Sunday, March 3, 2013

Not your typical baked fish recipe :D

I love fish, but have never attempted to cook an entire dinner around it because there's a part of me that's scared of botching it and end up throwing it out. Two Fridays ago I was assigned to cook for our prayer group's meeting, and since it's the season of Lent I could only cook seafood and vegetables. I wanted to try something different that will please the palate of my meat-loving friends and thus for two days I searched the internet for the perfect baked fish recipe, and ended up with one from Needless to say, my friends loved it, plus it didn't hurt that it was cheaper than if I bought food from a local joint or the supermarket (though I doubt that I'll get anything as good for that price). If ever you decide to make it, I would suggest these things:

1. Cut down on the pineapple, it overpowers the dish.
2. Add more garlic to the marinade, maybe an extra clove.
3. For the salsa, get the "medium hot". I mistakenly bought the "mild" kind and it did not bring any kick to the dish, the extra heat would have made it better.
4. Cover with foil during half of the baking time so that the top layer of rice won't dry out. Other people baked them separately, you can also try that.
5. Add a dash of cayenne pepper to the fish after marinating, for an extra kick.
6. Try rice that doesn't absorb much liquid, like brown rice, mine became too squishy/soggy from the pineapple, lime and orange juice (the latter two are from the marinade).

After and before mixing the ingredients with the rice :)
Badly centered picture of the finished product. Ta-da! I told you I can cook, I just choose not to LOL
Courtesy of Ingrid Hoffmann, 2008


1 cup long-grain white rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
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
2 cups jarred or homemade tomato salsa
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
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.

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.

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. Bake until the fish flakes easily, is opaque, and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.

Happy cooking!

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