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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Temple Foods: Tilapia, Steamed New Potatoes and Broccoli


This is what I call a Temple Food recipe using three basic ingredients. It can be made in under 30 minutes and you use just two cooking methods. It's a simple meal that tastes delicious and is very good for you.  I made the tilapia in the toaster oven while the red bliss potatoes were boiling/steaming and then steamed the broccoli in the same pot of water in which the potatoes cooked.  

My Temple Foods dinner is a meal consisting of three basic ingredients, meaning the starch, the protein and the vegetable, not counting oil, salt, pepper, seasonings for the fish and Dijon Mustard.  I consider those items pantry staples and all kitchens ought to have at least the minimum of those things.  Think you don't like boiled potatoes and steamed broccoli? That's because you haven't had them cooked right.  Most people over cook their vegetables, rendering the greens to a shade of drab olive grey and turning the potatoes to mush. These vegetables should and are sweet and crisp.  The delicious joy that is a simply steamed new potato with a slight drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper is a taste to behold.

Brush the tilapia with a little Dijon mustard.  It can be seasoned as simply as with salt, pepper and paprika - smoked, hot or sweet.  Or if you are a spice queen like me, you may have a fabulous seasoning blend like Penzey's Forward, a salt-free blend that's slightly smokey and rich.  For the oil all you need is a good classic, extra-virgin olive oil.  Something you want to taste but not so expensive you're afraid of using it.  Keep it simple and cook it quickly.  This is weeknight fare that can help you get back on track to healthier eating. I made enough to serve 4, but you can cut it back to make enough for 2 servings by reducing the ingredients down by half.

Tilapia, Boiled/Steamed Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tilapia Fillets
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika (or a salt-free spice blend of choice)
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper - to taste
  • 1 Pound - (about 4 small/medium potatoes per person) Red Bliss or New Potatoes - scrubbed clean
  • 1 Pound Broccoli Crowns - cut into small "branches"

Directions:

  1. Line a small sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Lay the tilapia fillets onto the prepared pan; brush the fillets with the Dijon mustard and season each tilapia fillet with the paprika, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.  Set aside.  If using a conventional oven and not a toaster oven, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Clean the potatoes and place them into a 4 quart sauce pan along with a generous pinch of salt.  Cover fill (with about 3-inches above the potatoes) with cold water.  Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and bring the water to a rapid boil.  When the water boils, remove the lid and cook for 10 minutes.  After 8 minutes, add in the chopped broccoli spears, or if you have a steamer, insert the steam over the pot and add the broccoli to the steamer. Let the water come back to a boil; cook for one minute more then drain the potatoes and the steamed broccoli.  Separate the potatoes from the broccoli, if desired.  Season with the olive oil, salt and pepper, tossing to combine.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, place the prepared tilapia fillets into either a preheated 375 degree oven or into a toaster oven set to 375 degrees.  Bake the tilapia for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the fillets turn opaque.  Remove from the oven, plate over the cooked potatoes that you've smashed down and seasoned with salt, pepper and a bit of olive oil and top with the broccoli. Season to taste, if necessary with a light sprinkle of salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

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