Thursday, May 9, 2013

baked tilapia on a Monday night

We are not a fish family. 

Maybe because the only fish I ever tried growing up were fresh-caught trout straight from Bear Lake that were filled with little bones.  Well, and McDonalds fish sandwiches but I’m pretty sure those don’t count.

Needless to say, it didn’t do much to convince me of the goodness of fish.

But the years have mellowed my tastes.  I still can’t do salmon (I did give it a valiant effort a few months ago with a cilantro ginger glaze…didn’t go over well).  But I love sea bass and halibut.  And I think tilapia is my favorite.  Maybe because you can buy big bags of it at Costco.  And you can make stuff like this fish taco recipe that I posted back here.

Now the goal is to get my family to like it too. 

I got this baked tilapia recipe here (with 178 5-star reviews), and tweaked it a little bit from the suggestions from the comments. 

It was good enough that my non-fish-liking family gobbled it all right up speedy quick.

This is all you need:

6-8 tilapia fillets

2 limes (juiced and “zested”)

Salt and freshly cracked pepper for seasoning

butter

Here’s how I did it:

Wash and pat dry the fillets and line them up in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Squeeze out the lime juice and grate off a little bit of the peel for the zest. 

TIP:  Elle and I learned how to get the maximum amount of juice from a lime in our Thai cooking class at the end of this post back here.

Here’s Elle demonstrating:

Soften it up by applying a lot of pressure while rolling it under your palm:2013-05-06 misc 75090

Hold the lime upright and slice off three equal pieces (leaving a triangle in the middle):2013-05-06 misc 75091

…but usually a little bigger than this triangle so you can squeeze that too.2013-05-06 misc 75098

Squeeze the juice from those softened suckers:2013-05-06 misc 75101

Then grate a little of the washed peel:2013-05-06 misc 75102

Pour that juice over the fillets.  Then add salt and pepper, or if you have a wing-dinger thing like this that I splurged on at Dean and Deluca a while back, by all means, use that!2013-05-06 misc 75106(That stuff is divine if you put it in olive oil and balsamic vinegar for French bread dipping too…my mouth is watering….)

Put a little pat of butter on each seasoned fillet:2013-05-06 misc 75087

Bake at 425 for five minutes.

Take out of the oven, turn over fillets and then cook them for 15 minutes more.

While you wait look out your window and let your heart melt for a minute while you watch your scraggly-swim-suited-girls help each other do some cool moves:2013-05-06 misc 751092013-05-06 misc 75116

Take it out (even though it doesn’t get very browned, but make sure it’s not translucent anymore).2013-05-06 misc 75125

Eat it up with your family for the first family dinner you’ve had for a while since life has sped out of control lately.

Let your children wear their swim suits to the dinner table. 

Let your daughter indulge in her insistence that she must wear a green oven mit to fully enjoy her food.2013-05-06 misc 75128

Adhere to your daughter’s request for a picture together since you happened to totally match that day.2013-05-06 misc 75136

Let your swim-suited girls join in for a picture because they are dying to.2013-05-06 misc 75137

Be a task master at getting the kitchen cleaned up, play one game of Rummikub for Family Home Evening (and win, yes!), help with homework, finish folding three loads of laundry, and fall in bed.

Fall asleep with a smile on your face that you took your kids one step closer to becoming fish-lovers.

13 comments:

  1. Yum! My mouth is watering! I think a trip to the grocery store is in order!

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  2. Sounds great! We were not big fish lovers either and Salmon was the worst, we tried several glazes and none of them were good. Then we tried the Pioneer Woman recipe for perfect salmon. It's SO simple and has made even my picky six year old a Salmon lover! You might like it :)

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  3. I don't comment often enough Shawnie, but geez I'm in awe of the mother you are. I really do hope to grow to be the mother you have become in MY childrens eyes. The smiles on your lovely childrens faces are testament to the happy family life you are all living... even if all too busy at times. Its turning winter'sih at the moment here in Australia, but wishing you a wonderful warm summer filled with more happy memories.

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  4. Shawnie, I had a similar dislike for fish for a long time, but as my tastes have matured I do like the milder tasting fish. Have you tried orange roughy? It's my favorite and doesn't have that fishy taste.

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  5. Trying this tonight! I love printing your recipes and putting them straight in my binder.
    Thank you!

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  6. We are HUGE fans of the fish taco recipe. It has become my husbands favorite quick dinner.

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  7. If you like sea bass, you probably will like salmon, if you find the right recipe. Also, people tend to overcook salmon and then it really isn't that good.

    Preheat your oven to 425. Slice up a lemon into 5 or six thin slices. Spray your salmon filets with butter Pam, sprinkle with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, dill. Spray with butter pam again. Lay your lemon slices all over the fish. Bake at 425 for about 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 15 minutes. It will be perfect.

    I like to mix dill, salt, pepper and a little sugar in with a few big spoonfuls of sour cream - then drizzle that on the cooked salmon before serving.

    I think your family will love this!

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  8. I wasn't a salmon fan until we tried the marinated salmon from the freezer section at costco. It's SO good. My kids all love it--either grilled with rice or potatoes or grilled over a salad of mixed greens, dates, corn, tomatoes, goat cheese, craisins and a balsamic vinaigrette. (That salad has to be the hands down favorite dinner of all 6 kids kids--all under 12 so you know it must be good.!)

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  9. I'm like you - didn't grow up on fish, other than Salmon which I do like as long as it is Pacific or Alaskan, not Atlantic grown. Salmon over here on the East coast just is not nearly as good. Anyway, Tony happens to not eat meat every Friday, so we inevitably end up going out because I am afraid to cook seafood. I'll have to try this recipe!! Thanks Shawni. And the narrative made me laugh :) Happy mother's Day this weekend!

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  10. Since you like tilapia, have you tried the Basil Pesto Tilapia from Costco? I buy 4 frozen boxes at a time - seriously yum and so easy to serve! Highly, highly recommend. It's a staple in our house!

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  11. I LOOOOOOVE this post, Shawni. Thank you for making me smile and reminding me to just let things go sometime and enjoy the moment. You look so pretty with side swept bangs and I love your outfits with Elle! So cute about Lucy eating with the oven mit. :)

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  12. Yum and Yum! (Food and pictures).

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  13. Have you tried cooking salmon in a frying pan? You don't need to add any butter or oil because the fish has it's own oil. Cook it on both sides, add lemon pepper and enjoy. SO delicious!

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