Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tilapia with Tomatoes and Capers

This is the very first recipe from handwritten recipe notebook circa 2004.  The tilapia was so good, it motivated me to try to organize my recipes.  I decided to move  from index cards, torn magazine articles and post it page markers throughout my cookbooks, to actually document my kitchen experiment in a running notebook.
I have made this recipe a few times and each time it is fabulous.  This recipe is one I share with those who are fearful of preparing fish properly.  It is easy and in my opinion foolproof.   I did cut way back on the butter in the sauce (8 tablespoons reduced to 2 tablespoons) and I often substitute olive oil for the butter.  The cork screw rolls are pretty, but if your fillets are too thick to roll, just cook flat.  I have found the cooking time to be the same.   
I do not remember where the original recipe came from, but it did have variations that were included documented.  Both variations still sound amazing and I plan on making them soon.  To be continued . . .

 Tilapia, Tomatoes and Capers  Recipe from :  Nancy’s Notebook
Serves :   4                                               Prep Time: 5 min                                 Cook Time:  20 min
4 Tilapia fillets
3 Tablespoons Butter, separated
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup white wine
¼ cup chicken stock
½ lemon juice, ~ 1 tablespoon juice
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon capers
Salt , Pepper
Chives for garnish

Preheat oven to 300 °F.  Grease ovenproof sauté pan with 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle with 2 cloves chopped garlic.  Cut Parchment paper into circle the same size as pan.

Season 4 tilapia fillets ( ~6ozs each) with salt and pepper.  Roll into corkscrew and place in pan with seam side down.  Add ½ cup dry white wine, ¼ cup chicken stock and 1 tablespoon lemon juice; I cup diced tomatoes and capers.  Bring to simmer and cover with parchment paper circle.  Put pan in oven and poach until firm and opaque 15-16 minutes.

Transfer fish to warm plate.

Bring sauce to boil and reduce by half.  Add 2 tablespoons (reduced from 8 in original recipe) butter.  Whisk until melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with fresh chives. 

Omit tomato and caper.  Use shallots instead of garlic.  Add ½ cup heavy cream to sauce.  Garnish with Tarragon.

Sea Bass with Clams, Bacon and Peppers
Add 2 dozen cleaned littleneck clams to pan with fish.  Cook until clams open 10-12 min.  Sauté 5 slices of minced bacon for 3-4 minutes in small sauté pan.  Add 1 julienne bell pepper to pan and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.   Add bacon and pepper to fish, clams and sauce.  Garnish with fresh chives. 

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