Saturday, April 2, 2011

Stuffed Artichokes with Lemon Tilapia and Israeli Couscous

Since I'm ready for spring I wanted to make something light and "springy". The fish is very light and any white fish would work, while the artichoke has light flavors but can be heavy because of the bread crumbs. All in all this meal was light and filling all at the same time. I plan on making this again but possibly share the artichoke, or use smaller ones. Both my husband and I didn't finish the artichoke.

We don't usually have white wine in our house since we a red wine drinkers but my father brought a bottle up last time he visited, so I used a Gumdale Pinot Grigio with these recipes. Which also went well to drink along with making and eating this meal.

Stuffed Artichokes

2 artichokes
2 large shallots
3 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice of one lemon
2 cups bread crumbs
2 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine

To clean and prepare artichokes; first choose an artichoke that has tight leaves and has some weight. Trim off the stem and use kitchen shears to trim the tips of the leaves. Rinse the artichoke under cold water.

In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and butter. Mince the shallots and garlic and add to pan. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and add the bread crumbs. Remove from heat and add half of the Parmesan. Mix until everything is incorporated.

Take the artichokes and gently pull back the leaves, stuff the artichoke with the bread crumb mixture. Once stuffed, place the artichokes in a baking dish. Add the broth and wine to the baking dish.

Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half or until the base is tender and the leaves pull off easy.

Lemon Tilapia

2 Tilapia fillets, about 4 oz. each
4 slices of lemon
Juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Parchment paper

In a small bowl add the garlic, wine, oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Let sit so the flavors marry.

Take two large squares of parchment paper and fold in half then lay flat. Place the fish on the crease in the center of the paper. Spoon half the mixture on one fillet and half on the other. Lay two slices of lemon on each fillet.

Fold the parchment in a neat package by taking two opposite sides of the paper and bring together in the center, roll tightly until just above the fish. Take the other ends a roll tightly tucking them under the fish.

Place the package on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until flaky.

In the small bowl, without rinsing, add a tablespoon of melted butter. Set aside to use as dipping for the artichokes.

I served this with a side of Israeli couscous, or grande couscous, cooked as suggested by the package by toasting it then cooking it in chicken broth until al dente.