Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baked Tilapia with Garlic Butter and Brussels Sprouts

I found an entire bag of frozen tilapia on sale at my grocery store. It's great to have these frozen fillets on hand when you need a quick and easy dinner.

Did you know you can cook these from frozen? Just add more time (usually double) in the oven, they come out beautifully.

If you wanted to thaw frozen fish or seafood, then be sure to thaw slowly in the refrigerator for 24 hours or, if you're in a hurry, you can run the tightly wrapped fish under COLD water instead of at room temperature. Cook it as soon as possible to minimize the loss of juices. Try not to thaw frozen fish completely before cooking, or it may make them very dry and mushy.

I cooked my fish with a drizzle of olive oil, some white wine and garlic butter for mucho flavor.

This scampi butter was on sale at Whole Foods, and although I wasn't planning any particular meal, I thought this flavorful compound butter would come in handy. I've been putting a dab of it on everything to boost flavor.

I used about a quarter of a cup of white wine.

And probably a tablespoon of butter on top of the frozen fillet. Then I put the dish, just like this, in a 350 oven for 25 minutes - and test with a fork for doneness. Perfectly cooked fish should be opaque and moist, not dry and flaky.

I love brussels sprouts! Here I cut them in half and tossed in a skillet with a few stalks of chopped asparagus also. Brown them in olive oil first, then pour in some chicken stock and let them simmer until stock is almost evaporated.

To tie our flavors together I added a pinch of the garlic butter to the brussels sprouts and asparagus as they simmered with the chicken stock.

And just because I can, I added a little squirt of this fish sauce. It's the umami in my dish!

What a perfect side dish!

And the fish came out great too. It flaked perfectly and absorbed the wine and garlic butter flavors. Super easy weeknight meal!

Fish is rich in heart-healthy omega 3s, so it's worth learning other tasty ways to prepare it so you can enjoy it often. Here are more cooking techniques that are so simple, they can help you add more fish to your menu.

Sautéed fish fillets:
Try this method for any type of skinless fish fillet. First, season the fish with salt and pepper, as desired, and heat a skillet with 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Cook the fish over medium-high heat, 2 to 3 minutes per side, for every 3/4-inch of thickness. (The thicker the fish, the longer the cooking time.)
Braised fish fillets:
This preparation style requires cooking in a liquid, such as broth, white wine, clam juice, or water. First, heat some extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the liquid and any seasonings and bring to a simmer. Add the fish fillets, cover, and cook for 3 minutes on both sides. (Again, a fish thicker than 3/4 inches will require a longer cooking time.)
Baked fish fillets:
Grease a baking sheet with extra-virgin olive oil and arrange with fish fillets seasoned to taste. Bake at 350°F for about 7 to10 minutes for each inch of thickness. It's not necessary to turn the fish.
Broiled fish steaks:
Broiling works best with any type of fish steak. Season the steaks to taste and brush with extra-virgin olive oil. Place them in a broiler pan and broil, 4 to 6 minutes on each side or until golden. Allow more cooking time for steaks thicker than 1 inch.
Grilled fish:

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