Posted on | January 2, 2012 | 15 Comments |
Hope everyone had a great start to the New Year and nobody has broken any resolutions yet. I didn’t make any resolutions this year, have decided to just take on life as it comes. I did think of a few tweaks I would like to make to my lifestyle though! First one is to be a bit more organized in life. Most of last year was kind of a mess where I just couldn’t get a daily routine going and as a result we had to get take-out dinners day after day while the groceries sat rotting in the fridge and the pantry. It is hard to make healthy choices when ordering take-out food, especially when the decisions are made with a grumbling stomach. So this year I have resolved to get out of work at a reasonable time every evening and somehow find the time to get some exercise in and have home-cooked dinners on week days. Now that I said it out loud, these do sound like resolutions – Eat better and Exercise – classic! Oh well!
Anyway, since today was a holiday, I wanted to get a start on my non-resolution, even though I was still a bit hung-over from all the New Year’s eve festivities. I wanted to make something health and easy with minimum prep work and minimum clean-up after. I was inspired by a Piccata recipe I found in one of my cookbooks, but other than the lemon, garlic and the capers it doesn’t have much to do with a classic Piccata.
The roasted garlic really gives a concentrated garlic flavor to this dish, but you can always use fresh garlic if you are in a hurry. It is very easy to roast garlic. Just place a whole head of garlic on an aluminum foil, sprinkle some oil, wrap the foil around the garlic to enclose it and bake in a 375F oven for 30 minutes. Once it cools down, you can get the cloves out easily. Extra cloves can be refrigerated for a week or so.
I used Tilapia filets in this, but you could use any flaky white fish for this. Buying fileted fish saves so much prep time, even though I prefer to have fish with skins and bones whenever I can!
Inspired by Baked Rockfish Piccata recipe by Chef Sean Langan (Amore Infused) published in Seattle Celebrated Chefs – Volume 3
- 4 Tilapia filets
- 1 tbsp red chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 large lemon
- 6 cloves roasted garlic
- 6 baby potatoes, boiled and quartered
- 6 baby tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp capers
- 1 tbsp caper juice from the jar
- 1/2 cup spinach leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Clean the fish filets and pat dry well with paper towels. Marinate both sides with salt and red chili powder.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large oven proof pan. Flash fry the marinated fish filets, just 1 minute on each side. If the pan is not big enough, you can do this in batches in the same pan.
Switch off the stove and arrange all the flash fried filets on the pan. sprinkle the capers and cherry tomatoes on top, add the caper brine and squeeze the lemon juice all over. Add the lemon rinds also to the plan.
Add the potatoes and spinach to the pan and give a nice sprinkling of salt and fresh ground pepper all over.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil and the roasted garlic and use a spatula to toss the ingredients, getting some of the vegetables under the fish and getting the juices and oil on all the ingredients.
Place the pan in the pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Once it is done, there should be plenty of pan-juice, so make sure to spoon it over the fish and vegetables while serving. Serve hot with a side salad.
You can omit the potatoes and throw in other vegetables like beans and asparagus and it will make a great pasta base.
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