Disclaimer: The picture really does not do this dish any justice.
Green tilapia is one of my favorite dinner recipes to make, for a number of reasons. Not only does it take about 10 minutes to prepare, but it bakes in the oven (which warms my apartment) leaving me to get other things done, leaves virtually zero mess, AND it's healthy. Sometimes I wonder why I don't make this more often.
You will need (for 2 Servings):
- 1 lb of Tilapia (or any other whitefish. Catfish works really well, too, but I like Tilapia because it's sustainable and very low in Mercury)
- 1 bunch of cilantro sans stems
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- Juice of 1 lemon
- a generous dash of turmeric powder, ginger powder, and cumin
- 2 jalapenos, de-seeded and de-veined for very little heat, include seeds for more heat
- a generous pour of olive oil
- salt, to taste
Throw these ingredients into a food processor or blender, and blend until the jalapeno chunks look minced and there are no huge cilantro leaves. Add some more olive oil, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the mix needs more liquid. It should resemble an herby green chunky paste. Taste it. Salt it more if you need to. Taste it again. Adjust.
Now here is the key part. Wash and pat the tilapia dry and place on a large piece of aluminum foil (inside a pan, of course). Pour the green mix over the fish, coating completely. Create a cozy little pouch for the fish, sealing the edges well, for little or no cleanup. Throw the pan inside a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees. Set the timer for 40 minutes.
Now, usually, I serve this on top of rice, so this would be the time to make it, but last night I chose to experiment with baking the rice, just because I was that lazy. (How convenient that the fish and rice both cook at the same temperature?) I threw the rice in the oven to start at first, and then finished making the fish pouch. Then I popped that into the oven, forced myself to go to a spinning class, and came back to a warm and delicious meal*.
*Note, I do not recommend leaving the oven unattended for 45 minutes, but I like to live life on the edge, what can I say?