Thursday, February 11, 2010

here little fish, little fish, little fish

So, meal #2 for the ravenous family help: fish!  I made Parmesean-Smothered Tilapia with Mashed Cauliflower and Roasted Green Beans.*

A friend of my mom's, who likes to cook and share recipes, gave my mom this recipe.  Which, I was then instructed to cook for my mother.  It was very enjoyable, and I have since re-created it many a'time.... only difference being I haven't given the actual recipe a second glance!  So, this is purely off of memory.

*If you haven't caught on, roasting is my go-to method for cooking veggies.  It's unbeatably awesome.

Do do do, do a dollop!  So, basically, you mix the topping together, spread on the fish, bake, and eat.  Easy, no?  I do recommend you salt, pepper, and spritz the fish with lemon juice, first.

I used, and have always used, tilapia* for this.  Other options would be sole, swa'i, or another white fish.  As long as you avoid the oily fish, or any darker fish, you should be in the clear, (the butter & mayo in the spread wouldn't go well with the heavier fish.) 

*I search for American farmed tilapia, due to sustainable seafood concerns.  I am such a dork, that I have pocket guides from this Seafood Watch site.  True, it may take me 5 minutes to get the guide out and find the recommendations, but I'm perfectly OK with that! 


For the topping, I tend to use whatever I have on hand/whatever I'm in the mood for: shallots or red onion; thyme, rosemary, and/or basil; parm, romano, or asiago; and green onions, if you have them. 

Meanwhile, roast the cauliflower in olive oil, salt & pepper, (coincidentally, the same treatment given to the green beans.)  Then mash.  Purely your preference whether you want to add anything to make this creamier, like sour cream or heavy cream.

 Ok, so, mashed cauliflower really doesn't look that appealing, does it?  Especially, not when you let the cauliflower get nice and browned...



YUM!  Again, my dad & brother finished any remaining fish, which clearly makes it a smashing success.

Parmesean-Smothered Tilapia* with Mashed Cauliflower and Roasted Green Beans

4 Tilapia fillets, (or similar fish)
2 Tbsp Butter
3-4 Tbsp Mayonnaise**
1/2 C Parmasean (or similar cheese, such as Asiago)
1 Garlic clove
1 or 2 Shallots (or red onion)
1 Tbsp Green onions (I didn't have any)
2 Tsp Thyme***
2 Tsp Rosemary***

Preheat oven to 375.

Line a baking pan with tin-foil, and lay out the fish.  Salt, pepper, and spritz with lemon juice.

Grate cheese and finely dice garlic & shallots.  Mix together the butter, mayo, cheese, shallots, garlic, green onions, and 1/2 of the thyme and rosemary.  Add salt & pepper.  Taste mixture, and adjust if needed. This should be more of the mix-ins (shallots, cheese, etc) than mayo/butter, and more mayo than butter (if there is too much butter, it will end up as an oily mess.)

Coat each fillet generously with mixture, and sprinkle with more herbs.  Bake until opaque and flaky, and browned on the top, (I ended up throwing on the broiler to get a better color for the last 2-3 minutes.)  Should take about 15 minutes for the fish to cook.

Before starting the fish, you should throw in the veggies, as these take longer.  Just coat with salt & pepper and olive oil, and cook at 400 for 25-35 minutes, (until brown & crispy.) 

*I should confess that I have no idea if these ratios are correct.  I am the Pied Piper of your culinary demise.
**I have Mayo with Olive Oil that I picked up on a whim.  Don't notice any flavor difference, and better for you.
***Sadly, just had dried herbs on hand.

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