Hooray to Fridays. I love Fridays. Hubby taught me to love Fridays. As a girl, Fridays were not loved. Fridays meant fish sticks in the winter, egg salad in the summer. And cat fish when Dad and I went fishing. That’s it.
When Hubby and I met, salads or shell fish were my Friday thing. Mostly salads, since shell fish could be a bit pricy. Hubby is a fish eater in this union. He loves fish. You can grill it, bake it, bread it or deep fry it. Spice it up, leave it plain (with a good tartar sauce, of course), Hubby loves fish. And he’s taught me to love fish, too. I especially like a fish that has been baked or grilled without a lot of breading. Sometimes the breading just gets too heavy, and soaks in far too much oil. But a fish that has been seasoned just right – now we’re talking.
Did you know that Tilapia is the forth most consumed fish in America? Top on the list is tuna, then salmon and cod. In ancient Egypt, tilapia was a symbol of rebirth in Egyptian art. Tilapia was also said to accompany and protect the sun god on his daily journey across the sky. Saint Peter was a fisherman. And he probably fished for Tilapia. So its fitting to dine on Tilapia on Fridays. Besides, as fish go, it’s relatively inexpensive. With the rising cost of food these days, it’s nice to have something that is both tasty and cheap.
Chili-Blackened Tilapia with Asparagus
1 bunch Asparagus
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
Salt to taste
1 lb Tilapia
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 tablespoons Butter, divided
3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
Black Pepper to taste
Trim tough ends from asparagus. Cut spears into 1-inch pieces, set aside.
Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put asparagus in a steamer basket, place in the pan, cover and steam until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, spreading out to cool.
On a small plate, combine chili powder, garlic powder and salt to taste. Sprinkle seasoning over the filets, gently rub into the fish. Turn over, sprinkle other side, rub in and set fish aside.
In a skillet warm oil with 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook until just opaque in the center, gently turning halfway, about 7 minutes total. Place fish on a serving platter, keep warm.
To the empty skillet immediately add lemon juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and asparagus pieces. Sauté, stirring constantly, until the asparagus is coated and heated through, about 2 minutes. Season asparagus with salt and pepper to taste.
Divide asparagus among 4 dinner plates. Place fish next to the asparagus. Cut lemon into wedges for garnish and serve.
Jasmine Vegetable Rice Pilaf is the perfect accompaniment for this beautiful supper. Enjoy!