Grilled Tilapia

Massive craving for fish yesterday after the back workout at the gym yesterday.  PaleoJoe had defrosted chicken, which sounded great at the time, but after 45 minutes of back and then 1 mile on the treadmill I wanted something else.  TILAPIA!

So after the gym we headed to MOM’s and picked up a whole tilapia.  Again, when choosing fish make sure that the eyes are bright, the body has no cuts or bruising and still looks pretty, and it doesn’t smell.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about then ask the fish guy/gal.  They will help you pick the right one.  Also, if they offer fish cleaning services where you get your seafood then definitely take the opportunity and have them do it.  For this fish, we had them gut it, scale it and lop off the fins.  POW!  Here’s the recipe for…

 

GRILLED TILAPIA

Ingredients:

1 whole tilapia (cleaned)

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1 lemon (sliced)

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Handful of fresh Basil (you can keep it whole or chop it up.  Entirely up to you.  I would also recommend fresh Rosemary or Thyme.)

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Directions:

1.  Preheat your grill to medium high heat.  Charcoal grill should be about the same.  You don’t want high heat.  You’ll burn the fish and that’s sad.

2.  Season the inside of your fish with salt and pepper.  Place a layer of basil down and then the lemon slices and then another layer of basil over that.  I just so happened to have some lemon slices leftover so I squeezed the juice over both sides of the fish.  Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper.

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3.  By now, your grill is preheated so take your fish on over and lay it on the grill.

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I know…  the picture is dark.  It’s a terrible picture, but you get it right?

4.  Put the cover down and LEAVE THE FISH ALONE!  You’re going to let it cook for 12-15 minutes.  When it’s time, FLIP!  Wait another 12-15 minutes and you’re done!

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We ate the fish with a side of fresh diced tomatoes (Lemon Boy and Early Girl) from the garden.  I put about 3 tablespoons of patis (fish sauce) and mixed it.  Sometimes I overestimate how much seasoning is on the fish and I’m left with an under seasoned fish.  Whoops!  Having the tomatoes with the patis helps.  Super tasty!  Prior to Paleo I would eat this with a side of rice, but ah well.  ENJOY!!

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Grilled Rock Cod and Roasted Vegetables

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Here’s lookin’ at you kid…

What started out as a quick run to the store for coconut water ended with a plethora of delicious fruit, a stock up of miscellaneous new organs to try, and a whole rock cod.  When I go to the grocery store, I usually have a list in mind.  I don’t grab a shopping cart because I know that if I do, I will add things to the cart that I didn’t necessarily need at the time, but what an awesome deal!  I didn’t mean to get all that stuff yesterday, but when I saw that there was jack fruit for sale I was a goner.  I’ll make a post on jack fruit tomorrow.  I plan on cutting it open tonight.

Anyhoo, in the back of the store is a fish department where they have all kinds of fresh wild caught or farm raised fish.  What I love about going to stores like the one from last night, is that they have no problem cleaning and/or cooking the fish for you while you go about your business and finish shopping.  I didn’t get the fish cooked at the store because they use some kind of vegetable or canola oil and that’s not very Paleo friendly.

When choosing fish you want to make sure that it’s as fresh as possible.  You can ask the guy behind the counter (if it’s not too busy) and they are more than willing to help you out.  If the guy/gal looks busy then try this:

1.  The eye of the fish needs to be clear.  The clearer the eye, the fresher the fish.  If it’s cloudy or dull, it’s still okay to eat, but again…  fresher is better.

2.  How does the fish look?  Is it shiny?  Does it look clean?  They say not to judge a book by its cover, but in this case pick the prettiest looking one.

3.  Smell.  Does it smell like fish?  It shouldn’t.  Freshwater fish shouldn’t smell at all and if you’re buying one that’s from the ocean then they should smell a little briny.  If it stinks, don’t buy it.  If you buy it anyway and you cook it, it’s still gonna be stinky, and now your home will smell even more.

If you’re unsure then ask the guy/gal behind the counter and they should help you out no problem.

The fish that I picked last night was a beast!  Frickin’ HUGE!!  I would say about 2 feet long and weighed in at about 4 pounds.  Thank goodness PaleoJoe likes fish, because I like fish too and I had lived with someone that didn’t like it and so I didn’t get to have many fish dishes.  I’m Asian…  I needs seafood!  We had the guy scale, clean, and butterfly it.  PaleoJoe’s Mom doesn’t like the smell of fish and so to keep her happy we grilled it outside on the gas grill.  You can cook it over coals or wood if you have that kind of grill.  As a side dish we went with a random mix of vegetables:  Asparagus (grilled), Onions, Zucchini and Yams (Roasted).  The recipe is as follows:

 

GRILLED ROCK COD WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

Ingredients:

1 whole rock cod About 4 pounds, gutted and scaled  **See note at bottom of page.

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1/4 to 1/2 cup of melted butter (we use raw unpasteurized butter)

1 small lemon (You’re going to squeeze the juice out.)

2 tblsp of minced garlic

1 tblsp of freshly minced basil

Mixed vegetables (You’re going to throw them in the oven to roast while you prep the marinade so pull what you like.)

