Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes, and less commonly found living in brackish water. While Tilapia is often raised in fish farms around the globe, the species is native to the Middle East and Africa. Tilapia is the fourth-most consumed fish in the United States dating back to 2002. The popularity of tilapia came about due to its low price, easy preparation, and mild taste. Tilapia is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein, both of which are important for good health.
We love all kinds of seafood, and eat quite a bit of it, especially while we are on our diving expeditions and trips to the seashore. Tilapia is one of those fish that finds its way into our menu plans quite frequently too. Because it is a lighter, whitefish, without a heavy “fishy” taste, Larry likes it better than many other types of seafood. I grew up eating seafood of all kinds and I don’t mind that “fishy” taste so much, but I have to say, the whitefishes are some of my favorites too. That being said, we pulled some tilapia out of the freezer, and into the culinary rotation it went. This time, I pan-fried it and served it with a creamy spinach sauce over rice. Tilapia is what we had on hand, but this sauce would go very nicely over any type of whitefish.
Tilapia with Creamy Spinach Sauce
1 lb tilapia, or any other whitefish
3-4 cups baby spinach, stems removed, chopped
1 shallot, chopped fine
1 TBSP garlic
2 TBSP lime juice
1 cup heavy whipping cream
salt & pepper to taste
butter for finishing the sauce
Saute the spinach, garlic and shallots in a hot skillet with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. You can use either white or black pepper, but I actually prefer the black pepper. I think it add more character.
When the spinach is wilted, removed the mixture from the skillet and add the line juice. Reduce until most of the liquid is gone, then add the cream.
Once the cream and lime juice are thoroughly mixed, re-add the spinach mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 7-10 minutes. Turn off the heat, then add some butter in for the finish and incorporate well.
Lightly coat the the tilapia with salt and pepper and panfry in a hot skillet with a combination of both butter and olive oil until golden brown.
When both the fish and the sauce are done, it is time to serve it up. I served it over some of my leftover lime rice with a medley of summer vegetables. My wine of choice was a crisp, citrusy chardonnay. It was a deliciously light meal, which was just perfect for a summer’s evening out on the deck.
Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.