Tag Archives: Seafood

Becca Does Tilapia: Part Deux

As I mentioned before, sometimes being a single lady means eating the same meal over and over and over again until all of the ingredients are gone. So if you have a couple leftover tilapia filets in your freezer, as Becca and I did, you make it work. And if it is warm enough to eat outside, you grill.

On the menu:
Grilled tilapia with pico de gallo
Roasted broccoli with lemon
Corn chips! (optional… obviously)
Serves 2

Tilapia
2 tilapia filets*
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Brush filets with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on a gas grill (or a grill pan if weather, sadly, does not permit) over medium heat for 6 minutes on each side. If your filets are thicker than 1/2 an inch, you may need an extra 2 minutes on each side.

*You can substitute any mild white fish for tilapia here

Pico de gallo (this recipe will leave you with extra, perfect for eggs the next morning or as an accompaniment to late night chip-dipping… ain’t no shame)
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/4 small white onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (more or less depending on taste)
1-2 jalepenos, chopped (more or less depending on taste)
2 Tbsp lime juice, or the juice from half a lime
salt to taste

Mix together all ingredients. Let sit for at least 2 hours before serving. Plate tilapia filets and spoon pico de gallo over the top.

NOTE: Can we talk about how healthy this meal is for a second? There isn’t a drop of heavy cream OR butter in it, and only 2 tiny little tablespoons of oil. Don’t worry. I ate a Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie for dessert to negate all the vitamins and nutrients I obtained during the main course. Nutritional balance is the priority of my life.

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Crispy, Crusty, Cheesy Goodness

Today was gross for three reasons: it was Monday, I have a cold, and it was raining. Today was great for three reasons: I won’t see Monday’s ugly face again for 6 whole days, I heard that this weekend it’s supposed to hit 80 degrees, and one of my very best friends who lives in my backyard cooked me dinner. Even Steven.

On the menu:
“Becca Does Tilapia” with parmesan crust and basil tomato cream sauce
Asparagus with rosemary sea salt

Tilapia
Serves 2

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup basil [1/4 cup roughly chopped, 1/4 cup chiffonade]
2 tilapia fillets
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon Japanese spice blend [you can buy this blend of Japanese spices in most grocery stores with an international section, but if you don’t have it, you can substitute a pinch of red pepper flakes, garlic salt, or paprika]

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Turn down heat to medium/low and add cherry tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes. Add cream. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Sauce will turn slightly pink and coat the back of the spoon. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet large enough to fit both fillets. Pat dry the tilapia fillets. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Combine parmesan, panko and Japanese spice. Dredge the seasoned tilapia fillets in the seasoned flour. Shake off excess. Dip in egg. Press into Parmesan/panko mixture. Place in heated skillet and cook 3-4 minutes per side. Fish will be golden brown when it’s done. Plate the fish and pour sauce over the top.

Asparagus with rosemary sea salt
Serves 2

10 asparagus stalks
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp rosemary sea salt [this can be found at any gourmet grocery, on Amazon.com, or you can substitute basic sea salt in a pinch]

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place asparagus on a cookie sheet and brush with olive oil until the stalks are coated. Sprinkle sea salt generously over stalks. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, until tender on the inside and slightly crisp on the outside.

NOTE: This dish is not my standard fare. Fish = good for you. Asparagus = good for you. Basil, tomatoes, a little olive oil = good for you. I had to remind myself of the health factor while eating this meal because the fish was flaky, the crust was crispy, and it tastes like a million calories. I’m telling you, kids… it’s not. Enjoy.

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Food Cart Friday!

In my opinion, and from what I’ve read online and in newspapers, New York is behind in the food cart trend. Sure, we have lots of halal food, cupcakes, falafel, and chicken and rice, but where is our creme brulee cart? Our bacon dog cart? Our gumbo cart? All in due time, I’m sure. For now, I’ve done a little research into the tastiest midtown food cart options in Manhattan. And no better day than Friday to treat myself to a little fried fish and some cookies.

Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart: 46th Street between 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue (closer to 6th Ave, south side of the street) I decided to try Kim’s Aunt because most websites claimed that the fish was fresh and made to order, quelling two of my food cart fears. Who wants to eat food that’s been sitting in a grease pit for hours? Not this girl.

On the menu:
Flounder sandwich (fried flounder pieces, tomato, lettuce and white sauce on standard white bread)

Verdict: YUM. Oh, beautiful fried fruit of the sea. While the bread got soggy in the ten minute walk from the cart to my warm little office, I barely even noticed. The coating on the huge chunks of fish was crispy, the flounder inside was flaky and tender, and the veggies were crisp and fresh. You can’t get much in midtown Manhattan for $4.50 but this sandwich will fill you up and keep you full straight through the 3:00 office slump. Props to you, Kim’s Aunt, whoever you are.

Treats Truck: in some sort of sneaky PR move, or perhaps just to keep the population of midtown from gaining a collective five pounds, the Treats Truck moves! Their schedule can be found on their website, but for the past few Fridays they’ve been stationed on 45th Street and 6th Avenue from 12:30 – 3. Uh… or so I hear.

On the menu:
Double chocolate sandwich cookie with mint chocolate filling
Chocolate chip cookie
Vanilla sandwich cookie with vanilla filling
Double chocolate sandwich cookie with chocolate fudge filling
Double chocolate sandwich cookie with peanut butter filling
NOTE: I did not eat all of these cookies in one sitting, nor did I buy them all on one day. And this was strictly for research purposes. It’s a tough job reviewing cookies. Honest.

