Thrive Short Order | Sparkling Wine Braised Tilapia with Accent of Opal Basil

I'm beginning a new series here to fit modern lifestyles and belt-tightening budgets. Thrive Short Order will focus on penny wise recipes that work with a time-impaired week. Busy moms, professionals and everyone in-between can benefit from these snappy creations that won't break the bank or skimp on flavor and nutrition.

For today's recipe, tilapia braised in sparkling wine with a hint of lemon and the richness of pastured butter. Tilapia is an economical, mild tasting fish with minimal bones in the filet. Since 75% of this fish is farmed, it's important to source wild-caught varieties - not an easy feat, but doable. As for the sparking wine, a Giol Perla or Can Vendrell Cava Brut Riserva are nice organic options. To stretch the dollar even further, an organic dry white wine can be used as well. I personally like the lightness of the sparkling. And remember, only a cup is required so whatever wine you choose can be used in several recipes. For ultimate nutrition, it's important to select organic pastured butter (or coconut oil for paleo fans). A hint of lemon and a sprinkling of opal basil round out the dish.

In a perfect world, you would use a heavy 3 1/2 quart cast iron brasier such as Le Creuset or Staub.  The lid creates a moisture seal, allowing the fish to cook at a very low temperature while concentrating the flavors. Though not a budget piece of cookery, it will last for generations and performs wonderfully. Highly recommended and worth the investment. 

Sparkling Wine Braised Tilapia with Accent of Opal Basil 

Yield: 4 Servings

*As always, choose organic and locally sourced ingredients for ultimate flavor, nutrition and health.

Ingredients . . .

4 small filets of tilapia or other mild white fish

1 cup sparkling white wine

5 tablespoons pastured butter

3 garlic cloves crushed and minced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Opal basil and lemon zest for garnish

Himalayan or Celtic salt + coarsely ground black pepper to taste 

Method . . .

Melt butter over low heat and sauté garlic until fragrant, about one minute. Add fish fillets along with sparkling wine. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Fish should flake readily. Transfer fish to serving dish, cover and set aside. With remaining liquid in pot, add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Heat until just warm and spoon over fish. Garnish with whole basil and lemon shreds. Serve immediately and feast well. 

"If you are afraid of butter, use cream."

-Julia Child

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