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Author Notes: One of the things about being married is that you often find your food preferences begin to change to suit those of your partner, and vice versa. After all, its just easier to cook one dish that both people enjoy rather than two separate dishes. My husband is not a huge fan of seafood (although he loves sushi, weird, I know) whereas I will eat almost anything from the sea. In the more than five years that we’ve been together I have cut back my seafood consumption to almost zero; I’m not upset by it, but like I said its just easier to cook something that we both like.
Seafood for me has become a treat, and I kind of like it that way. I usually have Mondays off, and I like to sit down with a glass of wine and a good lunch as I get myself organized for the rest of the week. Recently I bought some farm-raised tilapia (an incredibly versatile fish, cooking-wise) from my local co-op and came up with this recipe. My Thai basil plant was going gang-busters and I’ve been searching for new ways to utilize this amazingly fragrant and delicious herb, so it seemed only natural to toss it in with the fish. You’ll also notice that I cook my fish in a foil pouch – this helps cut down on clean-up and leaves you with a moist, delicious fillet and the accumulated juices to use as a sauce. This recipe is for one serving but can very easily be adjusted for more folks, just up the wine by 1 tablespoon per serving and increase the scallions & basil to fit your tastes.
NOTE: Thai basil can be found at most Asian grocery stores and in some specialty grocery stores. Regular basil will also work fine. Also, a fish spatula comes in very handy for transfering the fillet to a plate. Fish spatulas are much thinner, longer, and more flexible than regular spatulas, and are usually slotted. You can find them at virtually any kitchenwares shop. —GreenEats
fillet tilapia (or other mild, white fish)
tablespoon crisp white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
tablespoon chopped scallions
tablespoon chopped Thai basil
tablespoons cold butter, in pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Lay a sheet of tin foil (about twice the length of your fillet) on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Place the tilapia fillet in the middle of the foil. Pour 1 tbsp white wine over the fillet and dot with the chopped butter. Sprinkle with a big pinch of kosher salt, the chopped scallions, and the chopped basil.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes. Resist the urge to peek; the fish should be white and flaky when you unwrap it. If it seems undercooked simply re-wrap and bake for a few more minutes.
- Carefully transfer the fillet to a plate (this is where the fish spatula comes in), spoon over some of the juices from the foil packet, and serve with a cold glass of the same wine you cooked the fish in.