Monday, May 2, 2011

Tilapia with Lemon and Capers

We don’t eat very much fish in our house, simply because it is almost always over my two dollar per pound limit on meat.  I know.  A lot of people consider seafood a separate category than meat.  Meat is muscle that comes from an animal.  Seafood is muscle that comes from animals that live in the water.  I’m just not willing to pay more because it doesn’t live on land.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, Safeway had 2-pound bags of frozen tilapia fillets on sale for $5 each.  That’s still more than $2 a pound, but that week’s ad also had a coupon for $5 off if you purchased at least $15 worth of any frozen food items in the store.*  The sale, combined with the coupon, meant I could buy six pounds (three bags) of tilapia for $10—that’s only $1.67 per pound!  So I stocked up my freezer with tilapia.

I have some grand plans for that fish in my freezer.  But first I would like to share a super simple way to prepare tilapia.  You could use the same method with other types of white fish.

The easiest way to thaw fish is to get it out of the freezer the day before and let it thaw in the fridge overnight.  If you need it sooner, simply submerge it in some cold tap water until it is thawed, about half an hour for thin fillets like mine.

Yup, that's the little basin from the hospital.  It is so useful!

This recipe calls for capers, the bud of a Mediterranean plant.  They are available in most grocery stores.  Look for them near the olives, pickles, or other Mediterranean foods.  They can be quite pricey, especially when purchased in small jars (pictured here).  I have found the most economical way to buy them is in a large jar at Costco.  Because they are pickled, they have a long shelf life.

Tilapia with Lemon and Capers
2 Tbsp. butter
Tilapia fillets
2 lemons
2 Tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed

In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.

Before adding fillets, test pan by just touching the tip of one fillet to the skillet.  If it immediately sizzles, the pan is hot enough.  Arrange fillets in single layer, allowing room between.

Cut lemons in half and remove seeds; squeeze over tilapia.

Cook 3-5 minutes per side or until just about done (total cooking time will depend on thickness of fillets and temperature of pan). 

When fish is cooked thoroughly, it should flake off.

Add capers to pan and turn off heat.  Allow a couple minutes for carry-over heat to finish cooking tilapia and heat capers.


*When I went to pay, the register didn’t take off the $5.  I was told that’s because the frozen tilapia is considered “seafood” and not a frozen food.  Since the coupon said, “…ANY frozen item sold in the store” (emphasis not added), I wasn’t going to let it slide and I demanded to talk to a manager.  I got my $5.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I have some Tilapia in the I know how I am going to cook it! :) Thanks!

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