The Recipes

Hungarian Tilapia with Vegetable Stew

First of all, as if my picture-perfect vacation in Miami wasn't enough, an amazing blogger invited me to post about it on her lifestyle blog.  If you've never checked out Bella Vita, go ahead and check out my post on her blog: http://www.elizabethfarrar.com/2012/03/happy-meals-miami.html

I told you I'd be experimenting more with spices and marinades.  This could really easily become a vegetarian dish with a portabello mushroom as the meat part, or just adding a bunch of garbanzo beans.  That's for you, co-worker!

Hungarian Tilapia with Vegetable Stew


Ingredients:

- 1 tilapia fillet
- 1/2 c. flour
- 6 T. Hungarian paprika
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 small carrot, peeled and diced
- 1/2 celery rib, diced
- 1/4 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 serrano chile, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 1/4 c. white wine
- 2 T. worstershire sauce
- splash of chicken stock
- peanut oil
- salt
- pepper
- combination of herbs for garnish; I used cilantro and parsley, chopped
- 2 slices of lime for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a skillet, heat 2 T. of peanut oil.  While the oil heats, put the flour and 3 T. of the paprika into a shallow plate or dish.  Add a little salt and pepper.  Dredge the tilapia fillet in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.

Add the tilapia to the pan, letting each side develop a nice crust-- about 2-3 minutes per side.  Transfer the fish to a cookie sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray.  Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Return to the skillet.  Discard a little bit of oil if needed.  Add the onion, bell peppers, serrano, celery, and carrots to the skillet.  Season with salt and cook for 5-6 minutes.  Add the garlic, stir for a minute, then add the paprika and tomato paste.  Stir it for 1-2 minutes to loosen up the tomato paste.  Add in the worstershire and wine, scraping up any yummy brown bits from the bottom.  Stir in the stock and let it simmer and reduce while the fish cooks.  Taste periodically and add in salt as needed.  Note: As you taste, you can add more heat with a pinch of red pepper flakes, or balance out the heat with a little bit of honey or agave nectar.

Once the fish is cooked, turn off the heat on the vegetable stew and let it cool for a few minutes before plating.  When ready, spoon the stew onto a plate, top with the fish fillet, and garnish with your herb mixture.  Add a few lime wheels for acidity.