Vietnamese Tilapia with Turmeric and Dill

Vietnamese Tilapia with   Turmeric and Dill

Vietnamese Tilapia with
Turmeric and Dill

Tilapia is one of the most consumed fish species in the U.S.  It has become one of our favorites, and I cook it frequently.  Turns out tilapia has a lot going for it.   It’s pretty inexpensive, especially if purchased in quantity (like 2 pounds or more), as filets that are individually flash frozen and vacuum sealed.  I like that I can remove just the quantity I need for a specific recipe.

Sustainably farmed versions are easy to find, an important consideration, since so many wild fish species are threatened around the world.  Flavor-wise, tilapia has a very mild, white, flaky flesh that, I think, is a virtue.   It’s a great starter fish for kids or anyone who thinks that all seafood is too “fishy”.  Cooks can take advantage of its neutral flavor by using it as a base for many flavor approaches, ranging anywhere from South American, to Mediterranean to Southeast Asian.

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Tilapia is a lean, low-calorie source of protein that’s low in saturated fat, so it’s a good choice for healthy eating.  Although it’s not an omega-3  powerhouse like salmon,  a 3-ounce portion of cooked tilapia still has 10% of your daily omega-3 needs.

This mild white fish holds up well to sautéing, breading, steaming, or whatever you can think to do with it.  It won’t fall apart on you in the pan.   It is one of the easiest, most versatile fish to cook with and it can stand whatever heat your kitchen can dish out!

If you have never cooked with tilapia this recipe will introduce you in a big way;  the fish loves flavor and color.   A killer marinade of shallots, fish sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic and turmeric penetrates the fish and gives it a beautiful golden color. When you sear the fish in a hot-hot pan (cast iron is best) it gets fantastically browned.   This was a new way to prepare it for me and one that I won’t forget.  We loved the Southeast Asian flavors.  Serve it with rice and a green vegetable for an unforgettable meal.

An unforgettable meal.

An unforgettable meal.

VIETNAMESE TILAPIA WITH TURMERIC AND DILL

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

Southeast Asian seasonings provide big flavor.

Southeast Asian seasonings provide big flavor.

  • 1/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4  (6-ounce) tilapia fillets,
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • cooking spray
  • 4 cups vertically sliced sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh dill, divided (In the absence of fresh dill, I used dry in small amounts)
  • 4 green onions, cut into (2-inch) pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, dry-toasted peanuts, crushed ( I omitted these.)
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Directions:

1.  Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk to combine well.  Add fish; toss to coat.  Cover and chill for 2 hours.

Turmeric gives it a golden color.

Turmeric gives it a golden color.

Marinate fish in the mixture.

Marinate fish in the mixture.

2.  Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade and solids.  Combine fish and peanut oil in a bowl, tossing to coat.

Remove from marinade and coat with oil.

Remove from marinade and coat with peanut oil.

3.  Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add onion, 1/4 cup dill, and green onions;  stir fry 1 minute.

Stir frying the onions and green onions.

Stir frying the onions, green onions and dill.

Arrange onion mixture on a platter.

Arrange onion mixture on a platter.   Smells wonderful!

Arrange onion mixture on a platter. Smells wonderful!

Return pan to high heat.  Add the fish fillets to pan; cook 3 minutes.  Turn fish over; cook 1 minute or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.  Place fish on the platter over the onion mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining dill and peanuts.  Serve with lemon wedges.

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Arrange fish fillets over onions and serve.

 

SOURCE:    Cooking Light

 

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Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Can we talk for a few minutes about pickles?   Dill pickles, that is.  Many people that I know love anything pickled, but I’m not one of them.  I like pickled beets well enough, but I love dill pickles!!   Years ago I remember helping my mother make pickles and it seemed like a lot of work.  I know there was some cooking involved, the hot vinegar bath, I think.  And I remember those little round dill seeds and black peppercorns.  It has always seemed lots easier to just buy the kind I like at the grocery store.

So I’m very proud of myself when I say I made refrigerator dill pickles, and they were so easy.  Nothing at all like what I remember. This recipe is so ridiculously simple, I wonder why I never heard of it until just this year.   I can’t believe I got these fantastically crisp and fresh pickles with only a few ingredients.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles.

