Prosciutto-wrapped tilapia

Cured pork + flaky fish = a tempting culinary equation

Originally appeared in the October 18, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

This is one of those recipes that might appear or even sound complicated; but please, dear reader, if this happens to be the case, perish the thought.   Just take a look at the ingredient list: 2 simple items along with a bit of seasoning—that’s it.

On the other hand, if I had to place emphasis, or at least a culinary caveat, with this dish it’d be in the execution.  You want to prep your roll in leisurely yet fastidious fashion, and make sure you tighten this device when rolling it in plastic (you can use your work counter to create traction which helps a great deal).  And take your time on searing the exterior.  You’ll want to be very aware of the heat of the pan; add a bit of vegetable oil to the hot sauté pan as a bit of insurance, because you want this delicious device to be crispy, not stick to the pan.

And when it comes time to slide it in the oven, don’t go overboard—in other words: fish cooks quickly, and it only takes a few minutes exposed to high heat to create a product that’s ready-to-eat.  Good luck, have fun, and see you next week.

 

Prosciutto-wrapped tilapia

Serves 3 – 4

  • 1 pound of tilapia fillets
  • 5 – 6 thin slices of prosciutto
  • To taste, kosher salt and cracked black pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 375° F.  Slice fish lengthwise and place one piece on top of the other, anticipating a more rounded roll later.  On a clean work surface, unroll a sheet of plastic wrap.  Place four slices of prosciutto in a shingle pattern (staggered slightly to overlap) on plastic wrap, then place fish on top of prosciutto; wrap the prosciutto around the fish.  Use the sheet of plastic to wrap and tighten the stuffed breast.  Repeat steps for the second breast, and allow them to rest for a couple hours (this will firm them up a bit).

2.  In a large, oven-safe sauté pan, heat oil to medium-high.  Unwrap plastic from prosciutto-wrapped fish and place in pan, searing the wrapped fish on all sides until prosciutto is crispy before transferring the sauté pan to a 375° F oven for fifteen minutes (or until fish feels firm when pressed).  After removing from oven, allow fish roll to rest for about ten minutes before slicing and serving.

Flatbread with prosciutto, gorgonzola, and figs

Flatbreads feature fun flavor combinations

Originally appeared in the January 26, 2012 edition of the Southside Times.

I don’t have the space (I’m not even sure I have enough ink) to discuss the debate about what makes a pizza a pizza.  Personally, I don’t categorize this as a pizza.  But I encourage you to label these flatbreads any way you please—they’re still delicious.

There seems to be some indication that flatbreads of all varieties (tortillas, pitas, chapatis, to name a scant few) are linked to travel and exploration, the rationale that there’s a universal connection with these breads being utilized as holding devices for more exotic and savory ingredients.  More after the jump: (more…)

Published in: on January 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Grilled scallops with mango and arugula salad

Scallops:  a sea-change of pace

Originally appeared in the June 09, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

Next time you’re at the market scanning the seafood selection, bypass the usual suspects—the salmon, the tilapia, the shrimp—and try your culinary luck with scallops, what I consider to be an underused and undersung ocean edible.  Check out more here: (more…)

Prosciutto-wrapped chicken with ricotta and sage

The fare is fowl

Originally appeared in the January 27, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.


In certain critical kitchen cliques, chicken has a reputation for being boring, insipidly safe, and purported to be the culprit of many dull dishes.  But I’m of the mind that chicken’s only as mediocre as the cook caring for the recipe—the maestro in charge of the music, in other words.

Take this week’s recipe.  There are a scant number of ingredients, sure; but they’re intended to be a collaboration, both complimenting and contrasting to create a humble little harmony.  Read more here: (more…)

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm  Comments (2)  
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