Thursday, November 6, 2008

Baked Costa Rican Style Tilapia with Tropical Pineapple Rice

What to do now?

After a greuling year of campaigns, political controversy and economic despair our country is left with hope and the promise of a new day. We've lived and breathed this monumental, historic race and now new & old political junkies everywhere are left with a politics hangover. For months, I have replaced my usual web browsing with an ardent obsession with political blogs.

Where I once read with my morning cup of coffee, I found myself typing into my browser first thing each morning. I sat glued to CNN, waiting and watching to see what would happen next. The long, hard fight is not over for President-Elect Barack Obama but now that the election is over, what do I do?

Cook and bake! Now that I can pull myself away from CNN, I'll be spending more time in the kitchen. For those still glued to see what unfolds next for our new President, here's a quick and easy meal to throw together. Keep me up to date. I need a break. Here's some photos pre-oven:

I first saw this recipe for Baked Costa Rican Style Tilapia with Pineapple Black Bean Rice on Simply Delicioso, Ingrid Hoffman's cooking show. It was the first episode of hers that I'd ever seen, but I instantly knew I needed to make this tropical fish. As the name spells out, tilapia is baked with a delightfully sweet and spicy rice accented by pineapples, salsa and black beans. Pop it all in the oven and you're left with a sophisticated, yet delicious and healthy meal.

I loved the rice so much that I'd definitely consider making rice this way again to serve with other meals though next time, I'd drain some of the excess liquid from the rice, pineapple and salsa mixture before baking. If you decide to cook this, I'd make sure to chop up the pineapple very finely and use a tasty salsa with a lot of spice! I was lucky to have a jar of homemade salsa on hand thanks to a lovely gift so the salsa added a lot of good flavor.

Baked Costa Rican Style Tilapia with Tropical Rice
Adapted from
Ingrid Hoffman
1 cup short grain brown rice
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used orange pineapple mango juice)
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tilapia fillets, rinsed and patted dry
2 cups homemade salsa
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups diced fresh pineapple
2 limes, thinly sliced


Combine the rice, chicken broth and a dash of salt in a pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 50 minutes. Remove from heat and keep covered for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. If using white rice, follow package directions.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil, 2 tablespoons of cilantro, the garlic, and sugar; season with salt and pepper. Add the tilapia fillets to the marinade, turning to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

Stir together the cooked rice, salsa, beans, pineapple, and remaining 2 tablespoons of the cilantro in a 2 or 3-quart baking dish. If there is a lot of liquid, drain some since you'll be adding the marinade. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and lay the fish fillets over the rice mixture, overlapping if necessary. Pour the reserved marinade over the fish. Shingle the lime slices over the fish. Bake until the fish flakes easily, is opaque, and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro before serving.


Maria said...

I love tilapia. I love how you prepared it. What a tasty meal!

kat said...

Bet that was one tasty meal

Anonymous said...

That dish looks so delicious and healthy! :) And I was the same about the U.S. election recently, and I live in Australia lol!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Oooh, love that rice!!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

I love making fish new ways and this looks delicious! Thanks!

Katie said...

My mouth is watering! I need to go eat...sure wish I had that in my kitchen!

Sophie said...

Awesome recipe I'll have to hold on to. Everything sounds scrumptious! Tilapia is a great fish to pair those yummy ingredients with.

I know how you feel (regarding your first paragraph)! It's almost like waiting for Christmas, then Christmas comes and you're sad it's over...and then you even miss the Christmas commercials :P!

Sharon said...

maria - I love tilapia as well since it's so easy to "get right"!

kat - it was so delicious, especially the rice.

lorraine - I'm so glad that the world was engaged in our election & happy of the outcome!

veggiegirl - thanks!

lisa - this is a foolproof, easy way to make fish. I love it!

katie - you should definitely be feeding little Juan :)

sophie - great analogy! I miss it all though Im glad some of the nastiness is over!

That Girl said...

I'm so excited to try this rice!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Of course, that's all we are left to do now, cook and bake, lol! And guess you're doing great in that, since this fish looks yummy yummy! A whole meal in one dish is my kind of meal! The lime slices must have given such a great flavour!

Esi said...

I've been meaning to pick up some tilapia for a while. This looks excellent.

Zesty Cook said...

I love Tilapia... lately I have been steam pouching it with a thai peanut sauce.... delcious. love your post


alexandra's kitchen said...

agreed. might I add SNL to the list of distracting yet very entertaining shows that have consumed me these past few months?

This looks like a great recipe. I'm always looking for a good baked fish recipe — pan searing can be so messy.

Shari said...

I want to make that tropical rice right now! Sounds amazing, especially with this fish.

Maris said...

Tilapia is one of my favorite kinds of fish...I love how versatile it is. Doesn't taste too "fishy" and pairs well with lots of different spices.

The Blonde Duck said...

Hooray! A tilapia my picky husband will eat! My thanks to you!

La Bella Cooks said...

I can't seem to take my eyes off of the rice. It all looks so tasty and fresh. Very impressive.

Anonymous said...

This looks fabulous, I love, love, love tilapia....this is in my recipe stack to make.

grace said...

everyone always tells me that if i think i don't like fish, i should try tilapia. perhaps it's time--this looks mighty appealing. :)

Anonymous said...

Well we have a lot in common:

I am a political junkie ... I voted for Obama ... I love Costa Rica and their cuisine ... and I love (or used to love) tilapia.

Tilapia is a very delicate fish that willingly takes on and enhances the herbs, spices, and other ingredients used in its preparation.

But ... HEALTHY? I don't know!

Here in Maryland, it is very difficult to find tilapia that is NOT imported from china.

I have read dozens of horror stories about chinese tilapia farms, about the horrendous chemicals that chinese tilapia contains, and about how many people have been sickened by chinese imports.

So, my question is: can you and your readers find tilapia that is NOT imported from china? If so, where?

By the way, my wife is a medical doctor, and she will NOT allow ANYTHING knowingly imported from china into our home.

krysta said...

i know how you feel... all i have been doing is baking since the election and nothing is turning out right! go figure!

Aggie said...

I've been really into fish lately, will try this for sure, it looks delicious!

I totally know what you mean...I have a politics hangover too...I have to redirect it to the kitchen! :)

Jenny said...

What a beautiful dish Sharon! I want some!

RecipeGirl said...

Shoot, I saw this recipe too late. I scoured my cookbooks yesterday looking for a good tilapia recipe and guess what... no tilapia recipes at all. I don't know why I didn't just do an internet search. I did find one in my files... which is on tap for dinner tonight!

vanillasugarblog said...

and you know this is all good for you too.
you're smart chicklet!

Bunny said...

That lloks so good Sharon,I bet my hubby would love this!

MrOrph said...

I too am a political junkie. I feel exhausted!

Nicely done on this dish. This looks like a good week night dish. Pretty healthy too.

Boyd Team said...

Hey Sharon, I left something for you on my blog!

Sharon said...

Hi DocChuck, thanks for the note about tilapia. I've heard conflicting things about potential health issues. The tilapia I buy is either from Henry's or Whole Foods and from Ecuador.

Emily said...

Oh, that sounds so good! Very tropical.

MrsDocChuck said...

Sorry for my husband's weirdness. He's upset that he can't vote anymore thanks to his conviction many years ago.

I'm not a doctor. I'm a nurse. Even so, I consider tilapia -- or any foodstuff imported from China -- to be potentially toxic. Much of their commercial fishing occurs in filthy, garbage-strewn waters.

We'll not eat that, thanks.

I am sure you could substitute USA farm-raised catfish for the tilapia, though, just to be sure.

This looks to be a delicious recipe. Thanks.