Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tilapia with Special Sauce and Cuban Black Beans

Remember a few days ago, when I made turkey burgers with special sauce and mentioned all of the extra sauce? Tonight, I decided to be very adventurous. I decided it was time for me to start working with fish. So what if it frightens me, one can only call oneself an amateur cook and avoid an entire realm of food for so long. I decided to start with tilapia. It's super cheap (like $4.63 for two large fillets of fish), thinly sliced and bland, so it's pretty hard to screw up. Since the special sauce I made with the burgers has Dijon mustard, I figured it would go well with my tilapia. Great news, it was delicious!

In a continuing, and usually failing effort to eat less carbs, I decided to also steam broccoli and make a black bean dish from my friend's cookbook. They were super easy, pretty fast, and a great side dish to go with fish, meat, etc.

Cuban Black Beans

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1/4-1/2 of an onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • a few shakes of dried oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 splash of white wine, or white cooking wine
  • salt to taste

Here are my fish fillets. I put them in a baking dish. Very complicated, I know. I also preheat the oven to 375. As I didn't have a recipe to follow, I googled around to figure out what temperature at which I should cook the fish. It appears that you can cook the fish from 350-425 and vary the time depending on the heat and thickness. 

Then, I covered the fish with the remaining sauce and let the fish sit for about 15-20 minutes. Next time I would use a little less sauce. When uncertain about things, I always use too little salt, too much sauce and extra garlic. So I used extra sauce and next time will use less. I then baked the fish for 15 minutes.

While the fish was marinating in the sauce, I started the beans. I chopped the onion and started simmering it in a little olive oil. I then diced the garlic and added it to the pot and cooked for another minute or so.

Next, I added the can of beans, juices included. I then poured a generous dash of white wine into the bean can, swirled it around, and poured the mix into the pot. Then, I let the beans simmer for a few minutes.

After a few minutes, I added a few dashes oregano, the bay leaves, and a sprinkle of salt and let the whole pot simmer for another 15 minutes. I put the fish into the oven at this point and brought the broccoli water to a boil.

After 15 minutes, the fish was flaky, but not dry and everything else was ready to go. It was a delicious dinner and definitely something I would try again. Feeling encouraged, I will be expanding my fish experiences, so stay tuned.

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