Sunday, June 14, 2009

Pan-Seared Garlic Ginger Tilapia

I found some good-looking tilapia on sale, frozen, and I was excited to create a recipe for it. What I came up with is so simple and took about 20 minutes (including sides) to make. I wanted to have fish, asparagus, and good bread. So I got asiago cheese bread from Panera (it's not whole grain, but I just couldn't resist asiago cheese!), broiled some asparagus, and tried my hand at pan-frying a couple of fish fillets (or rather, pan-"searing." It sounds healthier). In the past I've only ever broiled fish, but I was very impressed with how tasty and easy it was to pan-sear it.

I put together fresh grated ginger, garlic, and a bit of lemon juice and sprinkled it over both sides of the tilapia fillet. After searing it for a couple minutes on each side, it turned out to be a nice buttery texture with a fabulous flavor. Justin and I drank a crisp chardonnay with the meal. Here are the directions for each part of the meal (serves two).

Asparagus

Preheat toaster oven broiler for about 5 minutes. Snap off the tough ends of 12 asparagus spears, rinse, and place on toaster oven pan. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in toaster oven for 10 minutes until you can pierce it easily with a fork, but not for so long that it turns mushy.

Fish

Pat dry two thawed tilapia fillets with a clean cloth or paper towel. Grate about 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger and place in small bowl. Add about 1/8 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, and 2 cloves of crushed garlic. Stir together and spread half of the mixture over both tilapia fillets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Preheat large grill pan over medium high heat. Right before you put the fillets on, spray the pan with canola oil or olive oil. Place fillets garlic side down on pan and sear for about 2 minutes. Spread other half of ginger mixture over the "naked" side of the fillets and sprinkle with salt and pepper. You will see the edges of the fillet start to turn white -- this is how you know when to flip it. Turn the fillets to the other side and cook for about one minute longer. Serve with lemon wedges.

Bread

Cut two thick slices of asiago cheese bread or other good bread. Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter and brush over one side of each slice. Place bread butter side down on the grill pan at the same time you cook the fish. After about one minute, brush the bare side of the bread with butter and flip, then cook for one minute longer.

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