I’ve been thinking a lot about what success means to me as a blogger. If I never make a dime from my blog, am I successful? This is when my brain chimes in and says of course you are. Because teaching others how to cook healthy meals at home is my passion. It’s about great, seasonal ingredients, teaching someone a new technique, and bringing joy into the kitchen. Every dinner for me is a little labor of love. Learning something new can be daunting for those new to the kitchen, so I try to ease into things. Maybe there’s just one little difficult and new twist on a recipe that will teach you something. That’s enough for me!
I almost never cook fish at home. We had a couple of bad incidents with making fish tacos. Our house smelled HORRIBLE for weeks. It made me rethink my pan frying fish idea. I decided to try a new technique–braising. There would be no splattering fishy oils from pan frying and it would be perfectly steamed in a delicate seasonal white wine sauce with herb pesto and baby fingerling potatoes. It’s the perfect quick but delicious dinner for a night in. Skip the expensive restaurants, because this dinner costs about 15 dollars to make for two people. You can even add two more tilapia filets if you have more than two people. There’s plenty of butter sauce to go around.
Let’s get started on this recipe! First, you’ll remove your fish from the packaging, dry them with a paper towel and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Then you’ll roast your potatoes. Just throw them on a sheet pan with olive oil and some salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes.
Make your herb pistou (French Pesto) by adding your mint, arugula, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to the food processor. Pulse it until pureed and brush it onto both sides of the fish.
Braising is simple! It implies that the meat is simmered with the lid on in a sauce. It’s perfect for fish. Start making your sauce by sauteeing your minced shallot and garlic in butter. Then add the white wine and let it cook down by half. Once it’s reduced, add your broth and lemon juice letting it simmer down for a minute or two. Check the sauce for flavor and add a little salt and pepper if it needs it.
Add your fish filets and cover, letting them cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and turn them, cooking for three more minutes. I don’t know if that’s completely necessary, but I’m very cautious to fully cook fish, so a little heat on both sides never hurt em. Add the roasted potatoes and let them soak up the sauce, adding some more if you like. Go ahead and plate the fish with the potatoes and drizzle on some extra pan sauce. I added some parsley for garnish.
It’s such a beautiful restaurant quality meal that you can make at home and impress your friends with! Plus most of the ingredients are seasonal. Save your leftover herb sauce and add it to a pizza later! There’s so much you can do with it.
Hope you enjoy this simple 30 minute dinner! See the full recipe below.
- 2 tilapia filets
- ½ lb fingerling potatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 c arugula
- 1 tbsp mint chopped
- 1 c basil
- ⅓ c olive oil plus some for drizzling
- a pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 lemon
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Pat the tilapia filets dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Wash your fingerling potatoes and dry them. Spread them out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake 20 minutes or until a fork pierces them easily.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, add the juice of half the lemon, arugula, mint, basil, one garlic clove olive oil and a pinch of salt. Pulse until pureed. Brush both sides of the fish with the herb sauce. Set the remainder aside for serving.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute until softened. Add the white wine and let it reduce by half. Add the broth and lemon and cook 2 minutes or until slightly reduced. Add both filets to the pan. Cover and let it simmer at medium heat for 3 minutes. Uncover and turn the fish over and cover again. Cook 3 more minutes. Add the potatoes and toss in the sauce. Serve the fish immediately with extra herb sauce for serving.