Jalapeno Baked Fish
I grocery shop every weekend for the Omnivore even though I’m no longer living with him nor do I eat the food I buy. I enjoy grocery shopping and he’s pretty busy on the weekends so it isn’t a chore I mind. The worst part about the whole ordeal is unloading the groceries from my bags into the pantry and refrigerator. The Omnivore is excellent about always participating in that event, though.
This weekend he noticed that I had purchased some “salmon.” I say “salmon” because it was definitely tilapia and it isn’t difficult for most people to tell the difference between the two. He was very happy that I had “purchased some salmon for ‘myself’.” Yep…he was already declaring he would not be participating in that fishy dinner.
Other than grocery shopping, the only thing that can pretty much be guaranteed on a weekend at home with the Omnivore is a mega nap. I’m talking creases-in-your-cheek slumbering. (This is much to my mother’s horror. She is the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” type while I am the “if I don’t sleep, I’ll be dead” type). And after our nap the day I had this fish planned for dinner, we woke up ravenous.
“Let’s have an early dinner,” said the Omnivore. I was excited, of course, because he seemed to have changed his stance on eating the “salmon.” So when I got cooking, and when I only began cooking 1 meal, he got worried.
“What am I going to have?” he asked, with puppy dog eyes.
“If you were having dinner with Barack Obama and this fish was being served, would you eat it?” I asked.
“Then you’re having fish for dinner tonight.”
“But, honey, you’re not President Obama. You’re better than Obama.” Check out that sweet talking! We compromised. He promised to have a bite of the tilapia and then eat some leftover cabbage and lentils (poor guy) for his main course.
And we both thought it was great! Not too spicy but a little heat. And the ease of preparation of this meal makes it a home run. The potatoes are precooked in the microwave in the dish that you’ll be baking the fish in and the fact that your protein and starch (and veggie if you count the tomato topping) are taken care of in one dish is a win. From fridge to table in 19 minutes and flavor that feels like a dine-out meal, this is a recipe to repeat for sure.
Jalapeno Baked Fish (Rick Bayless, seen on The Way the Cookie Crumbles)
4 medium (1 pound total) red-skin boiling, sliced 1/4″ thick
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 large garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
⅓ cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
¼ cup sliced canned pickled jalapenos
2 5-ounce skinless fish fillets, preferably ¾ to 1 inch thick
Turn on the oven to 400 degrees. Layer the sliced potatoes into a microwaveable 8×8-inch baking dish. Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a couple of holes in the top. Microwave on high until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine the tomatoes with their juice, garlic, cilantro, andjalapenos. Pulse to a chunky puree.
Place the fish fillets in a single layer over the potatoes. Pour the tomato mixture evenly over the fish and potatoes.
Bake for 15 minutes. Scoop a portion of the fish-potato-sauce onto each dinner plate, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve right away.