Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tilapia, Fingerling Potatoes, & Wilted lettuce

Today is nice & sunny, but need to mow & trim grass, so not a fun day. Mothernature seems to have gotten April showers mixed up. We have been having them since the 1st of May! I am going to do a couple of store boughten pizzas for our supper tonight. I know they are not as good as home made but I have to mow!

Yesterday I was happy my meal would include fresh lettuce & basil from my garden. I had bought two Tilapia filets, about ½ lb each, from Krogers. I had thawed out a small vacuum pack of my home cured bacon for the wilted lettuce & had some nice fingerling potatoes to use. I used some of Penzey’s Florida seasoned pepper to season the Tilapia, about an hour before the cook and boiled the potatoes for about 7 to 10 min. I drained them, sliced in half, placed in a zip loc bag & added garlic, parsley, salt, pepper & some olive oil placed in fridge along with the Tilapia until ready to cook.

It had rained overnight & sprinkled some during the morning, & was cloudy. I was a little hesitant to use my pellet grill since I don’t have a covered patio to cook on & was too lazy to take the smoker to the garage. By 3:00 in the afternoon the sun was trying to peek out so got the smoker all ready. At 4:00 went in & got the food ready. I diced up the bacon & cooked until browned, removed & set aside. I planned to cook at 300 deg. doing the potatoes in a wire basket for 15 min. then adding the fish for ½ hr. more. I had a small loaf of sourdough bread to add the last 10 & heat up. At 5:30 I got the potatoes on & got the Tilapia from the fridge, placed them on cedar planks I had coated w/olive oil, added some thin sliced basil & pats of butter. The cedar planks would not impart any flavor to the fish but makes a nice vessel to cook on & they keep the fish moist. They would be nice to serve on if you had a tray or mat for them. At 5:45 I put the Tilapia on then the last 10 min added the bread on a trivet over the basket of potatoes. I heated the two TBS of reserved bacon grease & some thinly sliced Vidalia onions, sautéed a couple of min. added about ¼ cup of vinegar & water + 1tsp of sugar left simmer. Then got my food from the smoker, added the reserved bacon to the lettuce & poured the hot dressing over.
It all tasted very good, fish was done just right. My wife said it was too lemony for her so next time will cut back on the Florida seasoned pepper, I liked it the way it was though.
We both love those fingerling potatoes, which are hard to find around here.

Lettuce in my garden

Seasoned Tilapia

Diced bacon

Done bacon

Tilapia ready for the smoker

On the smoker & ready

My supper

Smokin Don

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