Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Weekly Fish #4: Broiled Tilapia with Spring Vegetable Risotto

As alluded to last week, I was in the mood for a simple white fish after the intensity of house-smoked salmon and of crabs. What fish is simpler than tilapia?

Jess suggested that we incorporate a veggie risotto, a celebration of Spring. So, we got to work on shelling some fava beans.
The fava beans appear to enjoy a life of luxury, bean-wise. Their crib is very large and lined with velvet, and the beans themselves enjoy plenty of elbow room.

In addition to the legumes, the risotto featured ramps, plantae's herald of Spring.

I stuck a skillet under the broiler to get it thoroughly hot, and gave the tilapia fillets a coating of olive oil, salt and pepper. The fillets were thrown into the pan, fried on the stove for a few minutes, and then put under the broiler for about 10 minutes. Simple.

Have you ever ordered a halibut in a restaurant, and been given a perfectly sized and crispy-edged cut of fish atop a bed of rice? This was the effect I was going for, and was, I'd say, 61% successful. Of course, tilapia is a much wimpier fish than halibut. So perhaps I'll take my learnings from this week's dinner and apply them to a choicer variety.

A nice New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc rounded out the meal nicely. As is the case with many Kiwi sauvy's, it was magically tropical, and a pleasant foil to the salty crispiness of the fish.

As warmer weather approaches, I'm in the mood for a something more adventurous next time. Perhaps a steamed whole fish, with a sauce at once sweet, spicy and sour?


Jaime said...

That looks delicious! But is it really risotto? We saw an episode of Top Chef where a very big deal was made of the idea that risotto is supposed to "spread" when ladled onto your plate or bowl and not sit up like yours is. Don't get me wrong, I am sure I'd eat every bite and go back for more, but that risotto thing is stuck in my head.

Jess said...

Jaime, you bring up a good point. I'm certain that this in no way meets any 'Top Chef' criteria, but we did use arborio rice cooked in the risotto style (little bits of liquid added at a time, stirred constantly until absorbed, and then repeated until we used up all of the alotted liquid...a Donna Hay recipe). So, for what it's worth, this meets our decidedly lax standards for risotto here at the Orum household;)!


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