Friday, January 26, 2007

Costa Rican Tilapia

I posted this recipe recently on my other blog, but thought it is more appropriate here, so a repost is in order.

Rice and beans are a great combination. I love them... always have. But while in Costa Rica over 20 years ago, I ate "Gallo Pinto", and it had an elusive flavor that I haven't been able to match when I cook rice and beans. I know how to make the Costa Rican rice... but the combination just never had the right taste.

So, I turned to Google. (who doesn't?) And I did find the instructions I needed to make Gallo Pinto. I'm planning to make that tomorrow. But in the meantime, I had to try another recipe I found.

The Gallo Pinto search took me to a Costa Rican information website, which featured a recipe for Costa Rican tilapia. Having eaten a lot of fish while there, I know how good it is... and figured since I like tilapia, it would be worth the effort to try this recipe.

I was wrong... it was for more than just "worth the effort". It was more like culinary ecstacy.

Seriously. Any of you who enjoy cooking... you've gotta try this. And if you don't like tilapia, just substitute some other type of fish that you do like.

Costa Rican Tilapia

Combine in a shallow dish:
3 T lime juice
1 T olive oil
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 t minced garlic
1/2 t salt
1/4 t sugar
Add 6 tilapia fillets, and marinate 15 minutes, turning once.

Heat 2 to 3 T cooking oil in large saucepan. Saute 2 T finely diced onion until translucent. Add 1 1/2 C uncooked long-grain rice and saute until rice changes color (it becomes more white). Add 3 C water and 1 1/2 t salt, and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, reducing heat when necessary.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In large, high-sided skillet or saucepan, heat 2 T olive oil on medium heat. Add 3 t minced garlic and 1/2 C finely minced onion, and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes), stirring. Add:
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 oranges, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 15 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 t dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 t black pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper
Cook, uncovered, until hot, stirring occasionally.

Place rice into 9x13 pan. Spoon the bean mixture on top and gently blend. Slightly overlap tilapia fillets on top and scrape marinade over fillets. Bake 16-20 minutes, until the flesh of the tilapia just begins to flake.

No comments: