Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tarragon, Lime, and Honey Marinated Tilapia

I have been trying hard to figure out what to use the tarragon from last weeks CSA pickup in.  I had fish in mind as it is one of the traditional uses for tarragon but beyond that nothing concrete. If you have never used it tarragon has a mild anise like flavor, I love it but it is very easy to overwhelm things with it. So I did a bit of fridge/freezer inventory and saw I had most of a lime left from saturdays Gin and tonics and some tilapia. A quick internet search didn't give me a recipe with tarragon, lime and tilapia but I found several recipes for fish with tarragon and plenty with fish and lime and several of those used honey so I figured I could use honey as a bridge between the flavors of the tarragon and the lime. So a quick marinade and flash fry at high heat and a delicious fish was the result. All of the measurements but the amount of fillets are educated guesses as I made this up on the fly

3 Tilapia fillets
A palm full of fresh tarragon leaves torn (you could use dry maybe a Tbsp)
The juice of one lime (couple of Tbsp of juice)
2 Tbsp White balsamic vinegar (you could use regular balsamic or perhaps white wine vinegar)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp of honey, I may have used more I didn't measure. I used buckwheat honey which has an almost molasses like quality to it, any honey would work I'm sure but I encourage you to try different varieties of honey, you will be amazed.
kosher salt
white pepper
 Canola oil for cooking, enough to fully cover the bottom of the pan
I went with the white pepper and white vinegar because I didn't want to color the fish with flecks of black or a dark vinegar, they are purely aesthetic choices, of course I didn't bother to take pictures. Place the fish in a large zip top bag, my fillets were still a little frozen which is fine for the marinating step, it just takes a bit longer.
Pour in all the ingredients but the canola oil, tip the bag around a few times to mix the ingredients and coat the fish, set in the fridge to marinate. If your fillets are fully thawed an hour should do it, if not allow 2 or three hours.

Heat the canola oil over high heat until it is almost smoking then back the heat off to medium, place the fillets in the pan carefully as the oil will splatter add a bit of the marinade as well, cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 minutes.  I received a fish spatula (mine has a longer handle for grilling) for a gift this past Christmas I can't say enough good things about it, for flipping delicate fillets or really anything delicate it is really wonderful. Remove and serve immediately. We served it with couscous and a nice green salad.

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