Pan-fried Tilapia

Tilapia is a go-to protein for us during the week. I keep a bag of warehouse store filets in the freezer. I can pull 3 filets out of the freezer, thaw them quickly in the sink while I prep a side dish and have dinner ready in 30 minutes.

Pan-fried tilapia with onion couscous and tomato-cucumber salad.

Pan-fried tilapia with onion couscous and tomato-cucumber salad.

Tonight we enjoyed the fish with a side of onion couscous and a quick salad of garden fresh tomatoes, thyme, a cucumber from a co-worker and a quick vinaigrette.

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Shrimp Burgers

A local tapas place offers shrimp burgers.  We don’t get to the restaurant that often though, and we really dig them.  So I after some web surfing I found a recipe from Chef Marcela Valladolid off the Today show website. I made a few mods to fit what I had on hand.

Shrimp Burgers
Servings: 4 burgers
Prep time: 40 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes


  • 1 lb. medium frozen shrimp, thawed, shelled and deveined
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 poblano chile, roasted, peeled, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped shallot
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 15 grinds of cracked black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp.canola oil
  • burger rolls, split in half


  1. Rough chop one half of the shrimp and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Place the remaining shrimp in a food processor and grind to a coarse puree. Add the egg, cilantro and garlic to food processor and process until smooth. Added the Panko and process to combine.
  3. Transfer the mixture from the food processor to the large bowl with the chopped shrimp. Add the poblano, shallot, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Chill mixture for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Divide the mixture into 4 parts and form patties. I used a round cookie cutter about the size of the burger buns as a guide, packing the shrimp mixture into the cutter. To remove the cutter I ran a table knife around the inside of the ring and lifted the cutter. After all 4 patties are formed chill again for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. When hot add the patties and cook for 3 minutes on the first side. Flip the patties and cook for 2 minutes on the second side. Remove the patties and cover to keep warm.
  6. Wipe any excess oil from the pan and toast the burger buns.
  7. We served these with a bit of spicy mayo (see notes) and a few mixed salad greens on each burger.

I have found that 1 pound of frozen shrimp, when thawed and patted dry, equals about 12 oz. of usable shrimp.

For spicy mayo mix 3 parts mayo to 1 part sriracha .

Lobster melt

There’s a restaurant just outside of Harvard Square in Boston where my husband enjoyed a lobster melt some years back. It sounded good at the time and I had a hankering for one to celebrate the summer holiday.

I picked up a couple of 1# lobsters at the supermarket and had them steam them while I finished my shopping. The next day I pulled the meat from the shell and chopped it up a bit so that there were large pieces of meat rather than a whole lobster tail.

During the day Ted made a loaf of yummy bread. Once it was cool I cut a couple of thick pieces off for each of us.

I added about 2 tablespoons of mayo to the lobster meat along with a bit of salt and some freshly ground pepper. Basically a very lightly doctored lobster salad.

I then made what is in essence a grilled cheese sandwich, with lobster salad, cheddar cheese and bacon. Because everything is better with bacon!

Baked Fish

Baked Fish (serves 2)

1# tilapia (this was 4 fillets for me)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded or grated, your choice).
2 Tbsp butter, melted.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold the fish in one layer.

Combine breadcrumbs and cheese in one dish. Put the milk in another dish. Slide the fish through the milk and then breadcrumb/cheese mixture. Coat both sides of the fish. Place in the baking dish.

Drizzle fish with melted butter. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Fish should be white and flaky.

Crabmeat “ravioli” with pancetta and leek

The meal was based on something Wolfgang Puck made on Iron Chef America – Battle of the Masters. The sauce is my best approximation to what he made. I don’t remember what he filled his ravioli with; ted_badger was in the mood for crabmeat tonight.

Both the sauce and the ravioli have leek in them. The leeks at the store today were huge, frickin’ huge even. So I cleaned and diced up the white and light green part of just one leek. I’d guess it was about 2 cups. This was cooked in little grape seed oil for about 7 minutes. I removed the leeks to a dish.

I then combined 6 oz. of imitation crabmeat (it’s inexpensive and there are no bits of shell to worry about) with about 2/3 cup of the cooked leeks, 1/2 cup of a grated parmesan/romano cheese blend and a teaspoon of ground coriander (salt + pepper to taste). I then formed the raviolis using wonton skins, using a bit of egg white to bind the edges. I used 2 skins per ravioli, one for the bottom and then a second for the top. I used about 2/3 of the filling, making 15 raviolis.

Once the ravioli were complete I julienned 4 oz. of pancetta and cooked it over medium heat until it had some good color, maybe 5 minutes. I added the leeks back in to reheat, tossed about a 1/4 cup of the cheese blend in and then added about 1 cup of heavy cream. I also tossed in the remaining 1/3 of the filling. After stirring to combine I turned the heat down a notch.

I tossed the ravioli into a pot of salted slightly boiling water. A bit of a miscalculation here as the water didn’t have enough heat in it to come back to a boil quickly. The raviolis took about 4 minutes to cook. In the future I’ll bring it to a rolling boil and then lower the heat just before adding the pasta.

While the pasta cooked I notice the sauce had thickened a bit more than I wanted so I added another 1/2 cup of heavy cream (so 1.5 cup total). Once the raviolis were done I added them to the sauce, tossed to coat and then plated.

We both agreed that they were a bit salty, mostly likely due to the amount of parm/romano cheese blend. We’ll cut that down in the future. Nonetheless the dish was quite tasty and very filling. Two forks up.