Refrigerator Dill Pickles.

You can use traditional cucumbers or pickling cucumbers for this–whatever you like.   Some of the pickling cucumbers end up being quite fat and round, so I used regular cucumbers because I wanted long spears.   If you have 10 minutes you can make these pickles.  Just watch me!

REFRIGERATOR DILL PICKLES

Yield:   about 3 – 4  16.oz. jars of pickles

About the jars:  They can be any jars saved from other products and repurposed,  just be sure they are really clean with no lingering odors.  It’s wise to wash them in the dishwasher prior to using again.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 – 4 medium-large cucumbers, washed well
  • 3 cups water
  • 6 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons kosher salt

Directions:

1.  Add 1 minced or pressed clove of garlic and a few sprigs of dill to the bottom of each jar.  Don’t stress over exact amounts.  They will be great.

Place sprigs of dill in bottom of jars.  Add a clove of garlic.

Place sprigs of dill in bottom of jars. Add a clove of garlic.

2.  Cut the cucumbers into spears or whatever shape you like.  Add the spears to the jars, packing in as many as  you can without having to force them in.

Pack the  jars with cucumbers.

Pack the jars with cucumbers.

3.  In a large liquid measuring cup or pitcher, combine the water, vinegar, and salt.  Stir well until the salt is dissolved.  Pour the mixture into each jar over the cucumber spears so they are completely covered.  Top with an additional few sprigs of dill, if desired.

Add vinegar brine, then more dill on top.

Add vinegar brine, then more dill on top.

4.  Screw on the lids of the jars.  Repeat with remaining cucumbers, making additional brine as needed  (it only take a few seconds.)

5.  Refrigerate for two days.  Enjoy!   Continue to store in the refrigerator….presuming there are leftovers, of course.

Oh my gosh–these are fantastic.  As soon as you finish one your mouth wants another.  We couldn’t stop eating them.  Mr. D. says they are better than “real pickles”.   What ever that means, I think it’s a compliment.

A great sandwich deserves a great pickle!

A great sandwich deserves a great pickle!

I will be starting my next batch before the first batch is gone, because I won’t be able to wait the two days for a second batch to “cure”.    Ya gotta plan ahead when you love something this much!!!

SOURCE:   Adapted from Delicious Meliscious via Annie’s Eats

Sweet Sliced Pickled Cucumbers

When your garden is producing cucumbers faster than you can eat them,  this recipe is just the ticket!  It was given to me several years ago by a very good friend who is lovely about sharing her recipes.  It is a particular favorite at our church suppers and everyone  seems to want to know how to make them.   This is the kind of recipe where it’s hard to stop eating them after one serving.  You will want to have a 2nd or even 3rd helping—-they’re that good!

Don’t shy away because of the word pickle in the title.  There’s no cooking,  well, just a tiny bit,  and no processing jars or any of that stuff.  It’s another of my recipes that I can truly  say is quick and easy.  Here’s all you need:

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 3-4  large cucumbers, sliced.  Peel or don’t peel as desired.  (If they are waxed from the grocery store, then I peel them, but if they’re tender fresh cukes, I don’t.)
  • 1 large sweet onion, or 2 medium, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons minced fresh dill, or  1 Tablespoon dill weed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. To slice the cucumbers and onion, use a mandolin slicer or the slicing blade on a food processor.  You want nice thin uniformly sliced vegetables.

Combine the cucumbers, onions, and dill in a large bowl.

2.   In a saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, water, and salt;  bring to a boil.   Pour the hot liquid over the cucumber mixture.  Stir to expose all the cucumbers and onions to the hot liquid.    Cover and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

3.   Store in covered containers or jars with tightly closed lids.

It is amazing to me how crisp these cucumbers become as they cool.  They are great used as a condiment, a cold salad, or layered in a sandwich.  (My husband likes them on a grilled hot dog.)   They will keep for a week or two in the refrigerator.  Please note that in the accompanying photos I am making half a recipe with 2 large cucumbers.