2-3 tblsp of extra virgin olive oil/coconut oil/butter (entirely up to you what you want to use.  I used EVOO)

Salt and Pepper

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 F.

2.  Oil your baking sheet.

3.  Prep your veggies and arrange on baking sheet.  Season your veggies with salt and pepper.  As much or as little as you like.

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4.  Pop that tray in the oven and leave it in there to cook.  Should be about 20-30 minutes or until your veggies are at the desired tenderness.

5.  Preheat your grill to high.

6.  Unwrap your fish and if the wrapper is large enough to accommodate the fish then cool!  If not, place it on a baking sheet or some kind of tray.  Hopefully you got it butterflied.  You’re going to have it skin side up.

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7.  Grab a bowl and melt your butter.

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8.  Add garlic.

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9.  Add basil.

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10.  Add lemon juice. and mix!

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11.  Use a pastry brush to spread the butter all over the fish.  Make sure you save some for the other side.  You will spread it on while it’s on the grill.

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12.  Season your fish with salt and pepper.

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13.  Let your fish sit in the marinade for a bit.  While you’re waiting wash your asparagus, drizzle some olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

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14.  Throw those stalks on the grill for 3-5 minutes or until desired tenderness.

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15.  You may now proceed to cook your fish.

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16.  Place the fish on the grill skin side down.

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17.  Brush the marinade on the other side of the fish and then season it.

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18.  Leave it on to cook for 8-10 minutes.  Flip!

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I do not condone flipping the fish by hand because you might get burned, but since the Mr. did in this picture I have to type a warning/disclaimer.  Please use tongs or a spatula.

19.  Let the fish cook another 8-10 minutes on this side.  Please note that temperatures will vary.  Your fish is done cooking when the meat can be a easily flaked when pushed with a fork.  If it doesn’t do that then cook it longer.

 

 

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20.  By now, everything has finished cooking at the same time (well except for maybe the asparagus since it was cooked rather quickly on the grill).  Dig in and ENJOY!!

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**If you want to get a smaller fish you can.  It just won’t take as long to cook.  I would say 3-5 minutes.  Again, just prick it with a fork and if the meat is easily flaked then it’s done cooking.  If not, add more cook time.

Inspired by Purple Yams…

Prepping meals.  I’ve talked about it in a previous post and I like the fact that I don’t have to think about what I’m going to eat for breakfast or lunch the next day.  It has already been prepared for me.  I thought about it ahead of time and it’s sitting in the fridge just waiting for me to take it to work.  Breakfast and lunch are good to go!  But then dinner…  Most days I know exactly what I want to eat.  I’ve thought about the different proteins that are out there.  I think about what’s in the fridge.  I will either look up a recipe on-line or I will make one up in my head.  It’s easy.  I don’t have to worry about it.  I’m good to go.

That didn’t happen last night though.  I had no idea what I wanted to eat.  Nothing sounded good.  I knew I was hungry or at least on the verge of getting hungry because I had just finished a back and shoulders work out at the gym.  What to eat?  A friend of mine sent me a text of what she had made for dinner and the picture looked good at first glance, but I felt like I had to make something way more epic.  But what?  On the way back home, my boyfriend and I stopped at a store called Sprouts to pick up some milk.  I wandered the protein section, which had a very lousy selection, and wasn’t inspired with anything that was there.  They had Bison, Elk, and Wild Boar, but they were ground meat and I wasn’t feeling it.  We decided to go to Whole Foods to see what they had there, but first I did a little wandering in the produce section.  That’s where inspiration hit!  I found this:

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Purple Sweet Potato or Purple Yam or what I normally call it:   Ube.  I’ve had it before, but usually in Filipino desserts such as cake or ice cream.  I’ve also had it cut up like french fries and oven baked with a little coconut oil and salt, but when I saw these in the store I was inspired to puree them and serve them as a side to some kind of fish.  I got my google on earlier and found that there are two types of purple yam.  There’s the one pictured above which has the darker skin and isn’t readily available in the US except for maybe some Asian/Oriental markets.  This particular yam grows on a vine above ground.  The second one has a lighter skin and grows underground.  It’s similar to the lighter sweet potato, but when you cut it open you’ll see the vibrant purple.  Both are Paleo friendly, high in potassium, fiber, vitamin C, etc.  In short, they’re good for you.  Boil em’, Mash em’, put em in a stew.  😛

We made our purchases and then headed to Whole Foods for the rest of the ingredients.  When we get there I  couldn’t decide if I wanted to get the Halibut or the Chilean Sea Bass.  Both are delicious, both are easy to cook, and both have great flavor.  I ended up going with the Halibut because the guy at the counter said it was fresher by three days.  SOLD!

Get back home after one more stop and dinner prep is underway.  In the end, the halibut is in a marinade of EVOO, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic and then grilled for 5 minutes on each side.  The puree took a bit longer to make as I added a couple of things to it.  After all was said and done, dinner was AMAZING!  Recipes can be found HERE.

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It was also pretty late when we finished eating and so we promptly went to bed.  Comfy bed…  snuggling…  food coma initiated…  🙂