Saturday, March 13, 2010

Caribbean Court-Bouillon TALAPIA

My wife is observing Lent this year.  She has asked me to cook a fish recipe each Friday during the season.  Easy enough when you are living the island lifestyle.

A couple days ago, I saw a recipe from MARY at DEEP SOUTH DISH Blog.  Mary is THE master of Southern and Cajun cooking.  If you have never done so, take a jump over to her blog (click HERE) and take a minute to go through her archives.  From Sweet Tea (authentic, not just tea with sugar) to Southern Pecan Pie, I challenge you to just look through her photos on her side bar and not find a dozen recipes you will want to make.  A terrific body of work.

Her recipe for Cajun Courtbouillon sounded like something I could do and would make a wonderful Lenten dish for Jackie.  I had never heard the word, courtbouillon before, so I did a little research... Court-Bouillon is a cooking method using a flavored liquid for poaching or quick cooking foods.  OK, we are going to be having poached fish over a sauce over rice.  But, of course, rather than following her perfect recipe, I decided to add a Calypso Beat to mine and see if I could add an Island influence...

So, take a moment and read over her Classic tried and true authentic Cajun recipe (HERE)... And then compare it to what I did...

First, Make a Roux
5 TBS Butter
5 TBS Flour

1 cup Celery
1 cup Red Bell Pepper
1 cup Sweet Onion
1/4 cup Garlic
3 Roma Tomatoes (1 pureed, 2 chopped)
3 TBS Jerk Spices (2 mixed in Sauce, 1 sprinkled on top of fish)

4 ounces CRUZAN Black Strap Dark Rum
8 ounces Seafood Stock

4 pieces of Talapia Fish... About 1 1/2 pounds

Green Onion to garnish
Parsley to garnish
Pineapple slice to garnish

3 cups Uncle Ben's Rice

  • Make a Roux
  • Add the Vegetables and 2 TBS of the Jerk Spices 
  • Mix well and saute till the vegetables start to get tender.
  • And here is the fun part... Add the RUM... It will sizzle!
  • Add the Seafood stock
  • Bring to a gentle simmer and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Start the Rice... It takes 20 minutes to cook the rice
  • Put the fish on top of the simmering liquid.  Do not turn, it is being poached.  Sprinkle some of the Jerk spices over the fish.
  • Cover the pan and allow the simmering magic to do what it does... it takes 20 minutes, but again, do not touch the fish.
  • For presentation, use a wide spatula to remove the fish.  Plate the rice, top with the reduced liquid and vegetables, top with the fish And add the garnish.
  • And for a final Caribbean flare, add a slice of pineapple on the side.  (I loved the pineapple and sauce, Jackie did not).
And the final verdict...

We both LOVED the dish.  Very rich flavors in the sauce.  The fish was perfectly cooked, tender and flaky.  The jerk spice left a bit of heat in both the fish and sauce.  I thought the sweet from the pineapple was a great touch, Jackie found it distracting.  But then, i am one of those put a little of everything on one fork and eat, while Jackie prefers to taste the individual dishes... To taste or to each his own...

But this plate is...

A real Caribbean winner!!!


  1. I love this recipe! And heading over to take a look at Mary's blog.

  2. Sounds good to me, I just found out I like tilapia. Heh.

  3. Court bouillon makes fish taste SO super amazing. I need to try it with this caribbean seasoning!

  4. Sound yummy! :O)

  5. LOL, Don't all cajun recipes begin with 'first you make a roux'? This looks like the perfect thing to perk up late lenten fish. Tilapia is a great choice for this too!

  6. Looks good Dave, but I'm beginning to think these meals are all about the rum :).

  7. What a beautiful job! I need to try a courtbouillon with these spices for sure! Thanks so much for the mention - glad you enjoy the method!!

  8. I'm convinced that anything that starts with a roux is going to be good.

  9. This sounds really good... I love tilapia - you can do so much with it. I dare you to make your next meal without rum ;)

  10. Oh cher, this coo-bee-yawn' (Cajun pronounciation) looks sinfully good! I checked out Mary's great recipe and blog. Merci for the linkage, cher! Love the jerk and the pineapple additions. Yummm!! Have a 151 for me!

  11. Everything is better with Sounds great!

  12. Tilapia is one of the only fish(es) I will eat :)

  13. If I liked fish, I would love to give this a try. It sounds very good. Anything with rum has to be good!

  14. I'm trying this tomorrow night. Doctor ordered more fish for hubby just yesterday.