Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Lemon Garlic Grilled Tilapia with Couscous

Lemon Garlic Grilled Tilapia with Couscous

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Last month, after the Left Coast Crime Mystery Convention in Phoenix, I stayed an extra day to visit a friend, and brought home lemons from her tree. They are so marvelous, they almost make me want to move. Instead, they inspired many happy meals. Lemons travel well, though, so grocery store lemons can be very good. Choose the large Meyer lemons when you can, for the most flavor.

At the convention, on a panel about culinary mysteries, a reader asked where we get our recipes. I confessed that I am incapable of making a recipe as written. This one originated in Real Simple Magazine, though I found it online in a collection of tilapia recipes, but of course, Mr. Right and I added our own twist. This would be equally good with cod, halibut, or any firm white fish. The couscous is a lovely, gentle background for the fish, and can be used as a bed or served on the side.

Lemon Garlic Grilled Tilapia with Couscous

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and fresh-ground black pepper
4 tilapia fillets, typically 5-6 ounces
1 cup couscous, dry
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes

In a medium bowl or a flat baking dish, combine the lemon juice, oil, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the tilapia and toss to coat. Marinate for 10 minutes.

In a saucepan with a lid, bring two cups of water to a boil. Add the couscous and salt and pepper to taste; stir. Cover the pot and turn off the heat. Allow to sit five minutes. (Longer is fine. The grail will absorb all the water in about 5 minutes. Leave covered to keep the couscous warm.)

Oil the grill grate and heat to high. Grill until cooked, about 2-3 minutes a side.

To serve, mix the parsley and tomatoes into the couscous. Serve the fish on a bed of couscous, with a lemon wedge.

Makes four servings.

From the cover of GUILTY AS CINNAMON: 

Murder heats up Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the next Spice Shop mystery from the national bestselling author of Assault and Pepper.

Pepper Reece knows that fiery flavors are the spice of life. But when a customer dies of a chili overdose, she finds herself in hot pursuit of a murderer…

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

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  1. Leslie, I'm always jealous when someone has lemons fresh from the tree. This tilapia sounds wonderful.

  2. "Lemon tree, very pretty..." I had one in California, that produced lemons year round. The flowers smelled wonderful.

    Great combination of flavors here, Leslie, and we're big couscous fans in this house. Wonder if the recipe would work with the trout filets I have in my fridge?

  3. Thanks for the earworm, Sheila!

    Yes, I think this combo would serve trout nicely.

  4. How could the trout possibly complain?
    This does sound lovely. I think I'd make the couscous using some of the Better Than Bullion lobster flavor!

    1. Hurray! The comment gods are being nice to me today!

  5. I will have to add this recipe for my fish repertoire! My grandmother had a lemon tree which was planted in a huge barrel. She kept it inside in the winter and had it taken outside in warm weather. She actually grew lemons on it!

    1. Peg, a friend's grandfather -- another NJ Italian -- did that with his fig tree!

      And yes, this would be great with cod, halibut, and other firm white fishies!