Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tangy Rosemary-Citrus Baked Tilapia

Tangy and delicious! (The picture doesn't do it justice.)
A couple of blog posts ago, I mentioned wanting to try some sort of citrus glaze. However, when I started doing recipe research, my interest and enthusiasm for this endeavor quickly waned. I’m sure there are easy ways to make a glaze but I kept running across directions that required simmering for 30-plus minutes, a bunch of ingredients I didn’t have on hand, or a lot of fatty cream or butter.

In the interest of time, health, and the fact that I will always choose fast and easy over slow and complicated, I chose to follow the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid). So I combined a few citrus juices, a little olive oil, a bit of brown sugar, and a pinch of seasonings for a marinade and tossed the fish in the oven. (Maybe I’ll attempt a glaze on a future weekend when I have a little more time and energy to work on reductions and other fancy cooking maneuvers…or not. We’ll have to see how ambitious I’m feeling in the coming weeks.)
At any rate, the following recipe is super simple to put together, it’s healthy, and it tastes great. And these days, those are the most important criteria for this busy mama.

Tangy Rosemary-Citrus Baked Tilapia
Serves 2-3
1 large navel orange
1 lemon
1 lime
½ teaspoon dried rosemary (or fresh if you have it)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 boneless, skinless tilapia fillets
Dash freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Dash rosemary (to garnish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice the orange, lemon, and lime in half. Cut one small slice off each end of the citrus fruits (so you end up with 2 thin orange slices, 2 lemon slices, and 2 lime slices). Set the slices aside for garnish later. In a small bowl, juice the remaining large pieces of fruit. Add the rosemary, brown sugar, and olive oil to the citrus mixture and whisk well to combine.

Pour half the marinade mixture into a medium square or rectangular glass baking dish. Place the tilapia fillets in the dish and turn to coat them in the mixture. Pour the remaining marinade over the top of the fish. Top with cracked black pepper.

Arrange the citrus slices over the fish and add a sprinkle of rosemary to garnish.

All ready for the oven!
Bake in the oven for approximately 20-22 minutes. Fish is done when it flakes easily. (You can use the baked citrus slices as a garnish if desired.)

Cooking tip:
If you like to experiment in the kitchen and come up with dishes of your own, it’s sometimes hard to figure out which ingredients will taste good together. In these cases, use your nose. Literally. Gather the potential ingredients and take a whiff. Chances are if they smell good together, they’ll taste great together too. (I did this with the citrus, rosemary, and brown sugar when I was coming up with the marinade and it worked out really well.)

As I mentioned in the intro, I got a little intimidated by the whole glazing process and stuck with a simple marinade. Ok, truth be told, I kind of chickened out. Plus, it was late, the hubs and I were hungry, and, well, I’m just not a fancy-schmancy cook. Period. I’m much more interested in using fresh, healthy, ingredients to make straightforward recipes that taste good.
The goal of this blog is—and always has been—to provide my friends, family, and anyone else who’s interested in the kind of dishes that busy, normal people can whip up with minimal effort. That’s why the majority of posts you’ll find here feature simple, healthy entrees you can feel good about eating and/or feeding to your family.

This tilapia dish totally fits the bill. It requires minimal prep time, only calls for a handful of ingredients, and takes just 30 minutes from fridge to table. Fast. Easy. Tasty. Healthy. And at the end of a long, busy day, what more can you ask for?

Until next time,

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