Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blackened Tilapia with Braised Napa Cabbage and Coconut Cumin White Yam

     The flavors on this plate go very nicely together!  Quickly made white wine and apple braised cabbage is on the opposite end of the flavor scale, when compare to the spicy fish.  That is what is known as an offsetting flavor combination.  Sweet white yam with the cumin coconut milk sauce has a warm and soothing flavor.
     This is a caribbean style plate of blackened fish.  Cajun blackening spice and the cooking technique is popular throughout the caribbean.

     Braised Napa Cabbage Recipe:
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 2 tablespoons of chopped onion.
     When the onions turn clear in color, add 1 small handful of coarsely chopped apple.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced ginger.
     Add 2 cups of coarsely chopped napa cabbage.
     Saute and toss the ingredients together, till the cabbage becomes wilted.
     Add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
     Add 1/2 cup of dry white wine.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Cover the pot with a lid.
     Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Braise the cabbage, till the cabbage becomes tender.
     Remove the lid.
     Simmer and reduce, till most of the liquid has evaporated.
     Stir in 1 pat of unsalted butter.
     Keep the braised cabbage warm on a stove top.

     Coconut Cumin White Yam Recipe:
     Bake 1 white yam in a 350 degree oven, till it is fully cooked but not mushy.
     Drag the back of a knife over the hot yam's skin, while holding the yam with a dry towel, to peel the skin off.
     Cut the hot white yam into a large, thick medallion shape.
     Heat a sauce pot over low heat.
     Add 1 cup of coconut milk.
     Add 3 pinches of cumin.
     Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add the yam medallion to the sauce.
     Simmer the sauce with the baked yam, till the starch from the yam thickens the coconut milk to a medium sauce consistency.
     Keep the coconut cumin white yam warm on a stove top.
     Cajun Blackening Spice Mix Recipe: 
     Place 1/2 tablespoons of onion powder into a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 tablespoons of garlic powder.
     Add 4 tablespoons of paprika.
     Add 4 tablespoons of cayenne pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of black pepper.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of white pepper.
     Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
     Add 1/3 tablespoon of sugar.
     Add 1/3 tablespoon of flour.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Blackened Tilapia:  
     Heat 2 ounces of unsalted butter in a skillet over medium high heat, till the butter begins to smoke.
     Dredge 3 to 4 ounce tilapia filets in the Cajun Blackening Spice Mix.
     Place the small tilapia filets in the smoking hot butter.
     Blacken for 4-5 minutes on one side and only one minute on the other side.
     Set the blackened tilapia on a dry towel to drain off any excess grease.

     Blackened Tilapia with Braised Napa Cabbage and Coconut Cumin White Yam:
     Mound some of the braised napa cabbage on a plate.
     Set the blackened tilapia filets against the braised cabbage.
     Place the large white yam medallion next to the cabbage.
     Generously pour the cumin coconut cream over the white yam.

     White yam is so sweet and good tasting!  We always called white yam Yama Blanco.  The coconut milk and cumin flavors delicately accent the white yam's flavor.  The braised napa cabbage is tart from the lemon and wine with a light sweet flavor from the apple.  There is no pork fats or sugar in this lightly braised napa cabbage recipe.
     Spicy blackened tilapia is a nice match for delicate mild flavors on this plate.  Tilapia, in the wild, is a brackish water fish that is in the snapper family.  This is a nice tasting plate of food!  ...  Shawna

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