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You know what people like to do in the winter? Stay in. It’s inevitable. Once you get home from work or wherever, it’s tough to get up the motivation to go back out in the cold and do some sort of activity. This presents a problem for anybody that has a girl they need to impress. How do you work an angle when neither of you wants to go out? The answer: stay in and cook.

Cooking for the opposite sex doesn’t come without risks, though. You want to show off your competence and taste, but you could screw up a lot and make something terrible. Minimize the risk factors with this recipe. It has a French word in the title, so it sounds fancy. The vegetables are colorful, so it looks nice. And most of all, it’s cheap and easy.

Since I already had butter, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, the ingredients for this meal cost me less than $10 and would easily feed two (even though I, um, ate it all by myself). The recipe is very simple and won’t take you more than 45 minutes to prepare. Finally, it’s delicious.

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Ingredients:

2 tilapia filets

4 medium carrots

4 medium celery stalks

2 red potatoes

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper

Process:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel potatoes and carrots. Quarter potatoes, then slice all vegetables into 1/4 inch pieces. Spread your vegetables on a baking sheet and dress them with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Put your pan in the oven and roast vegetables for about 25 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, toss your vegetables with a spatula, then toss them again every 5 minutes or so until they’re tender. 
  2. Melt butter in a pan over medium-low heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper on one side of the fish, then add the filets to the pan with the seasoned side down. Season the top of the fish with more salt and pepper. After 3-5 minutes, when the edges of the fish have turned white, carefully flip the filets. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low. Let the fish cook for another 5 minutes and remove the filets from the pan.
  3. Add the lemon juice to the butter in the pan and scrape up any brown bits covering the bottom. Turn the heat back up to medium-low, and continue stirring the sauce until the butter has browned slightly. Keep an eye on this step since you don’t want to burn your butter; it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes or so. Pour the sauce directly over the fish.
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