Tilapia with Cajun Cream Sauce

When Conservative Boy and I lived in Des Moines, one of our favorite restaurants, Nick's, was the sort of spot you didn't hear about much, but it was always busy when we went. Big dark booths, a bit of Sinatra playing through the speakers, great food and cocktails.

One of Conservative Boy's favorite meals was the Tilapia Caroline, which involved tilapia topped with crab and an incredibly flavorful cajun cream sauce (which also tasted divine on pasta, let me tell you). Last week, he came home from the store with a package of tilapia and announced he thought we should try it out at home.

So we did some searching and found a few possible cajun cream sauce recipes. We threw out the possibility of crab, because the imitation crab at Kroger just wouldn't cut it.

And then I set out to create our own version of Tilapia Caroline. Here it is. Conservative Boy gave it two thumbs up. That means you should try it.

Cajun Cream Sauce (adapted from Ann...By Hand and a few other recipes I found)

Diced onion (I used about a quarter of a large onion)
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
about 1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp catsup
Cajun spices (lots!)
Tabasco (a few shakes, then a few more)
1/3 c. heavy (whipping) cream

Saute onion in butter over low heat about 1 minute. Add garlic, oil, and flour and heat to make a roux (aka, a base). Add stock, wine, and catsup (this'll make it a bit sweeter) and reduce. Add cajun spices and Tabasco and then add twice as much as you originally thought and continue cooking. After 5 minutes or so, add cream and thicken to desired consistency.

Cook your tilapia. For my tilapia, I just improvised. I placed about a teaspoon of butter atop each piece of fish, sprinkled it liberally with Old Bay seasoning, salt, and pepper, squeezed on a bit of fresh lemon, and stuck it in the oven to broil until it was flaky (which, in our super-powered beast, only takes a few minutes).

Spread the cream generously over the tilapia.

Serve with some tasty sweet potato fries (easy—toss the potatoes with olive oil, paprika, pepper, and salt, then bake in the oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or so, tossing once halfway through).


No comments: