Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dinner: Blackened Tilapia with Avocado and Steamed Vegetables

I was very excited about this dinner.  And it was delicious.  It was however, not photogenic.  Apparently I did not season my cast iron skillet well enough and my tilapia stuck to it and did not look pretty.  And I mushed the avocado with lime juice last night so it turned brown.  And my veggies were done about 10 minutes after the tilapia.  But I decided to try to eat healthier this year, and this was exactly the kind of meal I had in mind: I want to eat more fish, more olive oil and avocados, and more steamed veggies (and a broader assortment).  So I'll just explain what I did, but please excuse me for not posting a picture.

This was my first time cooking fish and my first time using my cast iron skillet, both of which I was excited about.  The cooking fish was super easy.  I chose tilapia because it's extremely mild and gave me lots of room to play with, and also responsibly raised tilapia was on sale at Whole Foods last week, and I put it right into the freezer.  The cast iron skillet part needs a little work, but I'll get there.  I'll try seasoning it again.

Blackened Tilapia
One tilapia filet (I actually used half, but had lots of extra marinade)
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp chili powder (the American kind with cumin)
1/4 tsp paprika
pinch ground thyme

1/2 avocado
1 tsp lime juice

Mix up oil, lime juice and spices in large flat bowl or plastic bag (go for the bowl, it's reusable)
Coat tilapia and leave in for 30-60 minutes
Heat cast iron skillet (or grill or similar cooking thing)
Cook tilapia for 2-3 minutes on each side until it's flaky
Mash together avocado and lime juice.  Serve with the fish.  Yum!

Steamed Veggies
1.5 red bell peppers (I can never actually cook full peppers, too much of them always ends up in my mouth)
3 small summer squash
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
2 Tbsp parsley
Cut veggies into bite sized pieces, whatever you consider those to be.  Remove stems from thyme and chop parsley.
Steam veggies until slightly more firm than desired consistency.  Then cook in pan for a few minutes with olive oil, thyme and parsley.

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