Dinner Date – Feb. 2015
Recipe photo by Joseph De Leo.
QUINOA-CRUSTED TILAPIA ON WILTED RAINBOW CHARD
Greens + Grains: Recipes for Deliciously Healthful Meals by Molly Watson; photos by Joseph De Leo
(Chronicle Books, 2014, $19.95)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 egg
- Four 4 oz. tilapia fillets
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems and leaves separated and chopped
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 lemons, cut into wedges
- Freshly ground pepper
Put the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse several times with cool water. Put the rinsed quinoa, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, undisturbed, until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Spread the cooked quinoa on a baking sheet and let it cool and dry off, at least 1 hour at room temperature or covered and chilled overnight.
Beat the egg with 2 tablespoons water in a shallow bowl. Set yourself up for success by setting it on the left, and the tray of quinoa on the right, directly in front of you on a counter or other work surface (egg on right and quinoa on left if you’re left-handed).
Pat the tilapia fillets dry. Working with one at a time, dip it into the egg, turning to coat it completely and letting any excess egg drip off and back into the bowl before laying the fillet in the quinoa and heavily coating it. I assure you things will go more smoothly and quickly—and there will be much less hand-washing between fillets— if you make an effort to use your left hand to deal with the uncoated fish and the egg-coated fillet and your right hand to deal with the quinoa and the quinoa-coated fillet. Set the coated fillet on a large plate or platter. Repeat with the remaining fillets, keeping one hand wet with fish and egg and the other hand somewhat dry with cooked quinoa and coated fish.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large frying pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, chard stems and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the stems soften, about 3 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a second large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the oil. Carefully lay the fillets in the pan and cook, undisturbed, until the quinoa crisps and browns, 4-5 minutes. Gently flip the fillets and cook until the fish is cooked through and the second side is nicely browned, 4-5 minutes more. If you don’t have a pan large enough to hold four fillets, use two pans or cook them in batches, keeping the first batch warm in a 250-degree oven while the second batch cooks.
Spritz the chard with some juice from a couple of the lemon wedges and divide it evenly between four plates. Lay a fillet either alongside or on top of the greens. Serve with more lemon wedges and freshly ground pepper for diners to add themselves. Serves 4.
The Bavarian State Brewery Weihenstephan, the world’s oldest brewery, is located in Bavaria, Germany, where Benedictine monks began brewing with hops as early as 1040. Through the centuries, many innovations have been made in technique and method, but quality of ingredients and staying true to the Bavarian style of brewing never changed.
Their flagship brew, Hefeweissbier, is a prime example of this Bavarian brewing style. A golden-yellow wheat beer with aromas of bananas and clove, it’s full-bodied—clocking in at 5.4-percent ABV (alcohol by volume)—with a smooth yeast taste and fine-poured white foam. This beer is very drinkable and pairs well with most foods, especially seafood, including this month’s Quinoa-Crusted Tilapia with Wilted Rainbow Chard. The sweet, crisp aftertaste makes it a very enjoyable and delicious way to drink in the flavors of the world’s oldest brewery.
—Heather Zamarripa, Executive Chef, 36 Handles Pub & Eatery