i used tilapia. o’charley’s perpetual "catch of the day". and really, it’s a nothing kind of fish. farmed. not terribly exciting, yet i buy it all the time. tilapa is inexpensive. you can’t seem to overcook this fish. it crisps up with minimal oil. and it goes well with almost anything and everything. it’s definitely not the fish you have a fling with, it’s the one you marry. i have flings with, say, chilean sea bass – expensive and rich. but tilapia is your everyday fish. you can totally count on tilapia.
so my latest greatest is to chop up a fennel bulb and throw it in a pan with 2 teaspoons of oil and get it all browned up. i added minced garlic and some capers – an anchovy would work nicely too, and then a minute later some chopped fresh tomatoes (good canned are an option). and oregano. i love oregano. it’s right up there with thyme as my favorite herb. and rosemary. and basil. anyway, just season that up, add a bit of water, cook it down for a few minutes and put it on top of whatever’s going. fish. chicken. pork chops. pasta. italian sausage, giant lima beans… then add a few good olives. the fennel frond garnsh was for you – because i care. especially after the beige food assault of ’09.
while adhering to ‘the plan’, not only do i count every calorie but i weigh everything. because i am neurotic that way and because i secretly kind of like it. i realize this eccentric ‘production’ isn’t for everyone but i can’t impress upon you enough how effective it is. i am trying to set myself up for success. because failure is just not an option. speaking of which, do you remember when wynonna went on oprah, all "i need to put myself on my list because i do sooooo much for my fans and family that i have no time to eat right even though i have a personal chef and trainer on staff"? it just wasn’t pretty on so very many levels. (personally, i think she left oprah’s studio and her first stop was shoney’s… bless her heart. (fyi – this is what they say in the south.))
i often make this for dinner even with fennel at $4 a bulb. and hey, by the way, is it me or are ‘whole foods’ produce prices out of control? anyway, the good news is that you get everything on that plate for in the neighborhood of 375 calories – and that right there is a caloric bargain. and c’mon. you gotta admit. that’s awesome…
UPDATE!!! THIS JUST IN:
Farm-raised tilapia has very low levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, but high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, new research shows. Researchers say this combination could be dangerous for some patients with conditions including heart disease, arthritis, asthma and other allergic and auto immune diseases.
The study is in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Senior study author Dr. Floyd H. Chilton is quoted in the article: "If you’re in a vulnerable population such as a heart disease patient, you need to be very careful with what you’re eating, and that includes everything. But when it comes to fish, there’s not a more important thing you can do for heart disease than eat the right type of fish or take dietary fish oil. There is evidence that you may harm yourself by eating the wrong kind of fish, and [farmed] tilapia and catfish are the two that fall into that category."
and now 2 complimentary puppy pics of grace at 10 weeks old on her 7th day at home. because she is just too damn cute not to show off.