Get Monday: Grilled Tilapia, Cevichi Style

So, I’m doing a few different thing here and I figured why bore you with my fancy-schmancy pictures of people and what not. I though I could let you in on what the rest of my life’s about. I like to cook! That phrase may be up for interpretation, but never the less, I like getting in the kitchen and whipping up gourmet masterpieces. Again, masterpieces may be up for interpretation. Occasionally I’ll watch the food network with the wife and it occurred to me that a lot of this stuff seems pretty easy, you know, get all the ingredients follow instructions and viola! I learned to cook from my mom, she’s quite the culinary genius, but very picky when it comes to trying different ingredients in her recipes. Sorry mom, but your picky-ness is whats holding me back in discovering new foods! But hey, I wouldn’t know where to start so I turned to the pros over at the Food Network. I like certain chefs specifically because their cooking style seems to suit my palette. My favorite chef happens to be Alton Brown, he’s smart on what he’s cooking, easy to follow and he’s got grrrreat taste in dishes. So I’m sharing one of his recipes with you, I kinda made some alterations to it but it’s mostly true to form. Here’s the link to Alton’s original recipe for Grilled Mahi-Mahi, Ceviche Style.

If you’re not a big fish fan, this is definitely the dish for you! I know most of you who don’t like fish typically don’t like it because of the fishy smell or flavor. This has neither; it does have soft flaky, moist fish texture with a sweet rush at first followed quickly by a spicy bite. This dish originally calls for Mahi-Mahi but times are little tight sooooo I substituted in tilapia which is a also a white flaky fish but the fillets are not as thick so they actually cook faster (oh yeah, cheaper too). I also added radishes as a garnish/side dish, it gives it that crunchy texture and a very subtle earthy taste that kinda breaks up the sweet-spicy flavor of the fish.


· 6-8 skinless tilapia fillets, approximately 2 pounds

· 2 teaspoons kosher salt

· 1/2 cup diced red onion

· 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

· 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

· 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno

· 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

· 1/4 cup tequila

· 1 tablespoon olive oil

· 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves

Rub the fillets with kosher salt and set aside. In a non-reactive bowl, combine the onion, lime juice, orange juice, jalapeno, sugar and tequila. Mix to dissolve the sugar, and add the fillets to the bowl. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours (I’d let them marinate for and hour if you’re in a rush to make dinner), turning the fillets once after 1 hour. Remove the fillets from the marinade and set it aside. Pat the fillets dry with paper towels and lightly coat with the olive oil.

Heat a grill to high and place the fillets over direct heat until they are just cooked through – opaque at the center but still moist, approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side. While the fish is grilling, transfer the reserved marinade to a saucepan and heat until it is reduced to about 3/4 cup. Using tongs, remove the fillets to serving plates and divide sauce equally among them. Top with the cilantro. Gather around 10-15 red radishes cut the stalk and roots off then rinse and serve as a garnish or as a side dish.

I popped the bowl into the fridge for the hour that I let them marinate, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever let them marinate for more than an hour! 🙂 At first, it may seem like it’s not enough marinade for all of the fish so I bump up the amounts of the orange and lime juice by about and 1/8 of a cup and I like mine with an extra kick so I use closer to 3 table spoons of minced jalepenos.

When I pull the fish out of the fridge, I start my rice cooker with some long grain rice, nothing special, to go along with the fish. Unless you use Uncle Ben’s microwave rice…

This has become a household favorite here, I think I should start doing more of these. Yeah, you know what, I will! The next one with be a recipe for Puerto Rican Rice, so stay tuned. And bon-apetit!

Peter Garr - You're a badass! We should cook together sometime… maybe open a restaurant. Two gourmet photographers! 🙂

Edgar - That tequila looks good… where did you get it?

Lety - Hey there. I just wanted to let you know that I love the new format. I enjoy your writing too. It gives the pix a whole new voice. Yeah!

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