My grocery store had fresh (never frozen) whole Tilapia today. I picked up a package of two of them that weighed 12 oz. and 13 oz., perfect for individual portions for two. Having lived on the Texas Gulf Coast for over 30 years, I’m very familiar with stuffing red snapper, sea trout and flounder, but I have never tried to stuff tilapia. It was plentiful in the Gulf, but I just never bought it for stuffing, or for anything for that matter, as we preferred flounder and red snapper. Well, I discovered when I got these home the cavity in this fish does NOT lend itself to stuffing. So for my creation tonight, I quickly decided to put the stuffing between the baking fish. That worked out just fine though. And man, did this stuffing ever taste good with it! Dinner was ready in under 1 hour flat, 20 minutes to get the stuffing prepared, 30 minutes to bake the final dish.
One must eat whole fish carefully to get the bones out. But using a fork skillfully for many years has enabled me to do this effortlessly. Even my very detail-inept husband can do this on his own now without assistance now. I taught him well. 🙂 This meal was absolutely yummy with a green salad. One added note: I ended up with slightly more stuffing than we needed (had a full serving leftover, so looks like I’ll be stuffing some jumbo shrimp next week). So I have adjusted the ingredient amounts to reflect what you will need for just two nice 1 cup servings of stuffing.
This recipe is not suitable for Atkins Induction unless you substitute slices of an Induction suitable bread. This recipe and many other tasty ones can be at your fingertips when you get our LOW CARBING AMONG FRIENDS cookbooks. Special complete set pricing going on right now. You can place your order today for one or more of our cookbooks at https://amongfriends.us/sale.php or at Amazon. After your book(s) arrive, and you’ve had a chance to try a recipe or two, do stop by and leave a review at Amazon here.
2 12-13 oz. whole tilapia, heads removed
½ cup (stick) unsalted butter
2/3 c. chopped celery
2 oz. onion, chopped
½ c. chopped sweet red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c. eggplant, peeled and cut into ½” dice
1½ Smart Buns (or 3 slices other low-carb bread of choice), chopped coarsley
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. my Seafood Spice Blend
6 oz. crawfish tails (I used ½ bag Boudreaux)
VARIATION: Add 2 slices chopped, cooked bacon to the stuffing just before baking.
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º. At my husband’s request, I cut off the fish heads, but actually don’t care one way or the other myself. Leave them on if you like that look on the plate. Rinse the fish well with cold water. Set them aside for now. Peel and chop eggplant and set aside. Next chop the onion, celery, red pepper and mince your garlic. In a large skillet over high heat, melt about 5 T. of the butter. Add the chopped onion, celery and pepper. Saute until all is getting soft. Add eggplant cubes and garlic and continue to saute until eggplant is also getting pretty soft. That will take about 10 minutes. Stir the mixture often as it cooks. When the eggplant is nearly done, add the crawfish tails and cook 1-2 minutes longer (they are usually already fully-cooked when you buy them). Add just 3/4 tsp. of the Seafood Spice Blend and the salt to the stuffing next and stir well to blend. Finally add the chopped bread to the stuffing and stir well to moisten the mixture evenly. Turn off heat.
With your spoon or rubber spatula, push the stuffing to the middle of the skillet like a long log. It will spread out during cooking as shown in photo. Lay the two fish along the sides of the pan, slightly leaning onto the stuffing. In your microwave, melt the remaining 3 T. butter and add the remaining 1/4 tsp. Seafood Spice Blend. Stir well. With a basting brush, coat the fish with this butter mixture. Pop skillet into 350º oven for about 30-35 minutes. Baste again with the melted butter mixture 1-2 more times during cooking. Remove pan from oven. Check for opaque, flakiness with a fork tip down to backbone. If fish is done, turn off oven. If not, bake 5-10 minutes longer. Ovens will certainly vary. Serve with a nice green salad or perhaps steamed broccoli.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 2 servings, each contains:
577.5 cals, 30.6g fat, 22.4g carbs, 14.1g fiber, 7.30g NET CARBS 67.3g protein, 635mg sodium