Friday, March 9, 2012

In the Kitchen: Pan Seared Tilapia with Creamy Leeks and Mashed Potatoes

I needed something to make for dinner tonight and I had leeks (which I love), so I hit up Pinterest and found an awesome recipe here. Technically, it is supposed to be made with salmon, but tilapia is cheaper and that is what I had in my freezer. Salmon would be better as it is more flavorful, but this was pretty darn good too. Oh, and mashed potatoes--a perfect side to this delicious dish. 

Let's get started.
Ingredients: Leek Sauce and tilapia
2 servings
-Olive oil
-2 tilapia fillets or if you are lucky salmon fillets!
-6-5 leeks, cut only up to the light green, on the diagonal.  This is what the recipe said, but I am thinking they had some tiny leeks on hand. The leeks I had were HUGE and I used two and had plenty of leftover sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill, I only had dried dill and just added to taste, maybe a few tsps?
-1/4 cream I found I needed more like 1/2-3/4 cup cream, maybe I just had a ton of leeks....
-Squeeze of lemon juice, I used a half a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients: Parsley Mashed Potatoes
2 servings

- 4 medium potatoes, chopped
- 3-4 Tbsp. butter
- 3-4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 c. cream, 1/4 c. milk, mixed OR just a 1/2 cup half&half


First, do all your prep work (peeling, cutting potatoes, leeks, defrosting, etc.). The leeks need to be rinsed and the best way to do this is to put all the chopped leeks in a big bowl of water and mix around with your hands to get any dirt out, then drain. 

Leek Sauce:
Heat about a tbsp. of olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add in the leeks. When the leeks begin to soften, add in the cream. Let the cream and leeks simmer on medium-low until the leeks are soft. 

Next, stir in the dill and salt and pepper to taste. Remove form heat and add in the lemon juice. It should look something like this:
Heat quite a bit of olive oil (enough to coat the whole pan and have maybe a 1/4 in. oil on the bottom) in a skillet over medium heat. Pat the tilapia fillets dry and salt and pepper them. Put in the skillet and cook on one side for a few minutes and then flip and cook for another few minutes. Fish cooks fast!

Parsley Mashed Potatoes:
Can I just say a quick word about mashed potatoes? I love them. I can honestly say, I make some pretty good mashed potatoes.  I have had my fair share of not-so-good mashed potatoes and the secret to good mashed potatoes is: butter and lots of it. Hot milk/cream is preferable (as I did for this recipe), but if you don't have time, just have enough butter and add a little milk and it will taste delicious! I have not ever added parsley but I had some and thought it would taste good and I liked it and the color it added to the potatoes. Potato tangent over.

Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add in the chopped potatoes and boil until soft (10-15 min.). While the potatoes are boiling (as in the last two minutes or so), bring the cream/milk mixture to a boil. Add the parsley to the boiling milk. Remove from heat. Drain the potatoes and then mash with the butter.

Whisk in the milk/parsley mixture (add in to desired thickness). Whisk in the salt and pepper to taste.
  Serve the seared tilapia with the leek sauce on top and mashed potatoes on the side.

The verdict: 
We loved it. It was very filling and very tasty. I am definitely going to make that leek sauce again. Elanor loved it, she kept wanting more leeks!


  1. Geez, you are quite the chef! I wish I liked cooking more, but I really just do not enjoy it. :P Your family is lucky, haha.

    1. I love cooking and baking, but honestly not every day. There are days when I really don't feel like cooking and we have quesadillas or left overs. Most of the time though, I really love it.