Posts tagged seafood

Baked Tilapia

I’ve been eating a ton of fish lately. Not sure what got me on a fish roll but it’s been nice cutting back on the red meat, for sure. I usually get the fillets since they’re obviously easy to prepare. But yesterday, I saw a couple of 1 lb. fresh whole tilapia for a buck and a half each. That’s about 5 times cheaper than the fillet! No brainer, I thought. And it’s one of my favorite variety, to begin with. So anyway, here’s what I prepared tonight.

Outstanding! Something about paprika and lemon on fish you can’t go wrong about. Just make sure the fish doesn’t smell fishy. Actually, it shouldn’t smell anything, at all! Really. I stuck my nose and made sure I wasn’t going to regret it later.

So good with rice pilaf and a side of steamed veggies! So what are you waiting for? Go get your Omega 3 on, already!

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 1lb Whole Tilapia, washed clean, patted dry and scored on both sides
1 Onion, thinly sliced
1 large Lemon, cut in half
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tbs Fresh Thyme
Salt & Pepper
Cooking Oil Spray

Preheat oven to 400F. In a small bowl, combine paprika, garlic and thyme and mix well. Rub mixture all over the fish and lay on a lightly greased (use cooking spray) baking sheet. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and squeeze the juice of half a lemon on both sides. Then tinly slice the other half and cover the top side of the fish with the slices. Spread the onion pieces on top and all around the fish. Spray the entire thing lightly with cooking spray. Cover the tray loosely with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

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Stupid Simple Scampi

There’s no excuse for not being able to whip up a simple dish like scampi. There’s nothing to it! And you’ll be seated at the dinner table in about 10 minutes or so.

That’s right, I said 10 minutes. As long as you’re prepared, efficient and have all your ingredients and utensils at hand, you can do it. I did.

By the way, I omitted the butter in this recipe since I thought there’s already enough cholesterol in the shrimp we don’t need to add anymore insult to injury. Also, I took out the white wine, simply because I don’t have any at the moment. It’s not a big deal, really. But if you do have a bottle sitting around, by all means, add a little splash after sauteing the garlic. Make sure to cook off the alcohol before turning the heat off.

Ingredients (2-3 Servings)
1 lb. large Shrimp, peeled, deveined and excess liquid drained
2 Tbs. EVOO
2 Cloves of Garlic , minced
1 Lemon Juice
3 Tbs. Fresh Parsley, minced
Salt & Pepper

Season shrimp with salt & pepper. Add olive oil to a large medium heated skillet. Cook the shrimp, stirring occasionally, until just opaque, about 2 minutes or less. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet in medium-low heat, add more olive oil and the garlic and stir for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat, add juice of 1/2 lemon and parsley. Put the shrimp back in, re-season (if needed) with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

Serve with bread or over pasta or rice pilaf.

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Baked Tempura

This magazine I was flipping through the other day had a restaurant ad with a very hypnotic photo of tempura. That got me all excited about my next kitchen project. The only thing is that I forgot that deep frying is a big part of how you make the dish. And deep frying is something I was trying to remove from my cooking vocabulary these days. So, I immediately thought of the possibility of baking it instead. I wasn’t sure if it would work, though. But then again, I’ve made baked tonkatsu in the past with excellent results, so that, at least, gave me some confidence that it might actually work for tempura also.

Well, it’s not quite the texture you get when you deep fry it, obviously. As you can see, it’s not as shiny as when it’s soaked in oil. But this is a very acceptable alternative, nonetheless, if health awareness is something you’d consider. The flavor is authentically tempura. Especially, when you factor in the dipping sauce.

Ah… the sauce, yes! Now, this is a whole new ball of wax, I have to say. I’ve tried in the past to make tempura dipping sauce but I couldn’t quite get the authenticity part down. I know because I’ve had it in Japanese restaurants before and there’s always a depth to it that’s more than just soy sauce, rice wine and sugar. But after a little research, I found out that there was yet a missing piece to the puzzle. The chicken stock. Now, why didn’t I think of that? Anyhow, I’m finally pleased that my dipping sauce has come as close as it could to the real thing.

But wait! There’s so many ingredients I couldn’t possibly consume this much tempura. Not to worry. I already have something in mind for the leftover veggies. Stay tuned.

Ingredients: Seafood (I used Salmon and Catfish),Vegetables (I used Mushrooms, Sweet Potato, Green Beans and Zucchini) and/or Fruits (I used Apple, Pear and Avocado) of your choice, Cooking Oil Spray, Salt & Pepper, Tempura Batter, Ice Cold Water. For dipping sauce: Soy Sauce, Mirin, Chicken Stock.

Directions: Preheat oven to 450F. Cut seafood, fruits and veggies into bite size pieces. Place them on a prep tray, spray with cooking oil spray and season with salt & pepper. In a big bowl, mix batter with ice cold water to right consistency. Spray baking pan with cooking oil spray. Dip everything in batter one piece at a time, shaking off excess batter and placing them on the baking sheet. Make sure to not crowd everything together or they will stick. Spray another coat of cooking spray on top of everything to keep from drying. Place pan in oven for roughly 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce by combining 3 parts chicken stock, 1 part soy sauce and 1 part mirin in a sauce pan. Stir until warm.

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