Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Double Duty Weekly Recipe: Baked Kale Chips and Walnut Crusted Tilapia

I didn't want you to feel slighted since I skipped last week.  To repay you for your patience, I'm giving you 2 recipes in 1!  How kind, I know.

I look forward to cooking on Sundays because time is on my side.  Sure I have 2 starving rugrats clawing at my ankles but I also have a very understanding husband (who also likes to eat) that does his darnedest to occupy them.  Sundays suppers usually entail a meat and 2 sides that require a lot of time and attention - more so than the 30 minutes I'm typically working with.

It's my goal to have at least one of the items on the plate get rave reviews, but it's a real bonus when a dark horse also gets rave remarks.  Allow me to introduce to you, Kale Chips.

I know, I know, you're probably thinking that either you don't like kale, or these sound disgusting, or my kids won't eat those.  And all I can say is, try it!  Colin was skeptical at first but we were all literally fighting over the last few pieces.  Colin cleared his plate of these before anything else.

These are super simple, very healthy, and much more inexpensive than the pre-pakaged ones at the store ($8, really?!).  

Baked Kale Chips

1 bunch kale, washed, ribs removed and cut into about 1-inch pieces
canola oil spray
salt & pepper

Wash the kale and spread out to dry on a large kitchen towel.  Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or just spray with canola) and arrange kale in a single layer on sheet.  Spray evenly with canola oil and top with salt and pepper.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until some of the edges start turning brown.  

To accompany the kale, I served a risotto (coming later) and Pecan (walnut) Crusted Tilapia.  I had made a nut-crusted halibut before and Wes mentioned it in passing not too long ago.  Since it had been years since I had made that, I ran with that idea. 

This is a really simple way to jazz up otherwise boring fish.  The richness from the nuts and the oil they lend to the fish makes the fish super flaky, moist, and full of flavor.  The original recipe stems from Southern Living and includes a Golden-Rum Butter Sauce.  I made my own non-alcoholic version that complimented the fish very well. 

Walnut-Crusted Tilapia
slightly adapted from Southern Living

Yield 4 servings

1/2 cup walnuts (or pecans)
4 (6oz) fresh tilapia filets
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp pepper
3 T (or more) butter

3 T. butter
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. fresh orange juice
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt

Process walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped.  Sprinkle fish with salt, garlic powder, and pepper.  Dredge in chopped nuts.

Melt butter in large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat; add fish, and cook 3-4 minutes on each side or until well browned and fish flakes easily with a fork.  Depending on the size of both your filets and your pan, you may have to repeat this procedure twice.  Serve with Golden Butter Sauce.

To make sauce:  Melt 1 T. butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat; add shallot and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until shallot is tender.  Reduce heat to low and whisk in remaining ingredients.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; serve warm.


  1. I had kale chips on Saturday during a dinner out with Mike and they were YUMMY! I am always looking for a new fish recipe and can't wait to try the tilapia, looks delish!!

  2. I will have to give this a try! The last time I tried to cook tilapia, it was a complete fail. Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my blog!
    -Mackenzie @

  3. I think I actually have some tilapia hiding in my freezer - I should break it out and try this recipe!