Friday is Fish Day . . . at least today. It’s so hot today that I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen so we’re taking it outside. I’ve been grilling so much lately and just happened to read an article by Dr. Mehmet Oz regaling the benefits of grilling but also warning us to be careful with the carcinogenic potential of direct heat on our food. He suggests we cook meats, like chicken and beef, ahead in the oven and finish on the grill to avoid too much charbroiling (but that defeats the “no heat” benefits of grilling outside). So to compromise, it’s good practice to grill slowly using medium heat (no hotter than 325 degrees) when cooking on the grill. Marinating ahead also reduces some of the carcinogens from forming. He also suggests we avoid “flame-ups” caused by adding oils or butter on the food when cooking. Scrape off residual ash from grates and cut off any blackened parts on cooked food. Good Tips!
We need to eat more fish. Period. We gain so much lean protein, healthy fat, good antioxidants and minerals to fight disease. White fish is not as rich in omega-3 fatty acids as salmon or lake trout, but still offers excellent lean protein with a very low fat profile. Talapia is one of my favorites because it is less expensive, thick enough to hold its shape on the grill and not fishy tasting, especially when you cook it the day you buy it. When you live in Idaho, “fresh” is a relative term.
And the papaya salsa is a lot like my Mango Salsa I used with the Baja Fish Tacos. So when you’re feeling like you’d rather be in Hawaii, just pull out the papayas, pineapples or mangos and make this yummy salsa. So good on fish, chicken or even eggs.
- Grilled Talapia with Papaya Salsa
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of one fresh lemon
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 4 (4 ounce) tilapia fillets
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup cubed red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- Juice of one fresh lime
- 1 medium to large papaya,diced
- Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, basil, garlic, black pepper and salt in a bowl and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add the tilapia fillets, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- For the Papaya Salsa: Combine all ingredients, except papaya in container of food processor fitted with metal blade. Cover and process until chopped, but not minced. Stir in diced papaya.
- Preheat outdoor grill for medium-high heat, and lightly oil grate.
- Remove the tilapia from the marinade, and shake off excess. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill the fillets until the fish is no longer translucent in the center, and flakes easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
- Serve the tilapia topped with Papaya Salsa.