Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

meal ideas ~ gotta whole fish? stuff it

This recipe idea can be made with any whole fish, however "carp" sold as Tilapia is the best choice due to its very large bones which can be easily removed during eating. Steve and I use chopsticks that allow us to pick at the meat and pull out anything undesirable. You can use these stuffing ideas with any fresh whole fish. Trout makes a wonderful treat. I do de-bone a trout before I cook it, something my father taught me long ago- being an avid fisherman. It takes a skill to be sure, Steve jokes that he didn't realize trout had bones, I am that good. Get your fish-market to de-bone it for you if you think there will be an issue.

Tilapia has to be one of my favorite fish. The first time I ever tasted it was in Kenya, Africa. It was wonderful; a solid fish with a nutty taste. Sadly, the tilapia that we get here in the United States is farmed in our waters or from the Philippines, and is lacking in that “nutty” quality. The African waters where the tilapia comes from have a super high PH level- very alkaline, which is what gives the tilapia its taste; nevertheless, farmed raised, it still has a great taste and texture. We love to stuff it whole, wrap in foil, and cook on the barbeque. (yes-yes, I know…omg she’s using aluminum foil- one of the rare occasions) You can also wrap it in foil or parchment and bake in the oven (425 deg.) for about the same amount of time- the skin will be moister but the flavor will be the same. 

1 whole Tilapia or other fish, whatever size you choose per person.

Lightly coat sheet of aluminum foil with olive oil, or canola oil and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Place stuffed tilapia onto half of foil folding over the other side, secure around the edges.  Place on barbeque med-high heat for 10 minutes- flip over and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. (trust me this is enough) 20 minutes total. Remove from foil pouch when cooked and enjoy.

Stuffing ideas-

Steve likes a crab mix. Mix all ingredients together and stuff into a whole fish

Seasoned bread cubes or crumbs
1 can crab meat- use 2 to 3 tablespoons of liquid for moisture in stuffing
Chopped onions, celery, bell pepper.
pinch or two of curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs melted butter

I like a vegetable only mix – you can layer the ingredients or mix and stuff into a whole fish.

Spinach leaves- slightly chopped
Grape/cherry tomatoes- halved
Sliced bell pepper,  onions, celery
Baby carrots- quartered lengthwise
2 to 3 small pads of butter- place into fish before other ingredients.
(pretty much any vegetable I happen to have in my vege drawer)

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