Tilapia is one of those flaky wonder fish that pair so easily with a ton of different flavors/cuisines. I first came across veracruz style fish in Mexico in the early 80’s, and it was love at first bite. It made such an impression on me that I still thought about it over 20 years later, and decided to recreate this dish a few years back. I’ve served this to company and it’s always been loved and folks have wanted the recipe. I gave the recipe to my mother in law who in turn was asked to submit it for a cookbook. She declined……she likes it so much, that she wanted to keep it her little culinary secret. Sorry Dorothy….the secret is out!
- 2 lb. tilapia filets
- 2 TBL. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium onions sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
- handful green olives chopped
- handful kalamata olives chopped
- splash of dry white wine or sherry (sherry and I are BFF’s when it comes to cooking)
- 1 TBL. sunflower seeds
- 1 TBL. chopped fresh parsley or 1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
- salt & pepper to taste
Rub some seasoning love into those filets via salt/pepper and lay flat in a 9 x 13 dish.
After that, go ahead and add your garlic. Make sure you don’t let your garlic sit idle for too long in the oil or it may burn, and then you will be sad. Saute for about another five minutes. Time to add tomatoes!
Don’t forget about the kalamatas! Now it’s time to add your wine or your sherry. I put in a splash, and maybe a bit more if I’m feeling saucy….or want to get sauced. Kidding….let the booze burn off by keeping it uncovered on low for another twenty minutes or so. Add the very end, add your sunflower seeds and the parsley. You can also add salt & pepper at this point. I wait to salt the sauce until the olives get good and incorporated as the olives are salty little suckers. Pour the sauce over the raw, seasoned tilapia filets like this.
Oven should be preheated to 325, and then pop the dish into the oven and let cook for about 20-25 minutes until fish is cooked through. I even let mine broil for a minute or two before I pull out. Plate, eat, and then rub your tummy in happiness.
Give it a try. A healthy, flavorful dish that is a crowd pleaser.
Keep cooking! Daniela 🙂