Spinach and Gruyere Stuffed Tilapia

spinach&gruyerestuffedtilapia

Fish Friday is weekly event my family likes to keep in mind; however, there are only so many ways to enjoy fish–or is there? Tilapia is a bland, tender cichlid fish. Thus, it works spectacular when paired with the strong flavor of Gruyere. The spinach and Gruyere stuffed tilapia works in making tilapia shine and fish Fridays a staple in all households.

Tilapia is mainly a freshwater fish, inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes; the fish is less commonly found living in brackish water. Historically, tilapia was one of the three main types of fish caught in Biblical times from the Sea of Galilee. Tilapia, which is itself a latinisation of thiape, is the Tswana word for fish. They typically have laterally compressed, deep bodies. The fillets are skinless, boneless and found commonly in grocery stores. Tilapia consists of low levels of mercury and fast-growing, lean protein rich bodies. With a primary vegetarian diet, they are low in saturated fat, sodium and calories–a great addition to healthy meals.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I suggest using Pam in place of the oil. Greasy onions gross me out, so if using oil reduce the amount. Also, the fish really does not need to be oiled before entering the oven.
  2. I used the same amount of stuffing for 4 fillets; keep that ratio in mind when re-creating this dish.
  3. Line the baking dish with foil to allow for an easy cleanup.
  4. I used extra spinach. Greens are your friends with zero calories so indulge.
  5. I used lemon juice in place of a fresh lemon because it is what I had on hand. If not using a fresh lemon, add the lemon to taste.
  6. Let the vegetables cools before adding the other ingredients. Adding the egg and cheese in too early will scramble the egg and melt the cheese creating a gooey mess.
  7. You can cut the fillets or roll them as is. They will be difficult either way.
  8. Extra filling I placed along the sides of the fillets in the pan to cook.
  9. Use a toothpick and place the fillets face down to keep them from unraveling.
  10. When finished cooking, tilapia will be opaque in color and tender to the touch.

The dish is a wonderful way to enjoy tilapia. Originally bland and boring, adding a touch of Gruyere and the health benefits of spinach–Popeye–creates an intricate dish. Pair the meal with green beans and roasted potatoes for a nutritiously balanced dinner fit for any family. Try adding other vegetables and cheese to compliment your fishy tastes. There are no wrong stuffing or flavors that tilapia won’t absorb.

Leave a comment with your favorite fishy flavors. Follow my Pinterest for more recipes. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Sushi Trifle

sushitriffle

Deconstructed sushi! I love enjoying sushi at restaurants; however, rolling sushi can be time consuming and takes technique. The sushi trifle satisfies taste without the inconvenience of rolling. It can be plated to impress or mixed for ultimate enjoyment. Mix and match various flavors and ingredients to match sushi at
famous restaurants.

Sushi is a $14 billion industry in Japan. There are types of sushi to fit every taste–vegetables, raw fish, cooked fish and meat are common ingredients. The original type of sushi, known today as nare-zushi, was first made in Southeast Asia, possibly along what is now known as the Mekong River. The term sushi comes from an archaic grammatical form no longer used in other contexts. Literally, sushi means “sour-tasting”, a reflection of its historic fermented roots. The oldest form of sushi in Japan, narezushi, still very closely resembles this process, wherein fish is fermented via being wrapped in soured fermenting rice. The fish proteins break down via fermentation into their constituent amino acids. The fermenting rice and fish results in a sour taste and one of the five basic tastes, called umami in Japanese.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. I replaced the sushi rice with white rice. Brown and sticky rice work as replacements.
  2. The crumbled nori provides the full sushi roll flavor. It is salty and tastes best when slightly softened.
  3. I nixed the wasabi sauce because I prefer my food non-spicy.
  4. You can stack the ingredients in any fashion. For formal meals and fancy plating, use a clear wine glass and stack the ingredients in layers as seen.
  5. In the future, I suggest mixing the ingredients in a bowl to have all the flavors in
    each bite.
  6. Be sure to cook the salmon unless the sushi deconstruction is calling for raw meat. Be advised as to meats that can be eaten raw and those that need to be cooked.

