Category Archives: Fish

Free-for-All Friday: Tilapia with Bacon-Edamame Succotash and Pomegranate-Goat Cheese Salad

Fall has finally presented itself in San Diego (high of 66? Brrr!) and pomegranates were a welcome addition to my kitchen this week. Unfortunately, they were just used to make a salad prettier. Bacon and edamame are the ingredients that really shine in this week’s dish.

Fish is a great protein, but it can leave something to be desired, especially if the fish is mild, like tilapia. About a year ago, I wanted to make fish, but wanted to pair bacon with it, to enhance flavor (read: salt factor) and because, really, who can argue with bacon on the plate?

I came up with a succotash that’s super simple: onions, corn, bacon and, for added protein (ahem, and color), edamame. The result was a beautiful thing. It’s my favorite “side dish” with white fish and super easy to throw together. Plus, you can keep most of the ingredients on-hand.

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Because the fish and succotash are so salty, I wanted to pair the dish with a bright salad. Enter: pomegranate seeds. They’re almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

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I threw in some goat cheese for creaminess and sweet orange pepper for added crunch and color. Forgive the photos… they were taken hastily in artificial light. I blame late-night hunger.

Tilapia with Bacon-Edamame Succotash

Serves 4

Necessities

  • Four tilapia filets
  • Seafood seasoning, to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 6 strips bacon, sliced into inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow or sweet onion, diced
  • Dash of cayenne
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Any other seasonings you’d like (I used an all-seasoning and some seasoned salt)

The How-To

  1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Season the filets with the seafood rub.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the sliced bacon in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove the bacon and let drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Leave the grease in the pan. (If this is too much for your heart to handle, dump the grease and add in a drizzle of EVOO.)IMG_6952
  3. Add the diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes.IMG_6954
  4. Add the frozen corn and edamame to the pan and give a quick stir. Add your spices, stir again.IMG_6931
  5. Meanwhile, in a baking dish, add the filets and 1/4 cup of water. Cover tightly with tinfoil and add the dish to the heated oven. Let cook for about 20 minutes, or until flaky, but moist.IMG_6951
  6. Continue to stir the succotash mixture as the fish cooks, letting it go the full 20-30 minutes while the fish is in the oven. This will allow for nice caramelization and color to all the ingredients.
  7. Once the fish is done, remove form the oven and plate it, piling up the succotash next to it and sprinkle the cooked bacon on top (Adding the bacon at the end allows it to stay crisp).IMG_6961
  8. Shovel unattractive amounts into your mouth at a time. Everyone will be too busy doing the same thing to notice.

Pomegranate-Goat Cheese Salad

Serves 4

Gather Them Up

  • 5-oz spring mix salad
  • 2-oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 6 small sweet orange peppers, diced
  • 4 Tbps. pomegrate seeds
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. grainy mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Throw Them Together

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the EVOO, balsamic vinegar, grainy mustard and salt and pepper until well-combined
  2. Evenly distribute the spring mix on four plates and top with the goat cheese, peppers and pomegranate seeds
  3. Drizzle with the balsamic dressing and serveIMG_6956

Tips and Variations

  • Don’t know how to de-seed a pomegranate? Check out my how-to here.
  • Substitute two shallots for the onion in the succotash.
  • Try it out with halibut or cod.
  • Pair the meal with some cous-cous or rice.
  • Try out your non-stick pan and fish spatula and fry the fish on the stove-top.
  • Add some roasted pecans to your salad

Free-for-All Friday: Lemon-Garlic Tilapia with Rice, Spinach and Spicy Lemon Green Beans

Remember when I said endorphins gave me creativity? I meant it.

They also make you happy and happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t! (You’re in luck, Max!)

So I told you I was making fish and here I am to share with you all what I did and how it turned out. (hint: it was da bomb!)

I don’t really have a recipe for you because I just threw stuff together without taking note of how much I used. I’ll guestimate for you and encourage you to just wing it, also.

I got two tilapia filets from the grocery store and seasoned them.

I melted about 3 Tbsp. of butter in a pan and sauteed two garlic cloves in it and squeezed in about half a lemon’s worth of juice.

I poured that over the fish, topped each filet with two slices of lemon and stuck it in the oven at 375 degrees until done (10 min? 15? I have no idea how long it took.)

Meanwhile, I cooked up a serving of jasmine rice that I made with veggie stock instead of water and I threw in some petit haricot verts into a pan with EVOO, garlic, lots of red pepper and salt and pepper. Once the green beans were cooked through, I squeezed a couple teaspoons of fresh lemon juice over them (*Note: this will change their color from bright green to browny-green. Don’t be put off by this. They taste GREAT with lemon juice.)

When the fish was done, I threw a whole box of spinach into a pan that had EVOO, garlic and sriracha. I tossed to coat and then put the lid on top to wilt it for about a minute. When it was done, I gave it a generous splash of balsamic vinegar.

Then I simply put a pile of rice on the plate, topped that off with spinach and topped THAT off with the filet. I served the green beans on the side and scarfed.

huzzah!

Layers

The whole dish had a nice level of spice, thanks to the red pepper flakes and sriracha and the lemon added a nice brightness. It’s a repeat offender, for sure.

Have you guys thought up of any great fish dishes lately? Share them with me below!

Move Over, Spinach…

I’ve got a new love and it goes by the name Seared Ahi Tuna. Capitalized because it’s a proper name. And important. And anything that means something to me gets capitalized or named.

