Monday, April 25, 2016

A Fish + Grits Recipe

I have, honest to goodness, been trying to post this for over a week now.

So Harry started sleeping in a twin bed a couple of weeks ago. That boy loved his crib and boy oh boy has it been a transition. He was getting out of his crib and I was afraid he was going to hurt himself and he was also having lots of accidents during nap time because he couldn't get out of his bed fast enough to get to the potty. So anyway we thought and we do know it was time for the big-boy bed but its been tough. I've had to lay down with him for every nap and at night to get him to go to sleep. You know how that goes. I go 90 to nothing all day so the second my head hits a pillow I am OUT. Which has been completely messing with my "my" time during naps and my "my" time after the kids go to bed! So all that to say blogging hasn't been going so well lately. We'll see how this week goes in the big-boy bed. Prayerfully it starts becoming less and less of an issue :)

So anywho... on to the new favorite meal in our house:

TilapiaGrits05Fish and grits. Specifically Cajun-seasoned tilapia served on a bed of Monterrey jack and white cheddar cheese grits with a side of pan-fried kale. Doesn't get much better than that. We have had this meal on our weekly menu for the last 3 weeks. Quick and easy to prepare, semi healthy (good protein, vitamins and nutrients with the fish and kale and a little indulgence for your taste buds with the cheese grits) and deeeelicious.

I don't love fish. I don't hate fish but I definitely don't love it. There are 2 salmon recipes I like and I've only ever made tilapia, heavily seasoned for fish tacos. So I definitely don't go looking for fish recipes and the only seafood I usually have on my menu is shrimp but one evening I was desperate and we had frozen tilapia fillets and we had grits and I googled 'tilapia and grits' recipe. I had a majority of the ingredients on hand and what I had to substitute or add turned out really good and into a meal that my family asks for. And being easy to prepare and semi-healthy I thought I would pass it on to you.

TilapiaGrits01Brush each filet with olive oil and minced garlic over each filet and then sprinkle with a little cajun seasoning, salt, pepper and fresh parsley. I let them sit and marinade for a few minutes while I melt butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter is completely melted add the filets, seasoned side up to the skillet.

TilapiaGrits02After a few minutes, flip fillets over and season the other side with oregeno and  onion powder. Spread a tiny bit of butter on top of each filet and let it melt. Cook for about 2 minutes and then transfer to plate and cover with tin foil to keep hot until grits and kale is done. 

I like to start the grits right after I put the fish in the skillet. The grits cook so fast that its a good time to get them started and then they should be cooked when you are taking the fish off of the stove.

TilapiaGrits03Boil the broth, add the instant grits and once cooked add all the remaining ingredients (all ingredients are not shown here so be sure to check out the following recipe for the full list of ingredients). Stir grits until all ingredients are combined, melted, creamy and delicious :)

Once you've removed the filets from the skillet, melt a couple more tablespoons in the skillet and add several tablespoons of minced garlic and let it cook until fragrant and a little browned. Add your cleaned and roughly chopped (stem removed) kale to the skillet and let cook for a few minutes. We like our kale almost burnt on the edges. Chewy AND crispy.

TilapiaGrits04And that's it! A simple, fast, semi-healthy week night meal. To lighten up the meal a bit you could always use EVOO or coconut oil in the skillet for both the fish and the kale and cut the cheese in half for the grits. They are so good with even just a wee bit of cheese.


Cajun Tilapia + Monterrey Jack & White Cheddar Grits + Pan Fried Kale
recipe adapted from Divas Can Cook blog

For the fish:
  • 4 filets (or as many as you need for your family), fresh or thawed
  • olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • Cajun seasoning
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • butter
  • onion powder
  • dried oregano
Coat filets with olive oil. Top each filet with 1 teaspoon minced garlic and sprinkle with Cajun seasoning, salt, black pepper and fresh parsley. Heat 4 tablespoons of butter (or olive oil or coconut oil) over med-high heat. Once melted add the filets seasoned-side up. Let cook for 4 minutes. Flip and sprinkle other side with onion powder, dried oregano and top with a thin slice of butter. Let that melt and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with tin foil to keep the fish hot while you are finishing up the rest of the meal.

For the grits:
  • 1 cup instant grits
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons butter 
  • optional: heavy cream, half and half or milk
  • 1/2 cup Monterrey jack, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sharp white cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (you may want to cut this in half in you don't like a lot of spice. a little cayenne goes a long way.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
Bring broth to a rapid boil. Add grits to boiling broth. Reduce heat cover and let cook for approximately 5 minutes. Watch them! Once they start spitting they are ready! When cooked add all the remainder of the ingredients. Depending on the thickness of your grits you may want to add a little milk, cream or half and half. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. Mix well.

For the kale:
  • 1 bunch of kale, removed from stem and cut into bit size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil (you may need more)
  • 4 tablespoons minced garlic
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Using the pan you cooked the fish in, add butter and olive oil. When butter is melted add the garlic and let cook 2 minutes or until fragrant and little browned. Throw in kale and let cook until just wilted and the ends start to crisp! You may need to add a little oil at this point. We like ours really crispy so I don't every usually add much


Hope you will make this and I hope your family loves it as much as mine does! You can bet it's on the menu for this week again! And probably the ONLY thing I will actually prepare in my kitchen this week. We've got one of those super-busy, something-every-day-and-night, weeks.

Happy Monday, friends!

Let me know if you make this and your family loves it!


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