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Friday, April 1, 2011

Tilapia With White Wine Mushroom Sauce

This was our Friday fish dinner, amazing what one can put together with what's already in the house.And if perchance you have herbs growing all the better. Granted ,not all of us may have some mushrooms in the fridge, but they are easily obtainable.My out look on food is make something different from what we already had,using the same protein.Just changing the seasoning will do it,the actual method of cooking also will change it to  something new.We had been out all afternoon visiting our widowed brother in law and then food shopping at our club store,which is near  his home.My wife suggested the remaining focaccia pizza for dinner (BBA13) ,but I had stuffed myself with it last night and did not want to visit it again!I told her I'll make something else,(we have  a great relationship,I cook,she cleans,sometimes I let her cook!) being Friday, it should be fish,after all it is lent for us.Although I don't observe all the customary traditions of abstinence, I do look forward to a seafood Friday,meager as it may be.
  I knew we had tilapia in the freezer ,bought on sale of course,and I know I could be creative with it, due to it's mild flavor.Instead of breading and frying it,my wife's preferred preparation.I decided baking it,with lots of fresh herbs.So here is what I did,nothing difficult,just a matter of using stuff on hand.
 From bottom middle,I minced about 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest,1 tbsp fresh parsley,1tsp fresh rosemary,1 tsp fresh thyme,1 tbsp fresh chives,all from the garden,and 2 cloves fresh garlic.Dried herbs may be used,just use half as much.
I patted the tilapia dry,brushed olive oil on them and then coated them with the herbs and garlic ,which I had mixed together, then lightly seasoned with salt and pepper.Placed one at a time on the plain bread crumbs (didn't want to distract from the already seasoned fish,with more seasoning) spooned crumbs over them and lightly pressed the crumbs onto the fish.
Covered a baking sheet with foil (easy clean up!) drizeled a little olive oil on and then spread it with a brush.Preheated the oven to 350 degrees using my convection setting ( regular oven setting works just fine also).The convection setting causes the oven fan to activate and blow the heat around the oven ,cooking  the food faster. set the timer for 15-20 minutes.
Placed the fillets on the baking sheet,and coated them with a generous amount of spray oil,so the crumbs would crisp in the oven.

While the fish was baking, placed 1/2 cup jasmine rice,7 oz of water,1 small pat of butter and a sprinkle of dried thyme,in a pot.Brought it to boil, lowered to a simmer for 15 minutes. OOPS ,forgot to photo it! I love the flavor of jasmine rice,it always comes out perfect in just 15 minutes.If you have never tried it ,I highly recommend it.Meanwhile I prepared the white wine mushroom sauce.Sauteed about 2 cups baby bella musrooms in 1/2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tbsp butter till tender .Removed from skillet to a warmed bowl.  Added 1 tbsp olive and 1 tbsp butter to skillet,when the fats were hot,added 1 clove minced garlic.Cooked the garlic till barely colored,and added 2 tbs flour ( could have used less for a thinner sauce) and stirred it into the fats making a rue,cooking 3 minutes.Then added about 1 cup plus chicken broth,and 1/4 wine, and a sprinkle of dried thyme,stirring constantly to blend smooth and simmered till thick and bubbly,then added mushrooms and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice,salt and pepper to taste.

Plated fish on a (always heated plate!) warmed plate ,with rice and topped with sauce.We had a green salad and a glass of chardonnay... Why would I want to go OUT to eat!!
Hope you try this,it's really easy!!

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