(My car’s called Ophelia, in case you were wondering…guitar’s name is Hank…my generational line of computers has been Rita [who was a complete bitch], Otis and now Holly…)

That’s right. That soft spot in my heart where spinach once lay is now totally and completely consumed by Seared Ahi Tuna. I don’t know when or how I fell in love with this delectable dish, but the fact is, I did. It happened. I’m obsessed.

Bloody Delicious

I’ve tried variations of Seared Ahi Tuna, from Karl Strauss’ (oh, heey Georgia!), Fleming’s, and that little beauty up there, from Coronado Brewing Company. I even forced (that’s legal, right?) my boyfriend to eat a piece. He won’t publicly admit it, but he loved it.

Anyone else love rare fish as much as I? I’m too scared to try to cook it. Someone force me to sear that tuna!

P.S. Spinach, if you’re reading this, please know I am only kidding. There’s always room for you in my ticker.

Pineapple Salsa—Just for the “Halibut”

Pineapples were on sale at the grocery store this past week. So I went through each one, carefully sniffing the bottoms of them to see if they had a strong fragrant smell (as stupid as this may look, this is how you pick the perfect pineapple. If it has a strong pineapple-y smell, grab it. It’s ripe).

I’m not a huge pineapple fan—I love the flavor of a juicy, sweet one, but they hurt my tongue (from all that acidity) so I try to limit my intake, for my buds’ sake. You understand.

So I love salsa—any kind. The spicier the better—it’s like those hot cheetos. Your mouth feels as if it’s on fire and every time you breath you swear flames are coming out, but you keep eating them anyway. Well, I also love fruit salsa. (Click here for my stone fruit salsa recipe that I love to put on top of grilled chicken.)

On a whim at the grocery store on Sunday, I decided to make some halibut, but wanted to spice things up a little. Pineapple salsa seemed like the spring-y way to go.

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

  • 1/2 brown or sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 pineapple, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4-1/3 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt and  pepper, to taste

Mix everything together and let sit for an hour or two before serving. (Seriously…that’s it! Foolproof, I tell you!)

Variations

  • Use a red bell pepper instead (but stay away from green or yellow. The red and orange are both a nice contrast to the yellow pineapple and green jalapeno and cilantro)
  • Add a squeeze or two of lime juice
  • Are you one of those people that thinks cilantro taste like soap?? (you genetic mutants). Use chopped parsley, instead.
  • Use red onion
  • Toss in some scallions
  • Make it more southwest and add some black beans and corn to the mix
  • Add some cumin or chili powder
  • Throw in some chopped garlic
  • Use leftover salsa as a topper for chips, mixed into guacamole, or inside of tacos

Halibut with Pineapple Salsa, Wilted Spinach and Rice Pilaf

I served mine on top of a baked fillet of halibut that I rubbed with a dry mojo rub. Wish I could tell you I made this rub myself, but time is of the essence so I just asked the butcher at the grocery store for a package of rub (*Note: Do this! At Vons and Safeway, the butcher will give you free packets of different rubs and seasonings. And they’re really tasty!)

Along side of the fresh fish topped with the pineapple salsa, I served rice pilaf and sauteed spinach with garlic. It’s light, filling, and the perfect way to welcome the beginning signs of summer (or at the very least, a warmer spring).

Watch for it: I’ll post a tutorial on how to cut up a pineapple in the coming weeks.

Grillin’ Fish

I’m slowly easing my way into the world of fish.  I think I may  have an aversion to the underwater grub due to fish sticks as a kid.  I didn’t like the texture or the smell. Yuck.

I’ve come a long way from fish sticks days (and really, do people still eat fish sticks??) and have come to really enjoy sea bass, tilapia, and now…..SALMON.

I’ve been warned plenty of times that salmon is one of the “fishier” fishes.  I know people that love the pink seafood and plenty of people who turn their noses up at it.  My dad is a salmon-lover and I approve because of the heart-healthy omega-3 that it contains, so I broke down and bought some salmon to grill for him and myself.

How I Prepared the Salmon

Salt and Pepper is always a must.  So I liberally sprinkled the flesh with the classic duo before I doused it in the marinade.

*Note: The butcher told me you cannot remove the scales from the skin, but that the skin will just peel away once it’s cooked.  He was so right.  We had no issued with this.  The flesh literally fell off of the scaly-skin.

I combined soy sauce, honey, minced ginger, some cut scallions, and garlic to marinade the fish.  I reserved about 6 tablespoons of the marinade to pour over the fish after it was cooked.  I would say I used:

  • 1/3-1/2 cup soy sauce (get the good dark kind from the Asian market! So much better than store-bought)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Honey (I used avocado honey–soo yummy)
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly minced ginger (this may be more than I added.  Ginger is strong so adjust to your taste)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-4 scallions, sliced (the number of scallions you use depends on your love for oniony-ness.  I used a lot cause it looks pretty, too!)

Whisk all that ^^^^ together until the honey has dissolved.  And remember to save some for putting on top of the fish!!

My dad grilled the fish on medium heat for about 8 minutes.  I glazed them with the left over marinade and then sprinkled on some toasted sesame seeds.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite time for bon apetit because the middle of the filets were still raw!  However, the oven happened to be on so I stuck them in a 400 degree oven to finish cooking.  Five minutes or so later, the fish was flaky and ready to eat.

Honey-Ginger Salmon Filet

The Verdict:  Surprise surprise!  I loved it!  Yes, it is one of the “fishier” fish I’ve eaten, but not in a bad way.  The taste is very unique but not off-putting.  I loved how the flaky meat just pulled away from the skin without any effort.  And the glaze totally made the dish!  I would use the glaze on grilled chicken, too.  It was sweet, tangy, and the sesame seeds gave a nice crunch.  I will make this again (and my heart shall thank me for it!)

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