Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pan-Seared Tilapia with Chile Lime Butter

This recipe comes from Gourmet (July 2003) and was found on Epicurious.

yield: Makes 6 servings (or however many you want - one fillet per person)
active time: 25 minutes
total time: 25 minutes

For chile lime butter-
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh Thai or serrano chile (preferably red), including seeds*
1/2 teaspoon salt

For fish-
5 (5- to 6-oz) pieces skinless tilapia fillet or farm-raised striped bass fillets with skin
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

*I used an entire red cherry chile pepper, because I'm not such a fan of really spicy foods. Probably could have used a slightly spicier variety, but was still tasty!


Make chile lime butter:
Stir together butter, shallot, zest, lime juice, chile, and salt in a bowl.

Prepare fish:
If using striped bass, score skin in 3 or 4 places with a thin sharp knife to prevent fish from curling (do not cut through flesh). Pat fish dry and sprinkle with salt. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until just smoking, then sauté 3 pieces of fish, turning over once with a spatula, until golden and just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes, and transfer to a plate. Sauté remaining fish in remaining tablespoon oil in same manner.

Serve each piece of fish with a dollop of chile lime butter.

Quinoa with Black Beans and Cilantro

This recipe is originally from Bon Appétit (September 2008) found on Epicurious.

yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
active time: 25 minutes
total time: 40 minutes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped white onions
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup quinoa, rinsed, drained
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
Crumbled Cotija cheese or feta cheese (optional)

Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and red pepper; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in next 4 ingredients. Add water; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is almost tender, about 14 minutes. Add beans and 1/4 cup cilantro; cook uncovered until heated through and liquid is fully absorbed, about 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cilantro and cheese, if desired.

When I made this, I substituted a cup of mixed red, yellow, and green bell peppers because I had some peppers halves to use up. Also, I used Bulgarian feta cheese (which is just feta made with all cows milk - a teensy bit less creamy, but also about half as expensive and came in smaller containers at the grocery store!)