Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A bit of a disappointment

Cod Steaks (Tilapia Filets) Sicilian-Style
Prevention’s Ultimate Quick and Healthy Cookbook Copyright 1998

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced fennel
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1 ¼ teaspoons grated orange zest
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 can (16 ounces) crushed tomatoes I used organic diced tomatoes
½ cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons golden raisins
1 ¼ pounds cod steaks I used tilapia filets
chopped fresh parsley , for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large, heavy no-stick skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onions, fennel, garlic, thyme, salt and black pepper, and sauté, reducing the heat slightly if necessary to keep the vegetables from sticking, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender and lightly browned.
3. Stir in the honey and orange zest and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the vinegar and simmer for 30 seconds, or until the vinegar is nearly evaporated and the vegetables are glazed.
4. Stir in the tomatoes, orange juice and raisins, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.
5. Place the cod steaks in a 9x9-inch nonreactive baking dish. Spoon the sauce over the fish. Bake, uncovered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
6. Transfer the fish and sauce to 4 plates. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 240 calories, 5.9 g fat, 54 mg chol, 418 mg sodium, 2.3 g fiber, 87 mg calcium, 2 mg iron

I've had some frozen tilapia filets in my freezer for quite a while but it hasn't been easy finding a recipe for them in any of my cookbooks. I knew it could be substituted for other mild white fishes so I finally decided to go ahead and substitute it for cod in this recipes.

There are many tilapia critics who believe tilapia is a tasteless fish and I became one of those critics last night. The topping on this fish was delicious but it did absoutely nothing for the fish itself. I actually ate very little of the tilapia but I ate all of the topping. I fed some of the tilapia to my cat and even he didn't seem all that thrilled with it. I didn't consider this a total failure since the topping was so good but I was very disappointed in the fish. This was my first time cooking with fresh fennel and I was surprised by how mild it was after it was cooked. It wasn't very licorice-y at all after it's been sautéed.

All I needed to buy to make this was the fennel so at least I didn't spend a fortune on ingredients. I also got to use the lonely orange in my produce bin that I bought a couple of weeks ago but I was never able to remember why I bought it.

I really like this cookbook, even though the two recipes I've made from it so far haven't been stand-outs. In both cases I chose the recipes based on using up ingredients I had on hand, not because they were the most exciting recipes in the book, so I haven't given up hope.

Question of the Day: How much fish do you eat?


Anonymous said...

Since we have been trying to eat a little healthier,I would say once a week.

The Cookbook Junkie said...

As you can see I don't each much fish. I love the taste of salmon but it stinks to cook it at home. Tilapia didn't stink but it had no flavor.

I do take fish oil pills.

Wanda said...

We eat fish about once a week. Usually it is catfish fillets which I season, coat with cornmeal and bake.
I picked up a package of tilapia once by mistake, and it tasted awful. So I've been careful since, to make sure I've got catfish.