Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Brown Butter Tilapia

     Tonight I had two immediate needs: to use the fish in the fridge and to have a quick dinner. Thankfully, those things go hand in hand. It was the older kids' first day back at school, after having the last two weeks off for Spring Break; so it was back to the grind. Time constraints and deadlines were back.
    This morning went well. I got the big kids off to school, and was even able to go for a little walk/jog (thanks to my generous husband and the fact that Baby Girl is an amazing sleeper!). I got the kitchen cleaned, an afternoon snack/meal made (Creamy Shrimp and Rice Salad) and completed all the normal duties of a Mommy with a 2 year old and a three month old at home. By noon the day had started to get away from me. After lunch I drove over to hubby's fire station. (I dropped off the remaining Peanut Butter Eggs, because I had already eaten one for breakfast and two more later for a snack. - The highly active and physically fit men can handle the extra calories better than I can right now.) Got the kids from school, everything ready for Princess to have her gymnastics lesson and we were off to town. Before I knew it, it was approaching 5 o'clock fast and we weren't even back from town yet.
     To make a long story shorter, by the time we got home, I had roughly 25 minutes to cook dinner. I thought of the fish and knew I could do it. A short while later, we sat down to a lovely meal of brown butter Talapia, Sauteed Zucchini ribbons and Pina Colada Rice. It's nights like these I can't help but smile and thank God that he gave me the skills to cook and make a meal in minutes. (And a well stocked pantry is always a blessing!)
    I took pictures a long the way, so you can come along with me on one of my hectic cooking nights. I will separate the recipes into 3 posts, in case you are just interested in 1 of the 3 dishes. I hope you like the meal as much as we did. (My kids even asked for seconds . . . but these are also children who ask to go to sushi for their birthday dinners. lol) I hope this inspires you. :)

Start with the fish:
I used about 1 1/2 pounds of Tilapia fillets, but any white, firm fish will do.
Besides the fish, and the salted butter, these are the other ingredients you will need:
The juice from one 20 oz. can of pineapple (I used crushed), granulated garlic, onion powder, salt and freshly ground black pepper, *gallon size zip-top bag
Put the pineapple juice, garlic, and onion into a large, gallon-sized zip top bag. Mix it lightly and the add the fish.

 Close the zip top bag while squeezing as much air out as possible. Move the fish around so it all gets coated with the marinade.
Set the bag aside on the counter while you get the rest of the meal together. (I let mine marinade for about 15 minutes, but you could let it sit at room temp. for up to 30 minutes. You could also marinade the fish in the fridge for an hour or two, but I wouldn't do more than that because the acid in the pineapple juice will start to "cook" the fish. - It doesn't really cook it. The look and texture just change. It's fine if you're making ceviche, but that's not my goal tonight. I want nice fillets. So 15 minutes on the counter will do.)

When you are ready to cook the fish (This is always the last step before dinner is served, since it only takes a few minutes and I want it to stay hot), put about 2 Tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Put the stove on medium high to high heat.

Arrange fish in the pan so they're not too crowded.
I was actually pushing it here. I should have only had one fillet in the middle. I don't know why I did this - I still had to do two batches anyway. . . . Don't be like me. Give your fish it's own "personal space" and they will brown prettier.
Now is when you add the salt and black pepper.
I like to salt each fillet, instead of adding the salt and pepper to the marinade because I feel like I can control it better.

The butter will boil and spatter, so be careful!!
When the butter changes from white to brown, and the fish is cooked (opaque) around the edges it's time to flip. (This only takes a couple minutes, so don't walk away and get involved in something else!) Get a spatula and gingerly turn your fillets over.

The butter is boiling, but still white.
The butter is now brown and the fish is mostly cooked.

They should be pretty and brown like this:
Cook one more minute on the new side, still over high heat and you're done! Plate the fillets and drizzle the brown butter left in the pan on top. (If you need to do two batches like me, make sure to add more butter for the second batch. If you don't than your "brown butter" will be burned and black by the time the second batch of fish is done - and it will make your fish burned too.)
-I hear Alton Brown in my head at this point saying "And that's definitely not Good Eats." Anyone else? . . . No? . . . I guess it's just me. :)

You can use this fish as is, or as a filling for fish tacos - yumm!
This is how I served mine tonight.

Here's the recipe:

Brown Butter Talapia

fresh, boneless, skinless Talapia fillets
the juice from one 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp onion powder
butter (salted)
freshly ground black pepper

If you're wondering what to do with all that freshly drained crushed pineapple you have leftover - try making my Pina Colada Rice.

No comments:

Post a Comment