Pan-Seared Tilapia with Almond-Banana Salsa


If you are truly a fish lover, Tilapia may or may not be the fish for you. Easily trade it out in this recipe for Snapper, Grouper, or any other white flaky goodness you have in mind. The Buford Highway Farmers Market here in Atlanta has some great fish choices, as well as produce. You may want to check it out.

Tilapia is the common name for nearly a hundred species of cichlid fish from the pelmatolapiine, and tilapiine tribes, with the economically most important species placed in the Coptodonini and Oreochromini. Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes, and less commonly found living in brackish water. Historically, they have been of major importance in artisanal fishing in Africa, and they are of increasing importance in aquaculture and aquaponics. Tilapia can become a problematic invasive species in new warm-water habitats such as Australia, whether deliberately or accidentally introduced, but generally not in temperate climates due to their inability to survive in cold water.

Tilapia is the fourth-most consumed fish in the United States dating back to 2002. The popularity of tilapia came about due to its low price, easy preparation, and mild taste.


Like with any seafood, it should be fresh-looking, smell neutral, not fishy, and bloodlines should be bright red.



Tilapia have often been represented as the aquatic chicken, and it's perfectly justified. . ~ Daniel Pauly




Ingredients:


For Fish:

1 teaspoon canol oil

2 (about 7-ounce) Tilapia fillets

salt and pepper mix

1/2 cup seasoned flour

1 tablespoon butter


Directions:

Preheat oven to 375˚F.

Heat oil in a nonstick sauteé pan over medium heat.

Season tilapia fillets with salt and pepper on both sides and dip into flour. Dust off and place in preheated sauté pan.

Sear on one side for about 4 minutes or until golden brown, then flip over and place in preheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes, until done. Fish should be moist and flaky.

Place saute pan on the stovetop and add butter. Swirl until all has melted. Place tilapia fillets on a plate or over rice on a plate, then drizzle over each tilapia fillet with melted butter. Scoop salsa on top of fish and serve.


Makes 2 servings



For Seasoned Flour:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder

1-1/2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt


Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Place a kitchen sieve over another bowl and strain flour again to make sure it's thoroughly mixed. Use for all fried recipes, chicken and seafood.


Makes 1-1/4 cup



For Almond Banana Salsa:

2 bananas, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and diced

1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted golden brown

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

juice of 1/2 orange


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F˚

Spread out sliced almonds in an even layer on a cookie sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

In a medium bowl combine all ingredients for salsa and mix carefully with a spoon or spatula until ingredients are evenly distributed. Set aside until ready to use. This salsa should be used as soon as possible. It won't survive until the next day.


Makes about 1-1/4 cups





The Basics: "Keeping Green Vegetables Green"


We all have been there; we cook our beans, broccoli, asparagus, snap peas, or any other green vegetables and they are bright green when they come out of the boiling water. Sometimes later, before you serve them, they look dull, tired, and have lost all the bright green color. The bright green has changed to greenish-brown. Not appealing at all. How do we avoid this?

Here is a tip to make your vegetables retain their color even after cooking; just cook your vegetables in boiling salted water for a few minutes. Don't overcook them, keep your vegetable al dente or slightly undercooked in the center. Beans and asparagus should have a snap to them when broken in half.

Set up a large ice bath in a bowl or pot, large enough to hold a kitchen strainer, with plenty of ice water (80% ice vs. 20% water), and place in one side of your sink. Set strainer by itself on the other side of the sink. When vegetables are done cooking, pour them into the strainer and immediately place the strainer in ice water, pushing down to submerge vegetables in ice water to stop the cooking process. Pull out the strainer and release water and repeat a few more times until vegetables are cool enough to stop the cooking process in the center. Now let drip off all water and you will have green vegetables for dinner.



Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.

~ Doug Larson



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