Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baked Costa Rican Tilapia

Last night I tried one of Ingrid Hoffmann's recipes for baked costa rican tilapia with rice, black beans, and pineapple. It was pretty good. I'll probably make it again sometime, but with a few small changes. Kevin thought it was good and "edible" as he put it, but didn't care for so much lime. So next time, I'll use less lime. I think I'd sprinkle the tilapia with some paprika and freshly ground pepper before baking it next time, too. I used long-grain brown rice... and I'm still trying to figure out how to properly cook the longer cooking rice (I'm used to the instant/minute rice), so the rice had a little crunch to it. :) Other than too much lime, the flavors were great together. It was a fairly easy recipe to throw together, too. If I was to make this on a week night, I'd prep the rice/beans/salsa/pineapple mixture the night before to save a little time and a few steps.

Baked Costa Rican-Style Tilapia with Pineapples, Black Beans, and Rice

1 cup long-grain white rice (I used long-grain brown rice)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I just used OJ from the carton)
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish (I substituted flat-leaf parsley)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (5 to 7-ounce) tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry (I used six smaller fillets)
2 cups jarred or homemade tomato salsa (used store-bought this time since I'm still trying to use up stuff I'd stock-piled in my pantry before I started canning)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (Eden Organic, the only canned beans with no BPA in the cans... plus they're local (Ann Arbor))
2 cups diced fresh pineapple (I used canned)
2 limes, thinly sliced

Combine the rice and chicken broth in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid, about 20 minutes. (brown rice takes MUCH longer to cook)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, the garlic, and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Add the tilapia fillets to the marinade, turning to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, turning occasionally. (Don't let it marinate too much longer than 20 minutes, else you'll end up with ceviche)

Stir together the cooked rice, salsa, beans, pineapple, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in a 2 or 3-quart baking dish. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and lay the fish fillets over the rice mixture, overlapping if necessary. Pour the reserved marinade over the fish. Shingle the lime slices over the fish. (next time I'll leave the lime slices off) Bake until the fish flakes easily, is opaque, and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.

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