How to Make A Dull Fish Less So

It's so golden! It makes me think of that Brady Bunch song, "Sunshiny Day." You're welcome.

Admit it–tilapia is kind of a boring fish, taste-wise. Maybe in reality, too–maybe it just swims around paging through USA Today and talking about the humidity. Nevertheless, I like tilapia. It’s affordable, it’s sustainable, it’s mild and easy to cook. It’s just that it needs jazzing up.

I have a great recipe for coating the dull little suckers in mayonnaise and cheese (which can make horrid food tolerable and good food delectable, in my book) but when you’re in the mood for something lighter, why not try pan-searing them and topping them with a fresh, delicious, bright orange-parsley salsa?

Pan-Fried Tilapia with Orange-Parsley Salsa

For Tilapia:

You will need one tilapia filet per person, unless you are my four-year-old, in which case you’ll need two per person. We usually buy the kind that are individually wrapped, which is convenient–albeit hell on the planet. Dry the fish filets with paper towels, then dredge them in flour that you’ve seasoned with salt, pepper, maybe a little garlic powder, maybe a smidgen of cayenne if you like that sort of thing. Pan-fry in a few tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil, until the fish is golden brown and flakes when you nudge it with a forkā€”just a few minutes per side.

For Salsa:

1 orange, supremed (ain’t we classy?)
1 very small red onion, chopped roughly
1 handful parsley, chopped roughly
1 tsp. Olive oil
generous salt and freshly-ground pepper

Mix! Yes, it’s that easy. Oh, and spoon over tilapia when it’s done.

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It’s Hotter Than…

It's meeellllting...

I’ll let you fill in your own metaphor. It’s too hot for me to think of anything clever.

Regardless, it is too darn hot here on the East Coast. Between our window-unit ACs, the kiddie pool in the backyard, and this ice cream, however, we get by with a minimal of heat-induced crabbiness.

This hardly qualifies as ice cream. For one thing, it’s vegan. For another, it requires no ice cream machine. Lastly, it’s the kind of thing that you can pull together after a backyard BBQ in no time flat–that is, if the kids are still in the backyard playing, and not, say, standing right behind you in the kitchen squealing, “Ice cream? you’re making ice cream? Is it ready yet? What kind of ice cream? Where’s the ice cream? Is the ice cream ready yet?”

Pestering tends to impede my progress.

I make this in my Vitamix, which is a super-expensive high-powered industrial mofo of a blender. This thing grinds grains, chops cheese, makes ice cream and hot soup, and makes the smoothest sauces this side of a chinois. Remember your grandma’s blender, with the quaint old settings like “puree” and “liquify” and “davenport”? My Vitamix could kick that blender’s ass. My Vitamix can take solids to liquid to gas and back again.

You should get one, really. It will change your life. It’s changed mine. For example, I never used to be so hostile and aggressive towards my grandma’s blender.

Anyhoo, if you have a high-powered badass blender like me (I imagine a BlendTec will work — if that thing can blend an iPad, I’m sure it can handle some frozen fruit), here is what you do:

Dump in some sliced frozen bananas.
Dump in some sliced frozen other fruit (strawberries, raspberries, peaches, blueberries, whatever is in season).
Add a splash of soy milk.
Blend, eat, enjoy.

That is it! If you like things very sweet, you may add some honey or stevia. Any leftovers can be frozen, although you’ll need to let it thaw a bit, and maybe give it a good stir.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a sad little Oster in an attic somewhere to which I owe an apology.

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