I’ve been more lazy this week with dinner. I’m trying to clean out the fridge. I’m trying to come up with new meals and recipes. But, alas, my brain is fried and my cooking mojo has hit the road it seems. Or could it be that darn heat wave we had on the East Coast?
In any case, we did have a good dinner a few nights ago that consisted of Tilapia loins (from Trader Joe’s) with Chimichurri sauce, and black beans and rice (recipes below.) We drank our fill of passion fruit juice, too. (We get our passion fruit concentrate at our local Brazilian market.)
Awhile back I posted a recipe for Chimichurri that we really liked. However, because I sometimes can’t be bothered with looking at a recipe in the throes of making dinner, I sort of made up my own version that we liked even better. (Or at least I did.)
I don’t measure all the time, so it’s hard to post a recipe with that in mind. But, I don’t really see how you can go wrong with this.
Having grown up eating Uncle Ben’s and rice from a rice cooker, I had no idea how to cook rice the Brazilian way–or the ONLY way if you ask my husband.
I thought he was crazy when I watched him make Brazilian rice for the first time. He chopped an onion, sauteed it in canola oil, added the long grain rice, toasted the rice, then added water and salt.
It. was. the. best. rice. I’d. ever. eaten. Period.
My man is a good cook when he wants to be. And he definitely makes a better pot of rice. I’m catching up though–the past two times I’ve tried to replicate his recipe, he’s told me “that’s how rice is supposed to taste.” You know, if you been reading awhile, that I will do anything to get a good review from my husband, my toughest/greatest critic. The beans are mandatory with the rice. I’ve perfected those too. :)
Tilapia with Chimichurri Sauce and Brazilian Black Beans and Rice
1 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 tsp. dried oregano (it’s all I had…maybe 1 Tbsp. fresh?)
approx. 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (use the good stuff for this)
juice of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lime
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
One 4 oz. Tilapia loin or filet per person
salt and pepper
For Brazilian Rice:
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cups long grain rice (not instant or parboiled)
4 cups water
1 tsp. salt (more if you want to)
For Crockpot Black Beans:
1 lb. black beans (pick over them, sometimes there are little rocks)
1 packet Goya Sazon seasoning (culantro y achiote)
1 tsp. salt
6 cups water, divided
Either by hand or using a food processor, finely chop the parsley and cilantro. Place the chopped herbs in a bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Let sit for about one hour before using. Keeps about 2 days in the fridge. (It will lose its vibrant green color the next day, as is evident in the above picture.)
Makes about 3/4-1 cup sauce.
Rub each side of the tilapia with a little olive oil. Season well on both sides with salt and pepper. Either bake in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes (or until fish flakes easily with a fork), or heat a nonstick skillet on medium high heat and cook for a few minutes on each side.
For Brazilian Rice:
Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. (I use a 3-quart pan.) Add the onion and cook until onion takes on a little color and becomes tender. Add the rice. Stir the rice to coat it with oil and toast until the rice grains become white. Slowly add the water. (It will bubble up quite a bit at first. Season with salt. Let the rice boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Place a lid on top and let the rice cook for about 15 minutes, or until tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat. Keep the lid on and let stand for about 10 minutes. Fluff rice and serve.
For Crockpot Black Beans:
Pour 4 cups hot water into crockpot. Add beans and seasonings. Turn on to high. Leave it alone for a couple of hours. When you see that most of the water has been absorbed, add the remaining 2 cups water. You may only need one. The beans should be submerged by 1/2 to 1″ of water. At this point either leave the temperature on high for another couple of hours (taste them to make sure they don’t get overcooked) or turn it down to low and leave it for 4 hours.
Optional: When the beans are almost done cooking, you can add garlic and onion to enhance the flavor. We also add a couple bay leaves. Do it your own way and own the recipe, I say!
Give each person a tilapia loin or filet with a few tablespoons of chimichurri sauce on top. Serve with about 1/2 each of rice and black beans, and vegetables (such as corn) on the side.