Seafood and Valentine’s Day go hand in hand…crab, lobster, anything from the sea and preferably in a shell.  But this year my budget didn’t have room for crustaceans, so I went to my favorite fish market (Coastal Seafoods) and picked up some tilapia.  If you live in the cities and haven’t been there, you definitely need to check it out!

Here’s what I did:

  • 1 Tbl butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 tilapia filets, halved the long way (if large)
  • dry white wine
  • fish stock
  • whipping cream
  • refrigerated unsalted butter
  • chives

Lightly butter a glass 9×13 pan.  Sprinkle the shallots over the bottom.  If the tilapia filets are thin, fold them over once.  Lay the filets in the pan and pour in enough white wine to just cover the bottom.  Pour in enough fish stock to go half-way up the filets.  Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or so (until they are opaque and can flake with a fork).  When they’re done, remove the filets and cover them with aluminum foil until you’re ready to serve.

For the sauce, strain the liquid from the pan into a small pot and reduce (boil so that much of the water evaporates leaving a more concentrated liquid).  Once it is significantly reduced (almost like a glaze), add a splash of cream.  Keep it boiling lightly.  To finish the sauce, add Tablespoon-sized pieces of cold butter one at a time while whisking. Once it reaches a light buttery color take the pot off the heating element.  Taste for seasoning.  Chop some chives and mix them into the sauce when you are ready to serve.

For the garnishes…

I stewed thin slices of fennel bulb with a dash of salt and sugar, and the Valentine heart is a piece of roasted red pepper cut with a paring knife.  This fish goes well with rice, couscous or boiled potatoes.

Happy Valentine’s Day!