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Tilapia with Sweet Peppers

The pepper mixture, a simple version of a Basque pipérade, can be made a few days ahead and reheated. It is equally good with halibut, flounder, sole, fish in the cod family or just about any other mild white-fleshed fish.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 red, orange or yellow bell peppers, seeded and
      sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 tilapia fillets, about 1 1/2 lb. total, pin bones
      removed
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar

Directions:

In a deep fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, stock, the 1/4 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Cover and cook until the peppers are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the fillets on a plate. Season on both sides with the paprika and then sprinkle with salt.

Set a large, heavy fry pan over low heat to preheat. When the peppers are nearly done, increase the heat under the empty fry pan to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Sprinkle the fillets on both sides with the flour, shaking off any excess. Add the fillets to the pan and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the fillets over and cook until just opaque throughout, about 3 minutes.

Stir the vinegar into the peppers and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the fillets to individual plates. Spoon the peppers over and alongside the fillets and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).