoons and cook 2 -3 minutes per side until crisp.  Remove to a plate covered in paper towels and serve hot.   We have discovered that these are even better with chipotle mayonnaise – easily made by blending mayonnaise with chipotle pepper in adobo sauce.  (NOTE: Leftovers keep well refrigerated and reheated in a hot oven.)

Green Goddess Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 2 TB scallion greens
  • 1 1/2 tsp anchovy paste (use this even if you think you don’t like anchovies)  🙂
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.  I usually serve it on sliced tomatoes but it is also good as a dip for vegetables.
My husband had a neighborhood association meeting tonight and was late so I wanted something super quick – went with the tilapia and steamed broccoli option.

Tilapia with Butter Caper Sauce

Per Serving

  • 1 Tilapia filet
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp capers
  • 2 tsps olive oil

Combine flour with salt, pepper and paprika and dredge tilapia filets in flour.  Heat a non-stick saute pan over medium heat and swirl in olive oil.  Brown tilapia 3 – 4 minutes per side.  While cooking fish, in a small sauce pan, melt butter with capers.  When fish is cooked, spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Broccoli

  • Broccoli florets
  • 1 oz. parmesan cheese

Steam broccoli, 5-6 minutes or until tender.  Grate parmesan cheese over broccoli and serve.

While I was out…

Just because I had book club did not mean that my husband would starve.  I fixed my quick tilapia and oven roasted asparagus for him while I was whipping up my appetizers.  This is one of those great quick weeknight dinners and tilapia is an inexpensive fish!

Tilapia with butter caper sauce

  • 1 tilapia fillet per person
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • 1 tsp capers

Combine flour and paprika.  Dredge tilapia in flour mixture.  In a heavy pan melt olive oil with 1 tsp butter.  Cook fish about 4 minutes a side.  Meanwhile, melt remaining butter with capers.  When fish is done, pour melted butter caper mixture over fish.

I served it with asparagus that I tossed with olive oil and roasted at 400 for about 6 – 7 minutes.  I added a little bit of Parmesan cheese.

How to tell your dinner is delicious!

Tilapia and broccoli make a great combination and this is an easy dinner to put on the table quickly during the week.  I like things that don’t need much prep time when I’m pressed for time.  Doesn’t it look delicious?

Apparently, my sheltie thought it looked great too.  While we were eating dinner, our two dogs started barking like maniacs.  My husband got up to see why they were barking and called us to the window to see.  Unfortunately by the time we got to the window, the baby deer had run away (probably intimidated by the maniacal barking) and that gave the sheltie a chance to double back to the kitchen table and grab the rest of my tilapia off my plate!  I was really irritated – it was so good and I was looking forward to finishing it myself.  Next time, I’ll wait until dinner is finished.  Here is the recipe – keep an eye on your dog.

Tilapia with butter caper sauce

  • 1 tilapia fillet per person
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 TB butter
  • 1 tsp capers

Combine flour and paprika.  Dredge tilapia in flour mixture.  In a heavy pan melt olive oil with 1 tsp butter.  Cook fish about 4 minutes a side.  Meanwhile, melt remaining butter with capers.  When fish is done, pour melted butter caper mixture over fish.

Steamed broccoli with Parmesan cheese

  • broccoli florets
  • 2 TB grated Parmesan cheese

Steam broccoli about 5 minutes until tender.  Top with cheese and serve.  NOTE: Although I love the broccoli, the dog didn’t go after the veggies – just the fish.

 

 

 

Tilapia tacos

Tonight we enjoyed our favorite fish tacos.  They are quick to fix and don’t have a lot of ingredients. We used our grill pan.  I had some whole wheat wraps on hand for turkey goat cheese lunch wraps so we used them for the tacos.  Delicious and healthy.  Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • Soft taco shells (1 or 2 per person)
  • Tilapia filets (1 per person)
  • 2 tsp Lime juice
  • 1 TB Olive oil
  • 1 Avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Small can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh tomato, chopped
  • Salsa

Brush fish with olive oil and squeeze on lime juice.  Grill  3 – 4 minutes a side on a hot grill pan or in a fish basket liberally sprayed with Pam.  Distribute fish between taco shells and top with black beans, avocado and tomato to taste.  Roll taco shells and top with salsa and sour cream.  (For a little heat, stir some powdered chipotle pepper into the sour cream.)  Enjoy!

Hard to beat easy, healthy and inexpensive!

This is one of my favorite go to recipes for a weeknight.  Tilapia is inexpensive and healthy and this takes minutes to fix.  When my daughter was younger she loved it.  She has lost her taste for it and I can’t wait for her to get it back.  She had SpongeBob Mac and Cheese which is not particularly healthy but you choose your battles.

Tilapia with Butter Caper Sauce

Per Serving

  • 1 Tilapia filet
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Salt, pepper and paprika to taste
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp capers
  • 2 tsps olive oil

Combine flour with salt, pepper and paprika and dredge tilapia filets in flour.  Heat a non-stick saute pan over medium heat and swirl in olive oil.  Brown tilapia 3 – 4 minutes per side.  While cooking fish, in a small sauce pan, melt butter with capers.  When fish is cooked, spoon sauce over fish and serve.

Broccoli

  • Broccoli florets
  • 1 oz. parmesan cheese

Steam broccoli, 5-6 minutes or until tender.  Grate parmesan cheese over broccoli and serve.  You can use lemon juice instead of cheese to reduce the calories.

Why we love our new grill pan

My husband really likes my fish taco recipe.  I invented it based on having fish tacos in California.  I use tilapia filets and black beans and tomatoes so they are pretty healthy.  Previously he has grilled the tilapia in his fish grill basket but we bought a grill pan a few weeks ago.  We are learning what works well on it and what doesn’t – it did a good job with grilling the vegetables for the grilled chopped salad but did not do well with the sausages (probably because they don’t have enough oil on them).  I brushed the tilapia filets with olive oil and squeezed on some lime juice.  The grill pan was nice and hot and look how fabulous the fish looks:

Ingredients

  • Soft taco shells (1 or 2 per person)
  • Tilapia filets (1 per person)
  • 2 tsp Lime juice
  • 1 TB Olive oil
  • 1 Avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Small can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh tomato, chopped
  • Salsa

Brush fish with olive oil and squeeze on lime juice.  Grill  3 – 4 minutes a side on a hot grill pan or in a fish basket liberally sprayed with Pam.  Distribute fish between taco shells and top with black beans, avocado and tomato to taste.  Roll taco shells and top with salsa and sour cream.  (For a little heat, stir some powdered chipotle pepper into the sour cream.)  Enjoy!