Sushi has a long history throughout Asia. Methods have changed and contemporized allowing for variety and maximum flavor. While tackling sushi rolls may be challenging, sushi trifles complete flavor and ease. Mix and match favorite sushi rolls to triumph.

Leave a comment with your favorite Asian dishes. Follow my Pinterest. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Pesto and Halibut

pestoshrimpcaulipizza

As we all know, fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.  But, fish can be, well, fishy with its bland flavor and slimy coating.  However, cooked properly and seasoned gracefully fish can be quite tasty and satisfying to your taste buds.  Halibut fits into these categories.

The pesto that I created was so delicious that it couldn’t be too nutritious.  Yet, when using fresh ingredients with no added preservatives and in moderation, anything can be healthy.  The pesto adds a nice flavor that tames the fishiness of the Halibut.  It can be used as a topping to any fish of your choice, tossed in with sautéed vegetables, added with spaghetti squash or with another dish of your imagination.

What you’ll need:

2 cups basil;   3 garlic cloves;   ½ cup walnut pieces;   ½ cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese;   1 tsp lemon juice;   salt & pepper;   ¾ cup olive oil

Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

  1. I chopped my basil so that it would be easier to blend, but you can keep yours whole.
  2. You can use walnuts or pine nuts in a 1-to-1 ratio for your pesto.  I think walnuts give it a softer taste than pine nuts which are a bit more robust ground up.
  3. Add everything to the food processor except the olive oil.  Adding the olive oil separate allows for it to incorporate the ingredients evenly.pestoshrimpcaulipizza2
    4.  Add the olive oil slowly while the ingredients are blending.  Again, this process allows for an even incorporation of ingredients.
    5.  Blend for 30 seconds after adding the olive oil making sure to scrape the sides to create a more pastier pesto.
    6.  You can use Manchego or another type of cheese in replacement to the Parmesan.

If you are a pesto lover like myself, you’ll have no problem taking nibbles to make sure your seasoning is perfect before topping your food.  Remember, since pesto has so much olive oil that you will need to mix it before using it each time or the ingredients will separate.  Also, keep in mind that a little goes a long way so use the pesto sparingly.  Now, all that you have to do is top your fish or main dish with a tablespoon of pesto and enjoy.

Leave a comment with your pesto pairings.  Follow my Pinterest for more delicious recipes.  Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.

Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce

teriyakisalmonwsrirachacream2

Sound fishy? We’ve divulged in fish Fridays every week. It can be challenging to mix up your fishy flavors. Teriyaki salmon with sriracha cream sauce elevates your fish in 30 minutes cooking time. Place atop rice and you have a wonderful dish that can compete with sushi restaurants worldwide. I love the complimentary sweet and spicy sparks that sizzles in my mouth with every bite. I don’t usually care for mayonnaise or spice, but this recipe changed my mind. Combined, they create a cooling sensation to the fire of sriracha.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Allow the fish to marinade and collect flavors.
  2. In place of mayonnaise, you could use a greek yogurt. It is a healthier substitute that maintains a cooling sensation.
  3. Sriracha is a widely used hot sauce in many Asian dishes and can be found most commonly in ethnic food sections.
  4. The sweetened condensed milk is foul on its own; it is used to create the creamy thickness of a sauce.teriyakisalmonwsrirachacream
  5. I suggest using the sauce in small increments because it can clear your nostrils. I halved the recipe and still had leftovers.
  6. Add the sauce to a bottle and store in your fridge for later use and to create uniform plating.
  7. Keep eyes on your marinade because it can begin to burn easily on the stove.
  8. I suggest using Coho salmon because it contains the most nutritional benefits.
  9. When cooking your salmon, put a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the pan. The excess sauce can cook into the pan and make it harder to clean.

Sweet, spicy and savory the dish hits all the high notes of a tasteful meal. High in omega-3 and full of flavorful notes, you’ll learn to love salmon as much as I do. It can be a versatile sauce for pork and other seafood. Experiment with the “spieety”–sweet and spicy–tastes of this meal.

Leave a comment with your favorite fish recipes. Follow my Pinterest for more recipes. Check back again next Wednesday for more tips and tricks from The Cooking Bug.