Vanilla Pistachio Crusted Tilapia

Vanilla pistachio tilapia…try saying that ten times fast! Or try making it four times like I did just to get this recipe right. I’ve never been more determined with a recipe than I was with this one. This used to be served at one of our favorite restaurants and they replaced it with swordfish. It’s still good but just not the same without the tilapia. So, of course, I tried recreating it so I could still enjoy it along with all of you! I know you’re probably thinking “vanilla with fish?” but the sweetness of the vanilla is played right along with the saltiness of the pistachios. It’s not like you’re eating a vanilla frosting with the fish…that’s just wrong.

Now, the reason it took me four tries with this recipe is because I kept burning the pistachios. You gotta keep a close eye on it, but I promise it’s worth it. God speed!

  • 2 tilapia filets
  • 2 cups pistachios
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Set your broiler to low and grease a baking sheet. Pat the tilapia dry and lightly brush the olive oil onto both sides. In a food processor or small blender, pulse the pistachios and vanilla extract together in to small bits, almost to a powder. You can also hand crush the pistachios by placing them in a plastic bag and crushing them with a mallet. (We need to get our anger out somehow…). Once combined, roll the tilapia in the pistachio mixture and place on the greased baking sheet. Cook the tilapia on the bottom shelf of your oven for 8 minutes. Turn the broiler off and keep the oven door shut for the next 5 minutes. As I mentioned earlier, keep a careful eye on it though, you don’t want it to burn.

Vanilla Pistachio Crusted Tilapia

Happy Eating, XO.

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Sassy Fish

Hopefully everyone is full of chocolate from V-day and is now ready for eating better. As we know, fish is a staple to eating healthier, but I have a really a good twist on a basic pan seared fish recipe! I love it because its a lil sweet & spicy and I think it resonates with me/my personality. I’m a sassy girl! Overall I am sweet, but I have a lil fiery side to me as well. I also love this fish idea because it totally came out of no where when I was rummaging through my mom’s fridge over the holidays.

  • 2 5-6oz filets of a “meaty” fish (so think salmon, tuna, halibut and not tilapia or cod because they are more flaky)
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves?)
  • 2 tbsp. minced onions (yellow, Spanish, shallots, whatever you want)
  • 1 tsp. sriracha (more if you like it spicier vs. sweeter)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. mango chutney (I use the brand Patak’s Major Grey Mango Chutney, but really any one would work)
  • Pinch of black pepper

In a small sauce saucepan simmer the chutney, soy, sriracha, garlic, and onions. This will not only marry all the flavors, but it will thin out the consistency since the chutney is chunky with pieces of mango in it. Think about 3-5 minutes. While that is happening coat the fish with olive oil and pepper (no salt really needed because of the sodium in the soy). Start to sear in a hot non-stick pan. Reduce the flame on the saute pan and add the sauce to the fish, finish cooking the filets with the sauce in pan. Approximately 10-12 min. of total cook time for fish.

Happy Eating, XO.

F-I-S-H Restaurant + Bar

Fall restaurant week is happening and I couldn’t be more excited. I LOVE restaurant week – going out to fancy dinners for $30?! I always try to take advantage of a new place during this time to see if it’s really worth going back to. This “week”s restaurant was a new place called F-I-S-H in downtown Stamford. They opened a couple months ago, but I had been hesitant to try it – just from driving by, it looked pricey. I’m very excited to report this restaurant was much better, cheaper, and friendlier than I expected!

THE SKINNY ON THE DRINKS

Although we had reservations, we decided to head to the bar for a pre-dinner drink. The place wasn’t crowded yet and the hostess was more than ok with us delaying a bit. The bartenders helped us right away and made excellent drinks. I had The Skinny (Grey Goose, lemon juice, and club soda) and my husband had a glass of Macallan. I mean, they even had the sphere ice cubes meant to be used when drinking whiskey! We’ve never been to place with this attention to detail with their drinks… The bar didn’t seem to get too crowded, but then again it was a Tuesday night. The crowd that was there was filled with young professionals, so that says something about good, affordable prices.