Verdict: Why hello there, brand new love of my life. This is my kind of cookie. The chocolate sandwich cookies had the PERFECT consistency: crisp on the edges, chewy in the middle. The vanilla sandwich cookie had a crispy texture all the way through, which is not MY favorite, but I’m sure some would disagree with me. And the chocolate chip was standard fare but delicious none the less. As you can probably tell… I recommend the chocolate sandwich cookies. And anything with frosting is alright with me.

If you have a New York food cart recommendation, lay it on me! Is there a creme brulee cart that I’m missing? Maybe it’s best if I don’t know about that one.

*top picture c/o Serious Eats

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“Impress a Date” Fish

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If your man likes fish, make this. Now.

Or if you’re single and hungry… make this. Now. It’s delicious and simple in either scenario, and even if you’re not entertaining a man friend, this is a crowd pleaser. It’s not incredibly difficult and I guarantee you have at least half the ingredients in your refrigerator right now.

On the menu: Filet de Truite Saute a la Grenobloise
(Fancy French for: Sauteed Trout, Grenoble Style)
(Serves 2)

1 trout, deboned (ask your local fish monger to debone them for you, pin bones included)
2 slices white bread, crusts cut off and cubed into 1/4 inch squared cubes
2 Tbsp butter, for cooking croutons
1 lemon
2 Tbsp capers
1/4 cup flour
6 Tbsp butter, for sauce

Cook the white bread over medium heat in butter until browned (constantly shake the pan so they brown on all sides and don’t burn). Set aside until needed. Peel the lemons (see note!), cut into supremes (see other note!) and set aside until needed.

Lightly season the trout fillets (each half of the fish is 2 fillets, 2 fillets feeds one person) and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Melt 2 Tbsp butter in a non-stick pan. Once butter is melted, place fillets scale-side-down in pan and turn heat up to high. Once fish is almost cooked through (about 5 minutes), flip and cook for another 3 minutes on the other side. Set fish aside on a clean, hot plate.

Wipe the pan with a paper towel and add remaining 4 Tbsp of butter. Cook butter over medium heat, constantly shaking pan so the butter browns and doesn’t burn. In rapid succession, add capers, lemon supremes, and at the last second, add croutons, toss, and spoon immediately over the fish.

Notes:

*Lemon supremes:

Peeling the lemon: Cut off the ends of one lemon. Using a sharp knife, slice away the skin of the lemon, white pith included.

Creating the lemon supremes: Holding the lemon in the palm of your left hand, use the sharp knife to cut in between the membrane and the flesh of the lemon. Pull back the membrane with your thumb and slice between the other side of the flesh and membrane. A lovely little slice of lemon will fall out. Repeat, folding the membranes back as you go, like the pages of a book. The end result is a bowl of tiny lemon slices without the chewy membrane. These are called supremes. If this description was totally confusing to you, then squeeze a lemon over the fish when you’re done. It’s not the same flavor, but it’ll do.

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Dolla Dolla Bill, Y’all

New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world. And my paycheck is sickeningly small. But every once in awhile, God smiles down upon me and offers up His greatest bounty (food, that is) for just a buck. There is dollar pizza on St. Mark’s Place. Dollar drafts on Mondays at Third and Long. And while you may end up splurging on everything from bacon wrapped dates to crispy calamari while you’re there, there are dollar oysters at Lure.

On the Menu:
Raw oysters
Raw clams
Lobster croutons
Crab cakes

Look at those beauties. Hello, little friends.

Verdict: If you are hell bent on making it a cheap night, then pay attention: this place is great for the raw oysters and clams and the house wine (which will set you back $6 a glass). If you venture outside of this bar menu, you’re looking at a hefty bill. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the slurpy little creatures on the half shell. And for a buck a piece, you can’t go wrong.

For a comprehensive look at dollar oysters in the city, check out My Salty Sweet.

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We Need a Holiday

Dear New York Magazine,
Thanks for telling me The Mermaid Oyster Bar was open for lunch when it’s not. I had my little heart set on a lobster roll. Seeing the stools still perched on top of the tables at 2PM yesterday was not fun. Not. Fun. But I ate at Jane instead and I got the Big Pot of Mussels and all was right with the world. You are forgiven. This time…
Love always,
Lauren E.

On the Menu:
Big Pot of Mussels with rosemary fries
Steak salad
Pumpkin ravioli with a side of green beans with almonds

Sometimes I’m embarrassed when I get a huge steaming plate (i.e. sizzling fajitas) but there is nothing embarrassing about beautiful mussels. Pretty sure I was the envy of everyone in the place.

Hello lovelies…

This ravioli was delicious. The filling wasn’t sweet at all, but almost a little nutty with a brown butter sauce that was perfectly sweet but not overbearing. Dear Kerri has a serious hatred for anything cheesy and buttery (yeah… I don’t really get it either) but she loved this dish. Good, simple food. I will take it.

A “salad” topped with fried potatoes and goat cheese? I will take that, as well.

Verdict: While I am still jonesing for a lobster roll and oysters from The Mermaid Oyster Bar, Jane did not disappoint for a President’s Day brunch. I left fat and happy. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.

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