When we were in Seattle visiting family, my sister-in-law was reading a cookbook called Olives and Oranges, by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox. It is a beautiful cookbook – nice looking recipes and gorgeous photographs of food. A feast for the eyes.
One recipe that caught both of our eyes was a recipe for Roasted Scallops with Snail Butter. It had no snails, just the garlic-parsley butter like you would have with escargot, that is impossible not to love. I looked for the recipe on line, because I didn’t copy it and found it here. The recipe still looks appealing, but I wasn’t sure whether it would work for a weekday meal or whether the girls would like it.
Nonetheless, it gave me an idea. Why couldn’t you make Jaques Pepin’s, Chicken Breasts with Garlic and Parsley, using fish? I thought that the firmness of tilapia would work well with the cooking method.
Since J said that she didn’t like (read: “ewwww, I won’t eat that”) the tilapia the last time, she was sceptical at the look of the fish. “Is this tilapia, Mommy?” she asked.
I told her one of my infamous white lies. “No, it is fresh water snapper, honey,” says I.
Sometimes you just know when your kids have set their minds against something for no reason. This was one of those times and I wanted to check my theory.
The fish was FANTASTIC. We loved the garlicky flavor with the firm tasty filets. The dish was simple to prepare, too. Served with steamed artichokes, we dipped the leaves in the excess sauce. We also had asparagus and freshly shelled english peas (thank you, L, for shelling the peas). A great meal.
I revealed my white lie to J. She said that the reason that she liked it was because of the garlic butter flavor. I take that as a win.
Frogs Legs Fish
Fish Fillets with Garlic Parsley Butter
adapted from Fast Food My Way, by Jacques Pepin
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/3 pounds Tilapia (or other firm white fleshed fish) fillets, about 3
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. Wondra flour
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, quartered
In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, the parsley and the butter.
Dry the tilapia fillets with paper towels, cut them into approximately 2X2-inch pieces. Season the pieces liberally with salt and pepper. Toss them with the flour on a plate, making sure they are coated on all sides. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet, over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the fillet pieces and cook in one layer turning once, when the fish has started to become opaque at the edges, about 2 minutes. Cook for another 2 minutes until just cooked through. If you have more fillets pieces than fit in the pan, remove them to a platter and cook the rest.
With all the cooked fillet pieces in the pan, add the butter and the parsley mixture to the skillet and sauté for 1 minute longer, shaking the skillet occasionally to coat the fish. Put all the fish on a platter and serve with the lemon wedges.