Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tilapia with pesto pasta

My goal for the last month or so has been to use something out of my freezer for every meal, in a sad attempt to get rid of some of the stuff in my freezer. Albeit, it's been a successful experiment, but it doesn't help that I also add to my freezer in the same attempt (when I used my frozen chicken bones to make chicken stock over the weekend, I ended up with leftover chicken stock to put in the freezer again).

Ah, but in my attempt to use one more ingredient in my freezer, my inspiration tonight were tilapia fillets. In general, I try not to buy frozen filets in a bag, but I had them leftover from some dinner, so here I am, staring at a tilapia fillet and no idea what to do with it. Alas, also in my freezer are some pine nuts (not too eager to get rid of those - you have to ration those babies), so that inspired me to make some tilapia with some pesto pasta and pine nuts.

2.18.09 010

Tilapia - pan fried with wine sauce - and pesto pasta
Serves 1
Prep time: 25 minutes active, 1 hour passive
Cook time: 10 minutes

  • (1) tilapia fillet - set out to thaw if frozen (hence the one hour inactive time)
  • (1 tsbp) flour
  • (1) shallot, minced
  • (2-3) cloves garlic, depending on whether you love it or hate it, minced
  • (1 cup) white wine
  • (1 tsp) butter
  • (1 tsp) pine nuts
  • (1 serving) pasta, cooked
  • (1-2 tsps) pesto sauce. I used Trader Joe's because it's a standby for any pesto seasoning I want (bread spread, pasta sauce, chicken marinade, etc)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place tilapia fillet on paper towel to get excess water off. Then, place in plate of flour (seasoned with salt and pepper), making sure to cover all parts of the fillet. Shake off excess flour.
  2. Place butter in pan over medium-high heat.
  3. When butter is melted, place fillet in.
  4. Cook for about 4 minutes each side, until brown and cooked through.
  5. Remove from pan and set aside.
  6. Place shallots and garlic and pine nuts in remaining butter and brown. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. As it's about to brown, add white wine and pesto sauce, until cooked down.
  8. Add cooked pasta, toss, plate, and serve with tilapia.
Overall, I think it turned out very well. I am trying to cook more with butter and wine - who do I think I am, French? - and so this experiment in trying to use ingredients from my freezer and using leftover wine and pesto in my fridge worked out. I forgot that I had pecorino romano cheese in my fridge from my risotto until after I finished my meal, but that would have been a great addition as well.

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