Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vegetable & Hatch Chili Frittata, Lemon Tilapia Almondine served on a bed of wilted spinach

bag of freshly roasted mild Hatch chilis-yum!
It started with a quick coffee bean run into the local grocer (HEB).  As I approached the door I smelled the heavenly aroma of roasting chili peppers.  To me, this is one of the most wonderful smells on earth.  
Of course I had to buy some!  
Once home, I skinned and seeded several peppers (with plastic gloves on!) and chopped them.
I sauteed a combo of 2 types of squash, chopped garlic, & mushrooms and let them cool.  In the meantime, I mixed 4 eggs with a small amount of half&half, and folded the chilis into the eggs.  Once the veggies were cooled to just slightly warm, I mixed them into the eggs, and added about a half cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  

chilies folded into egg mixture

veggies folded into the mixture

cheese added, reserving a bit for the top of the dish

bake at 350 for 25 minutes, finish by broiling for approximately 5 minutes to slightly brown the cheese.

Lemon Tilapia Almondine served on a bed of wilted spinach:
4 tilapia filets
one lemon, zest removed and chopped slightly, several thin cross-slices set aside
4-6 cups of baby spinach leaves, washed thoroughly and stemmed
small amount olive or grapeseed oil
1 pat butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds, pan toasted to bring out the flavor, cooled

Place spinach in a nonstick pan with a bit of water.
Cook until it "wilts".  Remove to a strainer and allow moisture to drain.
Place in a bowl in a warm oven until ready to serve.
zest the lemon

chop the zest.  Slice cross-sections of the lemon so there are at least 4-6 very thin slices.

After spinach has been wilted, return pan to the stove on a medium temperature setting.  Allow pan to warm, then add about 1-2 Tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil.  Add one pat butter for flavor.  As the butter melts, add the lemon zest.  

Once the zest warms and begins to sautee, place the fish filets in the pan.  Season by squeezing a small amount of lemon juice from the unsliced lemon, salt and pepper the filets, then place a lemon slice on each filet. 

 Allow to sautee for several minutes until the underside of the filets begins to turn opaque.  
Carefully turn the filets by using two spatulas:  one slid under the filet, the other over the top to hold the lemon slice in place and to prevent the filet from falling apart.  Carefully turn.  Once turned, season the other side of the fish with a bit of salt and pepper, and another lemon slice if you have enough. 

 Cook for several minutes until the underside appears opaque.  Now, gently turn the filet again using the same technique.  Lower heat.  
Bring plates to the stove-area.  Bring spinach out of the warmer.  Use tongs to arrange equal portions of the spinach on each plate.  

Now, gently transfer a fish filet, with the lemon slices, onto the bed of spinach.  

Garnish with a scattering of the sliced almonds.  Serve immediately. 
Note:  this dish would be excellent if a splash of a nice crisp white wine were added to the butter and lemon zest just prior to adding the fish filets!  Also:  any mild, flaky fish will work very well in this dish.
I eat a lot of tilapia because I know a local purveyor who raises the fish. 

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