Showing posts with label tilapia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tilapia. Show all posts

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Guest Rebecca Adler with Pecan-Crusted Tilapia #bookgiveaway

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  Today we welcome back to the blog Rebecca Adler, with a recipe for a pecan-crusted tilapia with golden rum butter sauce that's got me smacking my lips for dinner -- and I just finished breakfast!

REBECCA ADLER: Growing up in small town Florida, my exposure to Tex-Mex was limited to the locally-owned Pancho’s on Okaloosa Island. This local favorite offered everything my young heart could desire: tacos, queso, and enchiladas. Occasionally, I would try something exotic from my mother’s plate. Guacamole, refried beans, or tamales.

Have you heard the old saying, I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got there as fast as I could? That’s me. After living in NYC and Maine with limited access to quality, lip-smacking Tex-Mex, I was thrilled to be in the midst of an overabundance of restaurants and taco stands offering, not one, but countless varieties of my very favorite foods.

With the release of The Good, the Bad, and the Guacamole--the second book in my Taste of Texas series-- I am excited to share the recipes for some of my very favorite Tex-Mex, and Texas, culinary delights. My favorite recipe in the book is definitely Senora Mari’s Pecan-Encrusted Tilapia. I recently made this dish with a dear friend. The recipe was simple, fresh, and oh so delicious. The end result? A delightful afternoon filled with scrumptious fare and heartwarming conversation.

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a signed paperback of THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE GUACAMOLE (US addresses only). 

Senora Mari’s Pecan-Crusted Tilapia

Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 8 minutes

½ cup pecan halves
4 fresh tilapia fillets, about 6 ounces each
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons butter
Golden Rum-Butter Sauce (recipe follows)
lemon wedges, for garnish
fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish

Chop the pecans until fine and pour into a shallow bowl. Sprinkle the fish fillets with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Dredge the fish in the finely chopped pecans.

In a large nonstick pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the fillets, and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until well-browned and the fish flakes when pierced with a fork.

Serve each fillet with Golden Rum-Butter Sauce (recipe below), a lemon wedge, and a parsley sprig, if desired. (Leslie: And why on earth would you not desire?)

Golden Rum-Butter Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons rum
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Melt butter in a small pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the minced shallot and garlic. Continue stirring occasionally until the shallot is tender.

Reduce heat to low. Whisk in the rum slowly, and then add the honey, salt, lemon juice, and orange juice. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Serve warm.

You may substitute fresh lemon juice for rum.

Leave a comment below, with your email address, for a chance to win a signed paperback of THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE GUACAMOLE (US addresses only). The winner will be chosen on Tues, Oct. 18.

Rebecca grew up on the sugar beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast. Drawn to the Big Apple by the sweet smell of wishful thinking, she studied acting on Broadway until a dark-eyed cowboy flung her over his saddle and hightailed it to the Southwest.

Prior to writing, she always found a way to add a touch of the dramatic to her life from dinner theatre in Mississippi to playing a giant Furskin in the New York Toy Fair, plus plays and musicals.

She's currently content to pour her melodramatic tendencies into writing the Taste of Texas cozy culinary mystery series set in far West Texas filled with sweet, Southern-fried flavor, delicious suspense, and scrumptious Tex-Mex recipes. Rebecca's alter ego, Gina Lee Nelson writes sweet contemporary romance.

Where to Find Rebecca: 

Facebook: @AuthorRebeccaAdler
Twitter: @CozyTxMysteries
Where to Find the Book:

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.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

A Fish Tale

by Peg Cochran

Or, "A Fish Dish We Actually Liked."  I have to confess to not knowing a whole lot about cooking fish although I have zillions of recipes for beef, pork, lamb and chicken. In an effort to consume more fish I bought a bag of frozen "swai."  (Fresh fish is hideously expensive in Michigan because we are so far from the sea.) I had no idea what swai was, but it said it was mild and buttery tasting so I figured that would be good.  I later discovered (via the great Wikipedia) that swai is Vietnamese cat fish.  I did not tell my husband that before serving this to him!

I found this recipe online and scribbled down the directions without noting where it came from so I cannot give proper attribution.  But it was easy and we really liked it!  As a matter of fact, I made it twice in two weeks--a record for us.

The original recipe was for six fillets but I cut it down to two which is all we needed to eat.  Leftover fish isn't something you take to work the next day and heat up in the office microwave--not unless you really want to irritate your colleagues.


2 fish fillets (swai or tilapia or cod would all work)
olive oil
Fish seasoning
Lemon juice and/or white wine

Rinse and dry your fillets with a paper towel.  Then dry them with a second paper towel--it seems like overkill but they will brown better.  Either sprinkle the fish with a seasoning of your choice or mix the seasoning into a couple of scoops of flour that you've put on a plate.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Dip fish in flour and cover on both sides.  Meanwhile heat the olive oil (just enough to coat the pan) in a saute pan until shimmering but not smoking.  No need to set off the smoke alarm.  Place the floured fish in the pan and cook for three minutes.

Flip the fish (a metal spatula works best) and place 1/2 tablespoon of butter on each fillet.  Cook two minutes more.  Remove fish to a plate, turn down heat, and add a good squeeze of lemon juice to the pan.  If you don't have enough lemon juice, you can mix it with white wine.  Deglaze the pan and pour the sauce (there will be very little but that's okay) over the fish. 

Voila!  Dinner! Make some easy sides and you've got this on the table in less than half an hour.

I used a store brand fish and seafood seasoning that had bits of lemon and orange in it.

