Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Make It Up to Use It Up: Tilapia and Squash
We are on a budget here. I need to find ways to make dinner interesting while using the things that we have available. I've run out of a lot of our usual funky staples so I am reaching further back into the spice cabinet. Today I turned up a bottle of Penzys Trinidad-Style Lemon-Garlic Marinade. I got a bargain price on tilapia filets and had a funky heirloom squash that I had been given by a gardener friend. It seemed I had the beginnings of a dinner.
So.... I started a pot of rice.... 2 cups of water, a bit of chicken soup base, some Penzys lemon peel and a bunch of the Trinidad seasoning. Bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of rice. Turn down to almost off and let sit until dinner is ready.
One garden fresh tomato chopped small.
1/2 medium yellow onion chopped small
Small handful of shredded carrots
About 2 cups of funky heirloom squash peeled, chopped and steamed for two minutes in the microwave.
1/2 small green pepper chopped small.
1 ear cooked sweet corn cut from the cob
Melt one Tbsp butter and pour into baking dish. Add about 1 Tbsp olive oil. Stir in at least 1 tsp of Trinidad Seasoning and 3 - 4 cloves crushed garlic. Toss the vegetables in the sauce.
It was at about this point that one of the spuds came wondering through and asked what was for dinner. I said I wasn't really sure. He then asked what I was cooking. I said tilapia and rice. He took one look at the squash, he sighed and politely wondered off. It was clear he had very low expectations for dinner this evening.
Put the fish on top. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and sprinkle with a bit more of the spice mix. (Next time, I would dip the fish in the oil/butter mix before I added the vegetables.)
Bake at 375 degrees fahrenheit for 20 - 30 minutes until the fish is opaque and flaky. Serve over rice.
The less than enthusiastic spud was half-way through his plate when he popped up with "this is the best squash I've ever had". They emptied the dish in short order and it really was quite tasty.
The other comments, it is a bit dry to put over rice. It needs more sauce. I'm not sure how to get more sauce out of it, but I will think about it and let you know if I come up with something. In the meantime I have the rest of the funky heirloom squash to peel, chop, blanch and freeze so we can try this again. I am pretty confident it is going to be difficult to get my hands on that again.
*As a disclaimer, I have no connection to Penzys although from the looks of my spice cupboard it seems clear I've done my best to buy the boss man a new Mercedes.