CHOOSE YOUR OWN ENDING

We then moseyed our way to dinner where the hostess let us pick a seat next to the outside. The waiter came by shortly after – he was quick, efficient, and friendly. The manager occasionally checked in on us as well, and genuinely seemed interested, he didn’t treat us as just a “drive by”. After looking at the menu, we decided to forgo the restaurant week prix fix because it all looked THAT GOOD. We ordered oysters and calamari as an app and they were extremely fresh, “close-your-eyes-and-imagine-being-in-a-tropic-location” fresh. The calamari was served with a lemon aioli that was the perfect creamy texture, while the oysters’ sauce gave a bit of a bite. The app was pretty filling so we decided to share scallops as a main meal, but not just any scallops…

The cool thing that really makes them worth a blog shout out is the way F-I-S-H serves their dinners, it’s a bit of a “mix-and-match”/”choose-your-own”. They start with a “naked fish” base – scallops, salmon, halibut, you name it, then you choose weather you want it seared or grilled.  Don’t stop there! You then get to choose which sauce you want on it – butter and lemon sauce, scampi, tomato and olives, or red coconut curry. AND, as if you don’t have enough to choose from, you can “enhance” your meal with craw fish or lump crab meat Bearnaise sauces. Whew!

We went a little off the beaten path and had the seared scallops, with lemon and capers, AND crab meat Bearnaise sauce.  They were nice enough to put the Bearnaise on the side so we could dip. With all of that going on, we were not disappointed. It was practically a party in our mouth with all of those flavors! Enough so, that we were too full to even attempt dessert. Didn’t want to ruin a good thing.

If you couldn’t tell, we really weren’t disappointed. It was such an easy time. And the fact that we could “customize” everything made us want to go back and try different concoctions! We will definitely be back. If you’re ever in the area, be sure to stop in!

FISH Restaurant

Happy Eating, XO.

Flies and Swims

Doctors say in order to keep your cholesterol in check, one should maintain a diet of proteins that either fly or swim. That means no red meat (get it: cows graze whereas fish swims, turkey flies). This is a healthier way of living and will still get you the nutrients of non-vegetarian food (aka the good protein intake). Since I have already shared a salmon recipe, I figured a nice tilapia is just what I needed. This will help to keep us all in our trim, spring break mind set, while still enjoying what we eat. No thanks on the tofu, even if it is deep fried (that’s right Chinese take out, I am talking to you. Don’t act like we don’t all see it there stuffed under our lo mein. No, not that any of us are eating lo mein. Healthy eating…must stay on topic…on diet…flies and swims).

  • 1.5 tsp. Lemon Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1.5 tsp. garlic (granulated)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. dried dill (if you don’t like dill, dried basil could work)
  • 1.5 tsp. minced onion (I did the bottle stuff on this as well)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil (I feel like 2 is enough, but eye ball it)
  • 6 Tilapia Fillets
  • 2.5 Tablespoons lime juice (real stuff if you can)

photo

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F In the meantime, combine the dry spices with olive oil and create a paste. Set aside. Foil the baking sheet and lay out tilapia fillets. Coat the fish with the lime juice and paste. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops look golden brown. Enjoy! (oh and, think “swims” next time you need a dinner idea. Swims = swimsuit, eat healthy, eat more fish. Preaching over, the end).

Happy Eating, XO.

Omega 3

Don’t even begin to ask me what that even means. All I know is that its fatty, but the good kind, and its found in salmon! Sure, we all enjoy our occasional lox & bagel for a smoked salmon fix or we go in on the salmon sashimi at our favorite sushi joint, but we should have a quick & delish way to make this succulent fish at home as well. Here is the most decadent way to make this divine fish. Oh and grab a tablespoon that’s all you really need for this recipe!

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (I use Tony Cacere’s, but I am sure any pre mixed stuff works)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley flakes

Coat the fish filet (both sides with the skin on) with olive oil. Then dust on the garlic powder and Tony’s spice mix (about a half tablespoon per side) Turn your non stick pan to high heat, sear each side (approx. 2 min) and then cut the heat to medium otherwise your pan will smoke. (Warning it may smoke a bit when searing too so have the exhaust fan going just in case) Cook on each side for 5-7 min on medium heat after seared and squirt with lemon juice to finish (don’t do that when still in pan, squirt on serving plate). Also note the skin will slide right off so remove before serving. I only cook with it on so it seals in the moisture, OK I am salivating as I type this, just know its amazeballs. It serves as many as you want it to, one filet per person. Total prep & cook time is 15 minutes, so no excuses for not eating healthy! I usually serve this with roasted asparagus or a corn/avocado salad. Keep an eye out for those recipes coming soon!

Happy Eating, XO.