June 20, 2011

...And sometimes I cook

"You know, sometimes bakers have to cook. And when that day comes, they should pray something doesn't go wrong."  -Laura (Food Blogger)

But nothing went wrong here! Tricked ya there, didn't I? I made up that quote by the way...that's me, Laura. Yep! Anyway, moving on...before school ended, I had a final Spanish project that involved cooking Latin food! I mean, how fun is that? And, I learned two new recipes that I will certainly make again in the future. One dish was Lemon Garlic Tilapia, and the other was an Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa. Both were very very tasty, and they would be great summer dishes!

 Let's start with the Salsa. This recipe can be found at allrecipes.com entitled "Avocado, Tomato and Mango Salsa," or you can follow this link to find it. The ingredients are very basic and easy to find (not to mention pretty cheap)! You start by peeling/pitting/seeding (if needed) and chopping up the mango, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic. Then you stir in the salt, lime juice, red onion, and olive oil.  After that, the recipe advises to refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes before serving. This is to blend the flavors together.

The colors look SO great together, and it tastes even better! I did take some advice that critics gave the recipe on the website. They said the juices all went to the bottom of the bowl and it became very watery. So, I drained some of the juice out of the tomatoes before adding them in. This seemed to do the trick! There was  also a tip that you could just buy diced tomatoes in a can and drain them instead of chopping up your own tomatoes. But I enjoyed the fresh taste of the ones I used.

Adding the red onion (1/4 c.)

3 Tbs Olive Oil

1 tsp. Salt (ACTION SHOT! Look at that salt go!)

And now the Tilapia "al Ajillo". Again, it's a very simple recipe. (And I'm glad I didn't mess it up!) It's basically tilapia fillets, some garlic, olive oil, salt/pepper, and chopped parsley and lemon for serving.

The recipe calls for 1 1/2 lbs tilapia fillets. All we had was 2 fillets, so I used those. First you season the fillets with salt and pepper, then heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Put the fillets in, and after 1-2 minutes, add garlic slices. It doesn't take too long to cook the fillets. Mine took about 4-8 minutes. And you want the garlic to get a dark golden brown color, but not burned.

When the fish is done, test it by flaking it with a fork. If it flakes easily, then it's ready to serve! I served mine two different ways. One fillet I did the traditional way--or the way in the recipe--by sprinkling some of the cooked garlic over the fish, adding some parsley, and lemon juice on top.

For the other one, however, I used some of the amazingly-delicious salsa I had just made, and added it on top. In fact, the recipe mentions that it is also commonly served this way too, with salsa on top. My family enjoyed both versions!

My mom whipped up some steamed corn and Mexican rice, and it was a Latin meal to remember! The tilapia was so tasty with the fresh lemon juice and the garlic slices weren't too overpowering like I thought they would be. It actually added a lot to the recipe! You can find the recipe at Food.com, entitled "Tilapia al Ajillo (garlic tilapia)" or follow this link. The fish dish itself has only 260 calories per serving, but it's very filling! I would recommend this recipe to anyone who wants a quick dinner that's easy to make, and doesn't require much effort or ingredients. We always have steamed veggies on hand, and little side dishes that are easy to heat up, so it's a great meal to serve to the whole family!

¡Buen Provecho! (Bon Appetit!)

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