Friday, July 13, 2012

Grilled Tilapia with Mango Salsa

It's halfway through the baseball season, which means it is also halfway through summer.  The summer season always goes the quickest, doesn't it?  And come St. Patrick's Day, it feels as though winter has lasted for eight months. 

Have you grilled as much as you'd like in the first half of the season??  It's been super ass hot for most of the US, so maybe you've stayed indoors like a sissy.  Or, maybe you just need some good recipe ideas to get you cooking outside.  By now, you might be getting tired of the same old brats and burgers.  Have you grilled whole rainbow trout stuffed with oregano, garlic and lemon?  Yes, the wife was very excited to find her dinner staring at her. 

How about cedar-planked salmon?  That always smells (and tastes) so dang good.  And it won't look at you from the plate, if you prefer that sort of meal.

Don't have a plank of cedar handy?  You could make salmon tacos with a deliciously refreshing slaw.    

Maybe you'd like to try some swordfish?

Need to eat on the cheap? Tilapia is not expensive, and grills up quick and yummy.  Make sure you oil the grill grates thoroughly, so the filets don't stick...or maybe you got one of them fish grilling basket things.  An easy way to lubricate your cooking surface is by wetting a piece of paper towel with veggie or canola oil, and then use your tongs to rub the hot grill grates.  

If you like the heat, you can use a large jalapeno or more than one small guy.  Using the seeds and ribs of the pepper will also bring more warmth to the salsa.   The tilapia will need to marinate for about an hour, so plan ahead for this time.  After you put the salsa together and warm up the grill, dinner is on the table real quick. 

Grilled Tilapia with Mango Salsa
2 servings

1/3 C EVOO
1 TB lemon juice
1 TB minced fresh parsley
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 TB dried basil
1 ts freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 ts kosher salt
2 tilapia fillets, about 6 oz each

1 large mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 TB minced red onion
1 TB chopped fresh cilantro
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 TB lime juice
1 TB lemon juice
S&P to taste

3-4 basil leaves, chiffonade

For the marinade-
Whisk together the EVOO, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, basil, salt and pepper.  Pour into a resealable plastic bag, then carefully add the tilapia fillets.  Close the bag while pressing out the air, place in the fridge for sixty minutes.  If you desire, turn the bag after half an hour to ensure a good marinate. 

For the salsa-
Combine the mango, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, and citrus juice in a small bowl.  Season to taste with S&P.  Place in the fridge while the fish is marinating.  Stir up before using. 

For the fish-
Remove from the marinade, let the excess drip off, warm up the grill.  With well-oiled grates, grill over medium-high direct heat for about 3-4 minutes per side, until cooked through, the fish will flake easily with a fork.  Place one fillet on each serving plate, top with the mango salsa, then add a bit of fresh basil.  Whole grain brown rice and grilled vidalia onion optional. 

As I post this lovely recipe, a much-needed thunderstorm just rolled through, moisture that we desperately have not seen lately.  The temp just dropped from 89 to 70 in 5 minutes.  My tomato plants are so happy I can hear them smiling.  That's right. 

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