Healthy Dinner, Lemon Broiled Tilapia and Cous Cous

Broiled tilapia and cous cous.

Sometimes I'm in the mood for a light dinner. It's beginning to warm up in Orlando and the idea of soup or a braise when the temperature outside is nearing 80 just sounds wrong, too heavy, too rich. This is the time I want simple, clean flavors, refreshing white wine, crisp veggies, and a meal that doesn't weigh me down. The perfect time to make fish.

Tilapia is a perfectly simple white fish to make at home. My favorite preparation is to broil it. Grilling would be nice if it weren't so delicate, so instead I place it on a sheet pan, protected by lemon slices, enriched with just a touch of butter, and served over simple cous cous.

Cous cous is such an easy side dish that you don't really need a recipe, just follow package instructions. Tonight, I started by sweating a small onion, 1 carrot and 1 rib of celery in olive oil, then adding chicken stock, then the cous cous. Simple and delicious, the perfect accompaniment for broiled fish.

Veggies sweating...
Cous cous added, pop a lid on and wait.

The fish tonight was boneless skinless frozen tilapia filets bought at the grocery store. Thaw them in the fridge, then lay them on parchment paper with lemon slices and a few small nubs of butter.

Tilapia, salt, pepper, lemon and butter.

I like to bake the fish for 5 minutes at 400 F, then put it under the broiler for another 3-4 minutes. In the past I've found that you can cook the entire thing under the broiler, but you may catch the parchment a little. Just baking the fish doesn't allow the lemon slices to get that gorgeous touch of char.
After the bake and broil.
To serve, simply fluff the cous cous and add parsley and serve the fish over top. It's that easy and that delicious. And to drink? White wine is the perfect pairing. I had Sancerre tonight, although Chablis would be great, and if Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio is your style, they would both be delicious here as well. Basically you are looking for a refreshing, dry wine with enough acidity to give a little backbone to the meal. Even a simple, fruity, dry red or rose would be nice. Just avoid tannin and anything sweet.

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