Post by: Aleda
I know I promised via my NYE resolutions to get better at the market hunting, but let’s face it, it’s brutally cold. I’m going to scope a green market in Jackson Heights next weekend, I promise. It’s Friday night and after a long first trimester nausea driven hiatus from real cooking, I am finally ready to start cooking good meals again. Tonight I threw on my great-grandmother’s apron for the first time in months and delved into my (super teensy tiny) kitchen. Tonight’s meal: baked tilapia, sautéed collard greens and a shallot & butter potato medley. And let me tell you, it was good.
Before I start getting into the ingredients & instructions, here’s the order in which I prepped/started cooking everything to have it finish at the same time, which for those of us using tiny kitchens in city apartments with 1 square foot of counter space is crucial: potato medley, collard greens, tilapia. One more great thing about this meal is that all three dishes share the same common ingredients: butter, garlic, salt & pepper. How easy is that?
First up to bat: potato medley. I never looked up a recipe for this, it’s just my own favorite starchy side. Be prepared, I don’t know measurements on this. It’s by sight and smell. It’s really easy, I swear.
Shallot Potato Medley:
Butter (about 2 Tbsp)
Shallots (either one large or 2 small/medium)
Garlic (2 cloves, chopped finely)
Potato Medley (I get mine at TraderJoe’s, just a bag of small, multi-colored potatoes)
How to Cook:
Get a large pan that has a cover and melt butter, about 2 tbsp and add garlic and chopped shallot(s). Sauté until garlic and shallots begin to brown and smell heavenly. Chop potatoes in half and add to pan & cover. The cover is crucial, it seals in the moisture to get your potatoes nice and soft without watering down any flavor of the butter, shallots or garlic. These will cook for about half an hour or so. Salt & Pepper to taste.
As soon as you get the lid on the potato medley, put a pot of water to boil for your collard greens so you can clean/prep/chop them while it heats up. Remember to stir your potatoes ever few minutes.
1 – 2 lb. collard greens
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Fresh squeezed lemon to taste
How to Cook:
Remove and discard stems and center ribs of collard greens and cut leaves into 1-inch pieces. In a kettle of boiling water cook collards 15 minutes and drain in a colander, pressing out excess liquid with back of a wooden spoon.
Mince or finely chop garlic. In a 12-inch heavy skillet (or in a pan for those of us who can’t afford a nice heavy skillet) heat butter and oil over moderately high heat until foam subsides and stir in garlic, collards, and salt and pepper to taste. Sauté collard mixture, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Drizzle collards with lemon juice and toss well.
2 Tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced/chopped
Pinch dried parsley
3-4 Tilapia filets
How to Cook:
In saucepan, combine butter, garlic, pepper, salt, parsley, and paprika. Heat over low heat until butter is melted and starts simmering. Remove from heat. Brush a little of the butter mixture in the bottom of a shallow baking dish (line baking dish with foil, if desired) then place tilapia fillets on the buttered area. Brush top of each tilapia fillet with the seasoned butter mixture. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes, until tilapia flakes easily with a fork.
While you’re baking the tilapia the collard greens should be sauteing and by this point you should be able to easily stick a fork through your potatoes, meaning all three dishes will be finished at the same time. I even had time to wash pots/pans while food was cooking to make more space, a definite plus for a type A kitchen lady like myself.
All in all I spent about 45 minutes total prepping/cooking this meal, and that included toddler distractions such as couch diving, arguments, and fruit snacks. It was enjoyable both in preparation and in eating. Even the husband was a big fan of the meal, and he is quite possibly the pickiest eater in the house.
Here is the finished product: