Tilapia is a good foundation for a healthy meal, and it’s my go-to weeknight fish. It is a white fish that’s fairly firm. If farmed in North or South America, it’s safe and environmentally friendly, too.
Now, how could I incorporate beer into my tilapia dish? By using it as a poaching liquid. I knew I wanted a fairly light, smooth beer – a bitter IPA or dark porter would impart too much strong flavor onto the fish. I opted for a Samuel Adams Coastal Wheat beer, which is brewed with lemon peel. A Belgian witbier, traditionally brewed with orange peel, would also be a good choice.
Paired with an orange and arugula salad and caper remoulade, the fish made for a meal that was light and delicious. The citrus notes in the beer tied the fish, side salad and sauce together.
Main course ingredients:
- 1 pound tilapia (2-3 filets)
- 1 bottle wheat beer
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
- 4 ounces arugula (about half a pre-washed bag)
- 1 large orange, peeled and diced
- Handful of parmesan cheese
- Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon capers, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh chives (about 5 stalks), finely minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely minced
- Pinch of dried dill
- Pinch of paprika
- Pinch of cayenne
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Step 1. Make the remoulade first; it can be refrigerated after completion. Combine all the ingredients together, then taste to adjust seasoning. Add more of any of the ingredients to match your taste preference. Be careful about adding too much dried dill, that seasoning will give off additional flavor as it sits in the sauce.
Step 3. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add a little oil. While the pan is heating, slice the tilapia filets in half, down the middle of the filet. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Sear the fish in the pan and remove it quickly, before it cooks too much.
Step 5. Decrease the heat to a simmer and return the fish to the pan. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until fish just flakes.
Serve fish with salad, spoonful of remoulade and crusty dinner roll.