Saturday, June 25, 2011

I need to remember a camera

One thing that has stopped me from doing this in the past is taking pictures while I'm cooking. I guess I get too caught up in cooking that I forget to have a camera ready, let alone remember to charge it. Batteries now charging...

I was lucky to receive a shipment of artichokes from my mom yesterday, and I mean a shipment. I think there are about 10 in all. Living in Tennessee it is difficult to find beautiful and affordable artichokes, so when my mom finds them on sale she sends me a food care package. So with my boyfriend out of town I decided to rent a couple movies and cook up some of the beautiful 'chokes.

My mom taught me to boil them in water with olive oil, lemons, basil, garlic, rosemary, oregano, and salt. It adds a lot of great flavor to the artichokes themselves. She also taught me how to make the dipping sauce which is a combination of the same ingredients, only no water and lots of butter. These artichokes are so flavorful though that they don't even need the sauce. I only ate two of them because I am saving the rest for one of my favorite artichoke treats. Grilled with chipotle mayonnaise, a take on one of my favorite appetizers from the Hitching Post (the restaurant in Sideways), which is one of my favorite restaurants from my home county.

But a woman cannot subsist on artichokes alone (or can she?) so in addition I made one of my favorite go-to dinners, Tilapia Piccata. This is perhaps one of the simplest, but intensely flavorful dishes. Since I am on a tight budget I usually have some frozen tilapia in the freezer- they come in handy after a busy day when you forgot to defrost something else because they can defrost super fast.

Ingredients: (Not exact, but pretty darn close, I'll get better at this)
For the fish:
2 tilapia filets
Enough milk to soak fish in, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Shallow bowl of flour with salt, pepper, cayenne to taste
Olive oil
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon
1/3 cup dry white wine
Capers (as many as you like)

1) Soak fish for about 10-20 minutes
2) Put flour in shallow bowl and add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
3) Remove tialpia from milk and season with salt and pepper, then coat in flour mixture
4) Heat olive oil in pan, enough to pan fry the fish, and add a little butter, about 1 tbsp
5) Add fish to hot oil and pan fry until golden and crispy on both sides then remove from pan and keep warm
6) In the same pan with all the yummy flavors add white wine and lemon juice to deglaze the pan, add capers and let sauce thicken, about 3-5 minutes
7) Pour sauce over fish and serve

This dish can be served with many sides, I usually like angel hair pasta and some pesto, but last night I served it over spinach.


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