Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Swanky fish

Last night I made a delicious dinner for Chris and I and his aunt K, who is visiting with us this week. It was so delicious we ate it all before I even thought of photographing it. I think it’s worth writing up, though, because I definitely plan on making it again. It’s simple and inexpensive but looks really impressive, tastes fantastic and is quite filling. I liked the presentation because it looks restaurant-y. Also, it’s reasonably healthful – a bonus!

Citrus and black pepper tilapia over lentils and kale

1 whole tilapia fillet per person
olive oil
1 cup dry green lentils, rinsed
6-8 leaves of kale, stripped from the stems, washed, and sliced
½ sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 litre vegetable stock
splash balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
rind from 1 navel orange, grated

In a small bowl, combine the butter, orange rind and a good grinding of black pepper. Mix with a fork to evenly distribute the seasonings, then turn the butter out onto a piece of plastic wrap, make into a lump, wrap and put in the fridge to firm up.

In a large pot, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and cook the onion until softened. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the lentils, stock and vinegar, bring to a boil, and simmer ten minutes, covered.

Meanwhile, heat your broiler on high and place the oven rack about 6” from the heat. Place the fish in a baking pan lined with greased foil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Add the kale to the pot, on top of the lentils, and cover. Let steam five minutes, then stir into lentils, cover and simmer another 15 minutes or until lentils are tender and liquid has absorbed. Kale will be very wilted and tender.

About ten minutes before the lentils are ready, put the fish under the broiler and cook about 8 minutes or until a fork poked into the thickest part of the fish goes in with no resistance. Remove from oven.

To serve, place a pile of lentils and kale on the centre of the plate. Top with a tilapia fillet and then place two ¼” slices of butter on top of the fish. The butter will melt and can be spread over the surface of the fish, making a delicious glaze.

(Lentils will serve 4 people.)

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