On hubby’s days off, we picked up the trailer and headed for Carlsbad Beach. This is a new campground for us and really nice during off season. Plenty of space to pull the trailer in at an angle so you could wake up to an ocean view. And the sound of the ocean lulling us to sleep each night – heaven!
Arriving in the afternoon, it was a beautiful sunny day and we were anxious to set up camp and get out the chairs to soak up the sun, listen to the waves crash against the shore below, and watch a few surfers.
The weather had a different idea… it soon clouded up but it didn’t stop the fun. I grabbed a few pics with my cell and think the cloud build up actually added to the allure of a coastal seascape.
Having pulled a couple of tilapia fillets from the freezer, they were our first choice for dinner while the fish was still fresh. I packed the sun-dried tomatoes, capers, and olives along with the box of feta cheese I keep in the fridge anticipating a Mediterranean style fish fillet. Seeing the little bit of heavy cream and tube of tomato paste, more ideas formed. Why not a tomato cream sauce to pour over the top of the tilapia, but even better, why not season and bread the tilapia for texture and crunch.
I was actually surprised I was able to pull off preparing this meal in the trailer – almost too dark to see with exception of the hand held battery light I used to check foods once it was too dark to see. After stuffing the tender tilapia fillets with this Mediterranean style stuffing and then dredging it first in beaten egg and then Panko, hubby cooked the fish outside on the outdoor stove.
The next day we took a leisurely stroll along the shore and discovered someone had taken a lot of trouble in creating a beach-zen garden by stacking rocks along the coastline. I can’t help but wonder how many hours were taken to create this masterpiece. It added to our trip and I was happy to take a few snapshots of this rock perfection!
We even got to see some dolphins and a seal which made the trip complete! Yay! With a cloud layer we were able to enjoy two evenings sitting beside a bright fire sipping hot chocolate. And we even had a little visitor too!
Mediterranean Stuffed Tilapia Fillets
(Makes 2 Servings)
- 3 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped
- 3 feta stuffed green olives, chopped (regular green olives work fine)
- 3 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- Drizzle smoke-flavored EVOO to moisten ingredients
- 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 Tbsp softened unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsps capers, drained
- 2 tilapia fillets
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup Panko
- 1 egg, beaten
1) Mix stuffing ingredients except EVOO. Once combined, add just enough EVOO to moisten ingredients. Set aside.
2) Prepare the fish by cutting pockets vertically down edge of each fillet, do not cut all the way through.
3) Pack stuffing into each fish pocket and secure if necessary with toothpicks.
4) Season the fish with salt and pepper. Add Panko to a paper plate for dredging fish. First dip the fillets in beaten egg and then into the Panko. Set aside.
5) Heat smoke-flavored EVOO in a skillet and add fillets once the oil is hot. Cook until crisp on the outside and fish to desired doneness. Remove from skillet and set aside; keep warm.
6) Deglaze skillet with the white wine and cook until reduced by half or more. Add heavy cream and tomato paste. Continue to cook until reduced and thickened. Once to desired thickness, add butter and capers.
7) Plate fillets by placing over steamed rice and top each fillet with sauce. Serve immediately.
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