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Making it up … (Tilapia Dish)

Tilapia in white wine sauce with tomatoes and capers
Tilapia in white wine sauce with tomatoes and capers
I love to cook. It’s fun and exciting and so rewarding. To some people, my joy of cooking is expected, and to others its impressive. I will tell you – there is nothing impressive about cooking. It requires practice and creativity and general knowledge of food. It also helps to be good at measuring foods. As for me, I never measure, and very rarely follow recipes. I do, however follow ideas and themes for my cooking.

This week I had a great cooking night.  I made a ton of food for my family and friends. Only until I opened my fridge did I truly know what I had to work with, and I was so excited at how well the final dinner came out. It was absolutely delicious.

Guess what? My food isn’t always delicious. Since I like to be adventurous with cooking, I have made millions many of mistakes along the way. Examples? Soups. They are really easy to make. You take a ton of vegetables and put them in a big pot to cook. Except one time I over did it. I added leaks and broccoli to a vegetable soup. Guess what? Broccoli isn’t really sweet enough for soups. So, I added sweet potato. Then I added zucchini. It wasn’t quite right still. I added apples. Then I added cinnamon. Wrong.  Just wrong.  My soup of onions, garlic, carrots, celery, leeks, broccoli, zucchini, sweet potato, tumeric, pepper salt and now cinnamon was a disaster. As was my roasted kale that I so thoroughly over- salted that my mouth hurt with just one taste. I’ve had other cooktastrophies that I have basically blocked from my memory.  Not good.  (And clearly I don’t want to talk about it.)

This week was not one of those cooktastrophie nights.   It was a success.  I guessed very well. Main entree was tilapia.  I should interject here that I have a new kitchen goal, which is to go through the tens and tens of bottles of sauces and marinades that I have in my pantry. What did I find in my pantry this week?  Capers. The end result was tilapia in a white wine sauce with tomatoes and capers. It was cooked perfectly.

As a side, I made garlicy dill mushrooms, and took advantage of the fresh herb that was otherwise half way out the door. I was happy to add more green with kale chips – which were NOT over salted this time. Out of pasta? No worries, I had my kids help to break apart and shatter lasagna noodles, to make irregular shaped pasta.  (Getting my boys involved in cooking = HOME RUN.)

It was really a feast. And since I am trying to write down and share more recipes with you, I will share with you what I made:


~ Emma

 Tilapia in white wine sauce with tomatoes and capers

  • 1 TBS vegetable oil
  • 4 – 6  good sized pieces of tilapia
  • 2 shallots or 1/2 large sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1 small container of grape tomatoes, whole or sliced in 1/2
  • 1/2 cup (or more) white cooking wine (you can use regular white wine, but use less, cook thoroughly, and you may need another liquid like orange juice or water)
  • 1-2 heaping TBS of capers
  • Optional salt, pepper, fresh lemon to taste

Heat pan to high, add vegetable oil. Once heated add onions or shallots. Cook until clear.  Add tomatoes and cook a few minutes. Lower heat to low/medium and add tilapia and cooking wine.  (As an option you can add a tiny bit of rice vinegar for a more intense/different flavor.)  Cover pan and cook on low/medium for ~10 minutes.  Add capers in 1/2 through.  Keep cooking until fish turns completely white.  (~15-20 minutes max.)   As desired add salt, pepper, fresh lemon to taste.