Monday, October 15, 2012

CROSTINI: CITRUS-BUTTER TILAPIA with HERBED CREAM CHEESE


Hello, dear Reader! I wish I had better pictures for you of this DELICIOUS concoction I managed to improvise the other night. I made a big ole Italian meal for a friend's visit, and for antipasti we had three kinds of crostini: tilapia with herbed cream cheese, crostini di cavolfiore (puréed cauliflour with herbs and red onion), and bruschetta (tomato, olive oil, basil).

If you're not familiar, crostini are Italian appetizers (antipasti), literally "little toasts." They are small, toasted pieces of bread adorned with various (usually beautiful) toppings. You've certainly heard of bruschetta, a type of crostini that has become popular in the United States and has earned all sorts of versatility and "American-izations" throughout American cuisine.

These crostini are warm, so they'd be wonderful paired with any cold crostini (try bruschetta; ham, olive, and feta; or pear and gorgonzola). Or, you can pair them with another cold Italian appetizer - antipasto freddo - like prosciutto-wrapped melon or asparagus with red wine vinaigrette.


Anyway. Lately I've been trying to work without recipes as often as possible - to make myself learn. But since my friend was visiting just for one dinner, I decided to spare her my experimentation (mostly), and cook from the book. EXCEPT for this tilapia crostini, which were an improvisation. It was particularly daring for me because I don't cook much fish in the first place. Well, who'd have guessed it, dear Reader, but my tilapia crostini were a hit! I was pretty darn excited :)

Because I didn't want to disturb our lovely dinner and time to catch up, I decided not to take any pictures that night. However the next day, I ended up making this again for my husband and I... it was just too good.


Citrus-Butter Tilapia Crostini with Herbed Cream Cheese


INGREDIENTS:

BREAD:
20 or so 1/2-inch slices of a French baguette or bâton (sliced diagonally)
2 garlic cloves, halved
olive oil

TILAPIA:
3 tilapia fillets 
salt and pepper
3 - 4 T citrus-herb butter* 

HERBED CREAM CHEESE:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried marjoram
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced

*Someone gave us some delicious gourmet citrus-herb butter as a gift, so I was excited to use it. If you'd rather not buy it, you can also find easy recipes online to make it yourself. 


INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat oven to 400. Rub one side of each bread slice with the halved garlic cloves. Then lay out on baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Bake for 5 - 8 minutes or until golden brown.

Salt and pepper both sides of tilapia fillets. Add them to a skillet with the butter and heat on medium-high heat. Cook 2 - 3 minutes on each side, only flipping once. (Be sure to coat them well in the butter! Mmm my mouth is watering...)

Place softened cream cheese in saucepan on medium-low heat. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Continue to heat until mixture is smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. 

Spread (or pipe) herbed cream cheese onto slices of bread. Top with crumbled tilapia. Be generous with both parts!

Enjoy!





9 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Oh, Christina, it really, really was. I'm highly recommending it :)
      Thanks for checking it out!

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