Tilapia in Saffron Tomato Sauce
This recipe was in this week's Bucks County Courier Food Section. Serves 4.
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled seeded and pureed (alternative: put it all through a food mill after cooking the sauce, then place sauce back in pan to cook the fish)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds tilapia filets, or other light fish or even thinly sliced chicken breasts
3 Tablespoons chopped basil, fresh oregano, or parsley
Slightly crush saffron with your fingers and soak it in the oil in a small cup for about 20 minutes. Transfer saffron in its oil to a large saute pan or skillet. Add onion and bell pepper and saute over medium-high heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until onion begins to turn golden. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 8-10 minutes.
Add fish in one layer to sauce, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover, cook over medium-low heat, spooning sauce over fish from time-to-time. The fish will take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to cook, depending on thickness. Check doneness by sticking a thin bladed knife into the thickest part of the fish. When the fish is opaque, or nearly so, it is done.
Taste sauce and adjust seasoning. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the basil (or other herb). Serve hot or at room temperature, with a sprinkling of the rest of the basil.