Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dinner from a bag the third

In my unending quest to make something tasty using pre-existing products, I bring you "Dinner from a bag, the Third". The previous one was horrible, and as The Columbus Foodie properly pointed out, would have been far tastier and just as simple if I could only get my butt up to Carfanga's. Everytime I turn around, someone is telling me about something wonderful they got from Carfagna's. It's a 25 minute drive for me, way up I-71. I hate going way up there, but I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet...

Enough about the last time. this time was a bit better.

We've had a very busy summer and last week was no exception, with something scheduled for every evening except Friday, so it was on to the next "bag" dinner. This time we went seaside.

While shopping the week before, I grabbed a "family size" Vigo brand Saffron Yellow Rice mix, a 1 lb bag and picked up about a pound of tilapia fillets from the seafood counter ( I think it was on sale for $4.99/lb) . I began by preparing the rice per the package directions, but I added an extra 1/2 cup of water. Once the rice was down to a simmer and about to be covered, I added the tilapia fillets, pushing them lightly down into the rice mixture. I then placed a couple of fresh tarragon sprigs (about 5 inches long) on top, covered the pan, then let the dish simmer for the time indicated on the package directions, about 20 minutes.

(just before adding the tarragon and covering)

I removed the tarragon sprigs before serving. (no other pictures - no time...ok, plenty of time, I just forgot.)

This was a rousing success! Both Karen and boogie gave it a thumbs up, especially since it was done, eaten and enjoyed with enough time to not have to rush out of the house to our activity du jour. The rice was a bit sticky, which gave the dish a more substantive feel, and the fish was flaky and flavored well by the rice's seasonings and the tarragon. I'll be making this again when we have another busy week.

If you don't like "fishy" fish, give tilapia a go. It' s quite mild, yet seems to have more of a thickness, a bite to it than other thin mild white fish fillets. According the to the American Tilapia Association (seems like there's an association for everything, doesn't it?), Tilapia is now the fifth most popular seafood consumed in the United States (and, no, I don't know what the first 4 are...let me know if you do. I'm pretty sure shrimp is number 1, though). It seems to accept other flavors really well, kind of like a blank canvas to apply what you like to.

Enjoy,
Lorence