I grew up with Tilapia and Tilapia is one of the easiest, tastiest kind of fishes out there. It can turn out very tender and it's not too fishy at all. You can find them in the freezer section at IGA. They're individually wrapped so there's no worries about cooking all fillets at the same time. Since they're vacuum sealed, you can toss them into a big bowl of water to thaw them out. It's practically hard to screw up because it's not a sensitive kind of fish that will toughen up on you from too much heat. I wanted something to pair with my garlic mashed potatoes so I decided to make my fish cajun style. I wanted some tang and moisture to my dish so I decided to add in some grilled lime tomatoes. I love this dish very much and will definitely make it again in the near future.
Mashed Garlic Potatoes (~4 servings)
3 small potatoes (~1.3 lbs) peeled and halved lengthwise
3 strings chives chopped
2 large garlic cloves minced or garlic powder to taste
2 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
4 strips crispy bacon
salt and pepper to taste (note: when adding salt keep in mind that your bacon has salt as well)
5 heaping tbsp. sour cream
shredded cheddar cheese for topping
3 tilapia fillets (3 servings)
cayenne pepper for heat
flour for dredging
1 large ripe tomato
2 tbsp lime juice
1. Place Potatoes in a pot. Fill with water so that potatoes are completely submerged. add in a big pinch of salt and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to lowest setting (the water should be at a gentle boil). Boil for ~20-25min or until a fork goes right through without any trouble. Turn potatoes over once in between cooking process. Do not stir them around as the potato will break into smaller pieces.
2. Meanwhile, take a non stick pan and cook bacon to liking. Move to a paper towel to drain excess oil and reserve pan oil for later (scoop one tbsp oil out to keep fat content down).
3. dust a light layer of salt, pepper, garlic powder, cajun seasoning, and cayenne pepper across one side of each fillet (be careful not to over salt, cajun seasoning has salt as well). Pat spices down with the back of a spoon or your fingers and dredge both sides in a bowl of flour. don't shake excess flour off.
4. Heat bacon fat under medium high heat. once heated, add all three fillets. don't flip until browned on bottom. ~ 3min. once browned, flip and cook for another 2min or so.
5. move to a bowl and cover.
6. in the same pan, drizzle a little oil in and add tomatoes and lime juice. cook ~4 min or until tomatoes have wilted a bit. Cooking tomatoes this way will allow for them to develop a nice sweet flavor. no salt or pepper necessary.
7. strain potatoes and move to the side. In the same potato pot, add butter, garlic, and chives. stir frequently under low heat for ~3min or until rawness has been cooked out of garlic. be careful not to burn garlic as it will turn bitter.
8. add potatoes in and mash with a potato masher thoroughly. Add salt, pepper, sour cream. Top with crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese. If you want a smoother potato, either add more butter or sour cream.
9. Serve potatoes, fish, and tomatoes together. Enjoy!