A New Fish Stew

Island Epicure

The tilapia, a versatil little fish about the size of an adult’s hand, can live almost anywhere, and does. The Egyptians of Cleopatra’s time relished tilapia caught in the  Mediterranean Sea. Americans right now are eating tilapia that may have come from the Gulf of Mexico, or from the Mississippi River or another, or from a lake. Tilapia flesh is pink before cooking, white after.  Their bones lie in a flat plane, all attached to their spines. The bones are easily removed as one piece, and you don’t even have to do that yourself. It’s done, and the skin removed, by the fishmonger. You are unlikely to encounter a bone in your fish stew, or in a tilapia filet quickly sauteed as you would a sole filet.

Son Seve and grandson James tucked a grocery shopping at Winco into a trip off-Island. Winco is a big-box store. They bought a large packet of frozen individually plastic wrapped tilapia. We and  several large sweet potatoes.  The fish stew I made with three little tilapia filets and half of one huge sweet potato drew accolades and a desire to share my recipe. Here it is:

Tilapia and Sweet Potato  
Makes 2 to 3 servings
3 frozen tilapia
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes
Hot water to cover
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried dill weed
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1 cup milk
3 drops Tabasco sauce, or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

With kitchen scissors, cut the plastic off one side of each tilapia filet.  Remove filets from their packets and cut them in approximately 1-inch squares. Leave them to thaw while you apply a potato peeler to the sweet potato/s, cutting the skin off in thin strips. Cut the  potato lengthwise, then cut slices about 1/16th inch thick.

Put the potato slices into a 6-cup saucepan. Cover with hot water. Stir in salt. Put a lid on the pan. Cook on medium heat until potato pieces are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add tilapia and dill weed. Cover and cook just until the fish turns white. Add milk and Tabasco. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Add parsley. Stir gently. Ladle into soup bowls. Sprinkle each with paprika.  If divided into two large servings, each  yields  35 grams of protein; if into 3 servings. 27 grams protein.

Each of two servings also gives you a generous day’s  supply of Vitamin A.

To complete the meal, offer a salad of washed, dried, and torn up lettuce, diced cucumber and tomato, sliced black or green olives, crumbled goat cheese,  and a dressing of your choice.  As a beverage, we like papaya nectar.  Nutritionally it yields fair amounts of Vitamins A and C, as does the salad.  Add whole-grain bread, toasted and buttered  for carbohydrate and vitamin E and you have a well balanced meal.