Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tilapia over mashed potatoes in stewed tomato, olive, and artichoke broth

Big news, y'all: As of yesterday, Pure Land Organic has officially filed with the Secretary of State of Texas as a real live actual company. We have officers and lawyers and stuff! Woooooo!! And we've got a team of people working on finding our land, getting a website together, etc... Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

Anyway, back to food. Still gotta eat.

An organized and well-stocked pantry is essential for last minute meals. This one is created almost entirely from the pantry - canned artichoke hearts, stewed tomatoes, and jarred kalamata olives.

Add a little onion, garlic, a potato, and some fish, and you've got dinner. Even better, it makes double the broth required for serving for two people, so I freeze the other half for an even quicker repeat performance one day.

I'm a white wine fiend. Actually, I'm a bubbly white wine fiend (Cava from Spain and Prosecco from Italy are my favorite wines), but I do appreciate a nice flat white and the occasional dry rose. During the year my parents spent in New Zealand they discovered Sauvingon Blancs from the Marlborough region, which are a serious punch in the face compared to the wimpy whites of California. Like all the chefs say, I cook with what I drink. This is either because I only drink delicious wine and am too lazy to seek out a "cooking" variety to keep on hand, or because I find crappy wine pretty tasty. At any rate, it works for me. [I also put ice in it. Shun me.]

What you can probably compromise on cheaper wine I'd spend on good canned tomatoes and artichoke hearts. They're really the base here. Don't bother with the more expensive whole artichoke hearts though, you're just going to slice them up anyway.

Mmm. While I would certainly say this is more cold-weather fare, the flavors are definitely light enough for summer.

1 large or 2 small russet potatoes, peeled and largely diced
pat of butter (I like Brummel and Brown yogurt butter for mashed potatoes)
splash of milk

1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup white wine, whatever you've got
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and sliced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, sliced

2 tilapia fillets

Get a pot of water on for your potatoes. Salt the water and cook them for about 15 minutes, or until fork tender. Don't overcook them. Drain very well, and dump them back into the hot pot. Add a good pinch of kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, pat of butter and splash of milk. Mash to your desired texture, cover, and set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking, saute your onion and garlic in a saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the wine and allow to cook down for a minute or two. Then add the tomatoes (with juice), cover, and let cook for 10 minutes or so. Break the big chunks down with a wooden spoon. Add the artichoke hearts and olives, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover, and allow to lightly simmer over low heat until your fillets are ready.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Season your tilapia on both sides and pan fry for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your fillets.

Mound a pile of mashed potatoes in the middle of a large bowl and perch a fillet right on top. Smother with a couple ladles of your artichoke tomato broth.

Serves 2, takes about half an hour. Serve with a spoon.

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