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December 10, 2008
Tilapia the Immigrant
Fish Meets Tomato Soup
Despite a long history of being turned into things that
people eat, the tilapia is one of the new wave of legal immigrants to
Let us dispense with
theorizing why this is the case. Sometimes it is appropriate to question
why someone does something, but the tilapia is a fish and they are not
known for having subtle or heavily disguised motives.
Your approach to fish
first must answer these important questions:
What is the nature of the
fish? How will it stand up to the final test the application of food
to ones tongue?
Tilapia is a firm fish,
which means it is a more versatile fish. Other, more delicate fish with
more pronounced self-esteem issues break down easily upon cooking,
flaking apart at even the most mild fork-related provocation.
But it is an immigrant to
these shores, and should be made to feel at home.
The way to do that is to
introduce it to what is perhaps our greatest of comfort foods tomato
We all know tomato soup
for its ability to introduce calm on cold, gloomy days. It is said that
there are secret police agencies studying the potential of tomato soup
in riot situations, believing that the inherent calm it bestows could
end even the most savage street fighting involving thousands.
Start by laying down at
the bottom of a shallow baking dish a very thin layer of tomato soup and
then your tilapia filets. While baking preheat your oven to 350
degrees the soup on the bottom will act as a grease, lubricating the
fish and preventing it from becoming affixed to the bottom of your pan.
In a separate bowl, mix
tomato soup, lemon juice, garlic, capers and diced black olive. Also, if
you once possessed the proper foresight to remove the tops of some
carrots and dry those as an herb, use some dried carrot top. If you
didnt, feel a whiff of retroactive shame. But you may instead use the
ugly cousin of the carrot top, dried parsley.
Now, place a layer of
this over the fish. It should not be too deep. The idea is to provide a
comfortable place for your fish, not to drown it. Drowning someone
even a fish in tomato soup is not generally regarded to be hospitable
Place this in the oven
for about 20 minutes, and be sure to stand guard. To leave tomato soup
warming and unguarded always leaves open the possibility that someone
passing by might avail themselves of the opportunity to dunk a grilled
cheese sandwich into it for a comforting lunch. This would be a fate
most unkind to the soup and most certainly a terrible insult to the
The fish is done when it
is firm and flakes with a fork. Remove the fish from the baking dish and
lay over a bed of warm rice if anyone has thought of a more inviting
and comforting bed than warmed rice, they have not been forthcoming with
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