Mediterranean Inspired Tilapia
Have to share a delicious dish I made the other night. Felt like having some fish (trying to lay off the beef for a while - considering we have 1/2 a cow in the freezer, this might prove a tad challenging!).
Went over to my local Metro (not so much by choice, but it's close, so that's where I tend to shop when I'm lazy) and the fish section was pretty bleak, however, they did have some nice looking tilapia and seeing it put me in mind to reminisce a little about the Mediterranean. The dish I had in mind was one that would incorporate some of my favourite sour Med flavours. I also picked up some Swiss Chard and some artichoke hearts.
I rinsed the fish and soaked it in a mixture of water, sea salt, lemon and a pinch of pepper flakes (this is a method they use in the Caribbean quite a bit - helps to 'freshen it up' a bit) for about 20 minutes. I then patted it dry and seasoned it with a pinch of salt, pepper and some Old Bay seasoning - a nice blend that contains no preservatives and goes really well with seafood. I let it sit while the rest of dinner was prepared.
In the meantime I cleaned the swiss chard - stripped the leaves off the centre rib, coarsely chopped the leaves and soaked them in some water in the salad spinner. I had to rinse/soak them three times to get all the sand off. Even though I am trying to eat healthy, there's a limit to the amount of fibre I want!!
I made a sauce to go on the fish of the following: vermouth (I tend to prefer this over wine as it has a stronger wine flavour), capers, caper leaves, lemon juice, artichoke hearts, pepper, pink salt and olive oil. I like pink salt for light seasoning as it is less salty tasting than kosher salt. Anyone who has been in my kitchen knows I have a small tray with 3 kinds of salt - table salt (for baking mostly), fleur de sel and coarse salt. I also have two grinders - one with pink salt and one with coarse sea salt. Yes, a tad anal perhaps, but it's all about the flavours!! I am sure I am not the only one of my kind out there. I digress...
I finished the sauce with 1/2 a tb of unsalted butter. It was quite tasty. The swiss chard, once spun dry, got a light saute with 2 chopped scallions in some olive oil. I made my stand-by oven rice pilaf to go with it.
The tilapia was pan seared, flipped and finished in a 400F oven. It was a successful dinner. They aren't always, but hey, a girl's gotta try, right?