Saturday, February 21, 2009

TGIF Part 2: Curry-Dusted Tilapia with Caramelized Onions & Sweet Pea Puree

For Part 2 of my TGIF supper, I settled on this lovely, healthy, light main course. Tilapia is a wonderful fish for many reasons! First, it's got light, firm flesh that cooks up beautifully. Second, while it's usually farm raised, it's a vegetarian fish so the environmental and health impacts are minimal. Third, it's got all the healthy stuff fish has including omega 3's. Lastly, and maybe best of all, it's exceedingly easy on the pocket book. My two filets from Whole Foods cost me less than $4. Also, this is one of the few proteins I'll buy at Trader Joe's.

For my dish, I decided to use curry powder to flavor my fish! I always keep curry powder in my cabinet. It's one of the most versatile spice blends on the planet. I combined the fish a sweet pea puree, easy to whip up, supremely healthy, and organic frozen sweet peas are a freezer staple in my house. Also, did I mention that the color on this dish is fab? The final ingredient is caramelized onions. These three flavor profiles work together beautifully, each exhibiting a subtle sweetness and creating layers of taste. So for a quick, light, healthy, inexpensive dinner, try this recipe! I promise you'll think it's divalicious!

Domestic Diva's Curry Dusted Tilapia with Caramelized Onions & Sweet Pea Puree

Fish Ingredients:

2 tilapia filets (Red Snapper also works, or try scallops for a decadent twist!)
tsp curry power
2 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil

1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Pea Puree Ingredients:

1 cup organic frozen sweet peas

1 cup chicken stock
(preferably homemade)
1 garlic clove

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

Caramelized Onion Ingredients:
2 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
1 medium onion sliced into thin strips

salt and pepper


To make the pea puree, lace the frozen peas, chicken stock and garlic on the stove over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then simmer for ten minutes or under the peas and cooked.

Once the peas are cooked, puree the peas, stock and garlic along with the olive oil and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. You may adjust the thickness by adding more stock as needed.

Meanwhile, to make the carmelized onions, heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally,

Once they're caramelized (about 10-12 minutes), remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste.

Then, to prepare the tilapia, remove the filets from the fridge, rinse them and pat dry. Dust the fish with the curry powder and then add salt and pepper. Allow it to come to room temperature.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over high heat for a few minutes. Once it's hot, add the fish. Allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes before flipping it. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through. Remove from heat and serve.

To plate, spread some of the pea puree in the bottom of the dish. Top with the onions.

Finally, add the fish on top. Squeeze lemon juice on top of the fish and serve.

Wine Paring Notes: Rivers-Marie 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon

With dinner, we paired this robust wine from our cellar, and even though it's not a traditional pairing, we figured what the hell! Rivers-Marie (click here) is without a doubt one of my favorite Sonoma Coast wine producers. They're a tiny operation, so small that most big critics don't even review their wines. They're known for their pinot noirs which are wonderful wines, but a big surprise is that their cabernet is fabulous too! Sourced from a small vineyard near the top of Howell Mountain, I specifically love the 2003, it's a soft, full wine with lovely character.

Kuzak's on their mailing list, and you can join it also by going to their website (link posted above). You'll get offerings with a chance to buy their wines on release. This is the best way to get into great, California wines. The quality is top notch because they're coming straight from the winemakers, and you'll also get the best pricing on release. In fact, many times, especially for harder to find wines and small productions, you could sell your bottles for more on the secondary market than you pay on release (not that we would do that!). This is how we get most of our California wines.

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