Follow me as I dive into the world that is cooking! There will be mishaps, burns and feasts as you watch my progression from college-student fare (pizza rolls and ramen noodles) to (hopefully) goddess of the hearth! I am always open to new recipes and ideas, so feel free to contact me.

April 12, 2013

Pan-Seared Tilapia with Pine Nut and Golden Raisin Couscous

I thought since my last post was sweet (oh, how sweet!), this one should be mean savory.  In case you didn't know, I'm part Cajun, and I do love seafood: favorite meal = fried catfish and mac n' cheese (I'll get to that one day!).  I wasn't planning on making this a post, as it was my first time making the couscous, but it was so tasty I thought you should know about it as soon as possible...

I've done tilapia with quinoa before, and this meal is similar but the couscous offers a different contrast to the meal and is also dairy-free.  All of it was so easy to put together that I made it in under 30 minutes!  There is very little prep involved and it doesn't take much skill but comes out beautifully (my kinda meal!).  You could  also pair this couscous with pork tenderloin or baked chicken.

I prepared the couscous before starting the fish, since fish fillets cook quickly, then let it sit warm in the saucepan while the fish fried.  I haven't done it, but I think if you were having trouble finding golden raisins (I actually found this recipe in an effort to use some up) that you could substitute dried cranberries for them.  I'd do unsweetened though if you can.

Couscous with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins

Recipe adapted from Jaime Deen of Food Network

Makes: 4 Servings     Takes:  15 mins total

You Need:
  • 4 Tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 C water
  • 1 C plain, uncooked couscous
  • 3 Tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • Sea salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/3 C golden raisins
  • 1/3 C toasted pine nuts
1.  In a medium saucepan, bring water and 2 Tbsp olive oil to a boil.  Now is a good time to toast those pine nuts (I do this in a toaster oven or in a pie/cake pan at 300 in my oven for 4 minutes).  Add couscous, remove from heat and cover.  Let stand 3 minutes.  Fluff with fork.
2.  Stir together remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice.  Pour over couscous then season with plenty of salt and some pepper.  Stir in parsley, raisins and pine nuts. Cover to keep warm if serving with fish.

Pan-Seared Tilapia

Makes: 4 Servings     Takes:  10 minutes
You Need:
  • 4 skinless tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • vegetable/canola oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • sea salt and coarse ground pepper to taste
  • 1 - 2 tsp paprika
  • lemon for garnish
1.  In a large skillet, heat enough oil to cover 1/4 inch of the pan over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, mix together flour, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Dredge fish in flour mix to coat, then go straight to pan and cook two or more at a time in hot oil.  (To test the oil's readiness, sprinkle a bit of the flour mix in the oil.  If it bubbles right away, the oil is ready.)
2.  Cook fish about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness of filet.  Gently turn with two forks or soft tongs once fish is golden on the underside, being careful not to break the filet.  Cook another 2 to 4 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork and is golden on the outside.  Carefully remove from pan and place on a paper towel on top of a dish to absorb extra grease.  Garnish with lemons and serve atop couscous if making.  


    Simple but delicious I bet.
    "fried catfish and mac n' cheese", together in one recipe???
    Now that I'd like to see!!!

    1. I'll hopefully get around to my favorite mac n' cheese recipe soon, and I tend to smother it in ketchup (cringe if you must) and throw some fried catfish on top.
      You have me motivated to cook and post it!