pan-fried fish fillets with mediterranean tomato sauce

I’ve been cooking a lot with tomatoes lately!  Tomatoes are so versatile raw or cooked, so naturally, I had to try this new fish recipe. According to myrecipes.com, this recipe, if made with 6 ounce yellowtail snapper fillets with the skin on, amounts to 282 calories per serving. I used tilapia because it was available (and cheaper) but I think any white fish will do. The sauce has a nice light taste; not overpoweringly tomato-y. In fact,  all the flavors of the herbs come through, so be sure to use fresh as directed in the recipe.

Pan-Fried Fish with Mediterranean Tomato Sauce (adapted from myrecipes.com)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons butter
2 cups chopped seeded plum tomato
1 1/2 tablespoons capers
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (flat-leaf parsley in original recipe)
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 pounds tilapia fillets (approximately 2 large fillets)

1. In a medium skillet heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add tomato to the pan and cook 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the capers, Dijon mustard, and minced garlic. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in parsley, chives, and tarragon. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste. Cover the skillet to keep warm.

2. In a large nonstick skillet heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with about 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper per side. Add fish to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until browned. Turn the fish over; cook 3 minutes or until the fish turns white and flakes easily with a fork. Serve fish with the warmed sauce.

Chinese New Year Feast

Chinese New Year’s Eve is traditionally the night in our family when we would get together to eat poh pia, a kind of Chinese taco, to welcome this Year of the Rabbit. But this Chinese New Year, the family is scattered all over,  in Bangkok, Chicago, and New York. Here in New York, AJ and I had a low-key celebration:

  • Ginger-Dijon Glazed Pork Tenderloin
  • Surprise South Beach Mashed Potato (Not! It’s cauliflower.)
  • Chocolate Mousse

You should know that I begin cooking with dessert! That’s because it needs to be chilled. AJ liked this so much he said it reminds him of a Wendy’s frosty. I’m glad because I altered this recipe. This recipe is based on the Cocoa-Nut Mousse recipe in South Beach Diet Supercharged but I left out the coconut. I’m not a fan of desiccated coconut. 

Chocolate Mousse

To make this re-named Chocolate Mousse, you will need

4 cups part skim ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar substitute
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup light or fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
4 tablespoons slivered or sliced almonds, toasted, for the topping (optional)

Put the ricotta cheese in a large bowl and whip until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the cocoa, sugar, and extracts. Combine until just blended. Fold in the thawed whipped topping. Chill at least 2 hours. If desired, serve with toasted almonds sprinkled on top.

Now the main course: Ginger-Dijon Glazed Pork Tenderloin (adapted from South Beach Diet Supercharged). I made alterations to the recipe because I like spices and I like garlic. You can never have too much garlic.

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon reduced fat sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh ginger (increase from 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon dried thyme (increase from 1/4 teaspoon)
salt
1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat and silver
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and slivered (increase from 1 garlic clove)
1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Prepare to bake. Preheat oven 450˚F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.

Make the Ginger-Dijon Glaze. In a small bowl, combine the mustard, sour cream, ginger, thyme, and salt. Set aside.

Prepare the pork tenderloin. Make 1/4 inch slits in the tenderloin about 1 inch apart and insert a sliver of garlic in each slit. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.

Sear and bake the tenderloin. Heat a grill  and sear the tenderloin until it is brown on all sides. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Spoon the reserved glaze all over the meat. Put the pan to bake on the middle rack about 30 minutes.

Serve. Remove the tenderloin and pan from the oven. Tent with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with horseradish sauce, mashed cauliflower, and a simple salad. The pork is so juicy and tender. Mmm–mm!

South Beach Surprise Mashed “Potato”

1 head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
Two tablespoons I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (I used real unsalted butter)
Two tablespoons non fat milk
Salt and pepper

Put a pot of water on to boil. Boil the cauliflower 6-8 minutes or until tender. Drain. In a food processor, process cauliflower and garlic until fine. Add milk and butter. You may need to add more or less depending on your preference. Add salt and pepper to taste.