Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lemon Caper Tilapia

For many years, this was Cameron's birthday dinner. It is still a favorite of ours. I usually make it with tilapia, but it would also work well with flounder, sole, or any other mild, white fish. Serve with parsley red potatoes and a salad of mixed greens with tomatoes. This recipe serves 4, but can easily be doubled, just use 2 large pans to cook the fish in, or do in batches and keep the cooked fish warm in the oven (275-300 degrees) while other fish is cooking. If doing multiple batches, pour the sauce over all the fish just before serving.


3-4 whole tilapia pieces (about 2 pounds)
Freshly ground sea salt and pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp. Olive oil

Juice from 1 good size lemon
3 Tbsp. capers (the small nonpareil size)
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces


Juice the lemon into a small ramekin. Measure capers into the lemon juice, and set aside.
On piece of waxed paper, place fish. Salt and pepper both sides. In a large frying pan over med-high heat, heat olive oil until hot. Carefully add fish and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the edges start to look browned and crisp. Carefully turn the fish using 2 spatulas. Cook for another 3 minutes or so until the fish is done and flakes easily. Remove fish to serving platter. In pan with heat still on, add lemon juice and capers, scraping the pan to deglaze. Then add the butter, stirring and gently shaking the pan , cooking until mixture thickens a bit and makes a nice sauce. Pour sauce over the fish on the serving plate. Ready to serve, or if needed, can be kept warm in the oven for a few minutes. In general the sauce should be put on the fish right before serving.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pepper Steak


1 to 1-1/2 lb. sirloin strips, dried on paper towels
1/2 cup cornstarch for coating beef
1/2 cup peanut oil for frying beef
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
fresh ground sea salt and pepper, to taste

1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. Mirin (Japanese sweetened saki -- get in aisle near soy sauce)

additional 2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 4 tsp. water
additional ground pepper, to taste
additional red pepper flakes, to taste


In a small bowl or ramekin, mix together the soy sauce and Mirin with the cornstarch and water; set aside. Salt and pepper the beef, then coat with 1/2 cup cornstarch. In a large frying pan, heat oil on med-high heat until hot. Add red pepper flakes and cook for a few seconds. Add beef and cook on each side until well browned and crispy. Remove from pan to serving dish and set aside. Add a few more red pepper flakes and then green pepper and onion slices to pan. Stir fry for a few minutes until cooked, but still a bit crisp. Add beef back to pan and stir. Add more fresh ground black pepper, to taste. Turn down heat to med-low. Stir the soy sauce mixture again, and add to the pan, stirring to coat the beef and vegetables as the sauce thickens. Serve over rice.

(Serves 4)