I mixed the fish seasoning in with the flour

Dip your fillets in the flour and cover on both sides

Brown one side, flip, and place 1/2 tablespoon of butter on top of each fillet


 Have you met Lucille and Flo from my Lucille series? Reviewers have called them "the Italian Lucy and Ethel" and "I Love Lucy meets Jersey Shore."  Hit and Nun is the latest--the first two, Confession Is Murder and Unholy Matrimony are only $.99 for all e-readers.


Pre-order now:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tilapia a la Provencal

by Peg Cochran

I started making this dish following a recipe where the fish was broiled and then covered with the tomato sauce…which contained capers and no Herbes de Provence. I decided there was no reason to broil the fish when instead it could be simmered in this tasty tomato sauce. I wasn’t sure if my family would like the capers so I omitted those and threw in the Herbes de Provence—a mixture of various herbs which might include marjoram, thyme, savory, basil, rosemary, sage and fennel seeds. Some mixtures might also include lavender.

It was a very quick and easy dinner that is also relatively low-calorie so my character, Gigi Fitzgerald, from my Gourmet De-Lite series, would definitely approve!

Tilapia a la Provencal

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 tilapia fillets (or other mild white fish), approximately 6 oz. each
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small onion, diced
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
¼ cup white wine or vermouth
½ teaspoon Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium sauté pan, heat olive oil. Add garlic and diced onions and sauté 3 to 4 minutes until translucent.

Add tomatoes and sauté briefly. Add wine or vermouth and bring to a boil for 30 to 60 seconds to burn off alcohol. Stir in salt and pepper to taste and Herbes de Provence. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Place fish on top of tomato mixture and spoon some tomatoes over top of the fish. Cover and simmer until fish is opaque and done—approximately 5 to 7 minutes depending on thickness.

Serve over rice or orzo (rice shaped pasta).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Julie's Fish Delish!

Wow, it's great to be back! I missed everyone here at Mystery Lovers' Kitchen during my sabbatical. Thank you, Sheila Connolly, for stepping in for me and thank you all for making Sheila feel welcome. I was lucky enough to read her new release, Fundraising the Dead, while it was in production and I think Sheila's got another hit on her hands with Nell Pratt.

As for me, I found out that my next Manor House Mystery will come out in June, 2011 under the title Grace Interrupted. Berkley came up with that one and I really like it. I'm still being far behind schedule writing the next White House Chef Mystery, but I intend to meet my deadlines one way or another. On top of all the other book-related busy-ness going on, I got my galleys for Buffalo West Wing (comes out in January) and those are due back to Berkley as we speak. Almost done... about two more chapters to proof and then I can turn them in. Nothing like waiting to the last minute, huh?

While I was out, I did manage to take a lovely trip with my husband and I *know* I'll be sharing tidbits, pictures, and food stories about that trip in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, however, I want to share a brand-new recipe. Just came up with it. You may remember that last March my husband and I headed down to Disney with two of our daughters. One of my favorite things about vacation is the food and we were able to visit a couple of Disney restaurants we hadn't tried before. One of them, in Epcot, is the Coral Reef restaurant where Robyn ordered the trout. I had a taste and... Holey Moley! Was it fabulous! Although my dinner was great, hers was spectacular. To this day she says it was the best meal she's ever had.

She tried recreating the dish here at home, but didn't have too much luck. I listened to how she'd prepared it, and decided to try again myself. Instead of trout, however, I substituted tilapia. Why? Well, because I had it on hand.

But the bigger question is - does it measure up?

I think it does. Robyn thinks it does. My husband who doesn't care for fish asked for seconds - twice. Whether it exactly matches the flavors of Disney's creation, I can't say. But this is one recipe we will use again and again. It's pretty darned fabulous. And easy.

Julie's Fish Delish

5 or 6 Tilapia filets
Olive Oil
6 (or so) cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano (My brother-in-law, Mitch, gave me fresh-dried from his garden)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
Small handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (I prefer grape tomatoes)
2 cans of cannellini beans, drained (Italian white kidney beans)
Handful of washed, dried arugula

Drop a couple of glugs of olive oil (I didn't measure, exactly) into a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 3 - 4 of the minced garlic cloves and heat until they're golden. Add the chopped onion. Also heat until golden.

Now, add the tilapia filets and cook over medium, turning carefully and repeatedly until these are gently cooked, but not cooked through. You can put the burner on low and cover if you like. Just keep an eye on them and don't overcook.

Ready a baking dish and preheat oven to 300. I used a cookie sheet lined with foil turned up at the sides and it worked fine. The tilapias don't take up a lot of room and I thought they'd be lost in a 9 x 13 pan.

Anyway, once they're mostly done, remove the filets to your baking dish (don't discard the flavored oil in the frying pan - we'll use that in a minute) and top the filets with butter. I like butter so I used about three tbsp, maybe even a bit more. Dot butter atop fish and place in oven.

Head back to your frying pan. Add the rest of the minced garlic and maybe a little more olive oil, if you think it needs it. Get that garlic nice and hot, then add the drained cannellini beans. Cover and allow to simmer until the beans are soft and a little smooshy. Add the halved tomatoes, cover and allow the flavors to blend.

(NOTE: when I experimented I only used one can of beans, hence the picture isn't quite accurate. I doubled the recipe above to account for two cans.)

Check your filets in the oven. Cooked through? Hot enough? Great!

Rip up the arugula. Add it to the frying pan, warm it for a few minutes then spoon out the mixture onto your dinner plates. Top the mixture with a tilapia filet and serve.

Truly delicious! I can't wait to make this one again.
Experimenting is always fun. Especially when things turn out this well.

Have fun, and enjoy!

Grace Under Pressure, first in the Manor House Mystery series
Buffalo West Wing, fourth in the White House Chef series (coming January, 2011)