After such an emotional day I needed something to focus on: dinner.
We had Pan-Seared Tilapia with Spanish Cauliflower.
We had fish tonight because, well, because it was on sale. Plus, I was trying to think of something that would go well with the Cauliflower. I call it Spanish Cauliflower, but it’s real name is Coliflor salteada con aceitunes y datiles (otherwise known as Sautéed Cauliflower with Dated and Olives). I went to this A-MA-ZING Tapas restaurant in DC called Jaleo. I’d actually wanted to go to the Legal Seafoods, but the wait was *45 minutes*! I asked the Host if he could recommend someplace else and he said Jaleo without even skipping a beat. THANK YOU MR. HOST AT LEGAL SEAFOODS!!! I applaud you. Jaleo was…well, it ROCKED my world. Seriously amazing. I took pictures of my bowl and THE MENU.
I don’t think I’ve ever taken a picture of a menu before. THAT was how great the food at Jaleo is. If you’re near one, I’d highly recommend you detour to try it out. Oh – and get their gelato. It’s homemade too. *swoon*
Now, my version of the cauliflower was good…but not amazing. I’m not quite sure why, maybe I used the wrong kind of wine to deglaze the pan? Maybe the cauliflower florets weren’t crispy enough? Maybe I should use butter along with the olive oil…. OH THE OPTIONS AHEAD OF ME! *Can you see me wiggling my fingers and doing a happy dance?*
The fish was super-duper easy: you heat oil in a pan. You rinse off the fish, dry it with paper towels, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Finally, you dredge the filets in flour. After you shake off the excess flour you drop each filet in the hot oil for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook another 3-4, until the fish flakes easily. While the fish is cooking you take 2 Tablespoons of butter and melt it (I did it in a mug in the microwave in :30 spurts). After the fish is done you drizzle the melted butter over the top and serve.
Now that I think about it, you can totally swap out all-purpose flour for rice flour or potato flour if you wanna be gluten-free. I didn’t, but you could.
The Cauliflower is pretty easy too. I think it took longer to clean and cut the head than to actually make the dish. Naaah. That’s an exaggeration. Still, it’s pretty quick. You clean the veg and cut it into bite sized bits. You put oil in a large skillet along with 3 sprigs of thyme. When it’s hot you throw in the cauliflower and cook it until it’s all brown and crispy and caramelized. It should take about 8 minutes. I say *should* because mine was still crunchy. I put a lid on top and let the cauliflower steam a bit before I let it brown a bit more. Once the veg is brown enough (I wish I’d let mine go a little longer…next time) you throw in 4 dates that’ve been cut in quarters and 16 olives (8 green, 8 black). You cook those until they’re warm, then add in wine to deglaze the pan. You transfer all to a bowl to serve, sprinkling lightly with Smoked Paprika (that stuff is POTENT – so go lightly).
C and I both agreed that these are totally Keeper Recipes.
Thank Goodness we ended the day on a positive note.
Pan-Seared Tilapia by AppleChef from Allrecipes.com
4 Tilapia filets
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Flour **I used less than this. Swap out for rice or almond or corn if you want this to be gluten free.
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1- Rinse tilapia filets in cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Place flour in dish and gently press each filet into the flour to coat it. Shake off the excess flour, discard the leftovers…unless you want to bake with fish-favoured flour. *shudder*
2- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the tilapia in the hot oil until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 3-5 minutes per side. Brush/pour the melted butter over the tilapia in the last minute before removing from the pan Serve immediately. **I forgot to do this, pouring it over the fish on the serving dish instead.
Cauliflower with Olives and Dates by Jose Andres from Jaleo
¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces (1/2 pound) Cauliflower, broken into pieces **I used one small head of cauliflower
3 sprigs fresh Thyme
8 Dates, cut into quarters
8 cured Black olives
8 Green olives
¼ cup Sweet dessert white wine, such as Pedro Ximenez **MY ONE SUBSTITUTION: I had a bottle of dry white wine open in the fridge, so that’s what I used. I sprinkled in about 1 teaspoon of sugar to try to bring the requisite sweetness to the dish. Didn’t really work…. Next time I’ll pop for a bottle of dessert wine…Maybe.
2 teaspoons Pimentón **This is smoked paprika. I bought a jar for some recipe or other and it’s been languishing in the cupboard for a bit. THIS was the perfect excuse to use it. SO.GOOD. Please note: It’s VERY potent. Go easy on the usage. Remember – you can always add more.
1- Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the cauliflower and thyme and cook until the cauliflower is brown and caramelized, about 8 minutes.
2- Add the dates and olives and cook for about 1 more minute, until they are heated through.
3- Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, allowing the alcohol to burn off. Transfer mixture to a serving bowl and sprinkle with pimentón.
It was really good – I’m TOTALLY looking forward to trying to make this again! Next time, like I said, I’ll caramelize the cauliflower and use different wine and perhaps also throw in a little butter too. Butter makes everything better.
To keep my hands busy today I made chocolate covered marshmallows, dipped in sprinkles. I think they look pretty great in the little baggies tied with sweet little bows. They’ll be GREAT take-home gifts for our party next week. *clapping*
Chocolate Covered Marshmallows with Sprinkles by me
1 bag of Marshmallows
1 bag of Lollipop sticks
1 bag of Chocolate or Candy Melts
1 container of Sprinkles
*Optional: Candy Bags
1- Open a bag of marshmallows. Insert a lollipop stick into each marshmallow.
2- Melt the chocolate (in the microwave, in a double boiler…up to you), dip each marshmallow in. Shake off the excess and roll the bottom in sprinkles. Set aside to dry for at least an hour or so.
3- Serve them as is, or put each one in a cute little treat bag and tie with a pretty little ribbon. Enjoy!
Again, my heart goes out to all those suffering parents and families in CT tonight.
There but for the Grace of God go I.