Well, I couldn’t exactly call this tilapia and potatoes, now could I? True, that’s the bulk of the ingredients, but such a bland title doesn’t do this dish justice.
How does plain old fish and a single sweet potato go from drab to fab? With a few spices, a little time in the oven and a Feaston secret or two.
I’ll start with the sweet potato – don’t be fooled by that imposter yams, which is a totally different food than what you’ll find at your grocery store. Confused? Don’t be – you can find out more than you ever wanted to know about the difference between the two here.
For this recipe, I’m using the lighter colored sweet potato – not the orange yam. I find the orange potatoes are too sweet, but maybe you like them that way. Do what you feel.
The most important step in this whole recipe is coming up. Ready? Cut the end off of the sweet potato. Otherwise, it will explode in the oven, where this whole thing is headed.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I usually just toss the potato in there right when I turn the oven on, because it’s going to bake for at least 40 minutes. Maybe longer, depending on how big your potato is. The one we used was a perfect medium.
After 40 minutes or so, just reach in the oven (with an oven mitt, of course) and give the potato a squeeze. If it gives easily and is starting to secrete some sort of sweet potato juice, it’s done.
While you’re waiting for that magic moment, however, turn to the fish. We are again using tilapia, because we recently bought a value pack bag at the store, and it’s going to be in heavy rotation for awhile. But any white fish will do.
Place the fish (thawed, naturally) in a shallow baking dish and drizzle with white wine vinegar. Don’t have white wine vinegar? Well, since it’ll only put you out a few bucks, we suggest you go get some. It’s fantastic for making salad dressings and what not. But regular ol’ vinegar will work, too. Mix it up. Try balsamic or red wine vinegar and tell us how it turns out.
Next, sprinkle the fish with garlic salt and Fines herbs – a combination of herbs brought to you by the French. If you don’t have it, or can’t find it in your store, it’s just a mix of parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil (fancy parsley) and marjoram (fancy oregano). Just use any or all of those that you happen to have on hand.
Place the fish in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until firm and flaky. Don’t worry about the sweet potato getting cold – just don’t cut into it until you’re just about ready to eat.
Now, when the fish was almost done, we went ahead and boiled some green beans for a few minutes. Don’t overthink it.
In the final minute or so of the fish cooking, go ahead and cut open the sweet potato and scoop out the insides into a small bowl. To this, add 1 teaspoon of margarine (it would have been butter if I was using my fridge and not Mike’s) and 1 teaspoon brown sugar. I also added a dash of chipotle chili powder to give it some heat. I highly recommend this combination – while the chipotle chili powder gives the sweet potato a little something-something, any chili powder or bit of heat will do.
Mix it all up and serve with the green beans and fish right from the oven. You’ll never think of this meal as fish and potatoes again. The sweet potatoes are awesome this way, and we may never broil fish again. The baked fish was much firmer and tastier than anything else we’ve tried.
Overall, a total success. We hope you think so to!
Makes 2 servings
- 2 tilapia fillets, thawed and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
- 1 Tbsp. Fines herbs or a mixture of parsley, chives and tarragon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place fish in a shallow baking dish and top with vinegar. Sprinkle garlic salt and herbs on top of fillets.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until fillets are firm and flaky.