You don't have to make reservations in order to make a restaurant-style dinner! If you really want to step it up, print out a "menu" for your family/dinner guests. It's all in the wording to get their mouths watering. Pan seared tilapia served over a bed of creamy grits and wilted, red pepper spinach. Are you hungry?
AIMEE FORTNEY'S RESTAURANT STYLE PAN SEARED TILAPIA
4 tilapia fillets
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat and add your olive oil to the pan. Season your tilapia with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Add the tilapia to the pan and cook for a total of 5-7 minutes, carefully flipping one time. Serve on a "bed" of creamy grits and wilted, red pepper spinach.
AIMEE FORTNEY'S WILTED RED PEPPER SPINACH
1 bag (10 ounces) of baby spinach
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
Heat olive oil in your skillet (non-stick or regular is fine) then add the shallots and garlic. Cook for just about 2 minutes, then add the entire bag of spinach. Stir spinach into the pan and cook until completely wilted; usually about 4 minutes is plenty. Add the crushed red pepper flakes at the end, then stir well to combine.
AIMEE FORTNEY'S ALWAYS CREAMY GRITS
Always remember that you just can NOT cook grits in 5 minutes. It takes at least 20-25 minutes ; and up to 40 minutes for absolutely, perfect grits. (I'm a grits-guru, so trust me on this!) My Grandmother taught me when I was a little girl, "Always, always salt your water with your grits. You can never salt them enough." This is very true. But because I'm cooking them in chicken broth, I did not add any salt.
2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grits (yellow or white; your choice)
butter and cheese (optional)
In a small pot, bring the chicken broth, water and heavy cream to a boil. Slowly whisk in your grits and stir (whisk) until they are well mixed into the liquid. Return this mixture to a boil, then cover your pot with the lid and reduce the heat to low. Continue to whisk this mixture often; at least every 5 minutes. Cook for at least 25 minutes, but preferably closer to 30-40 minutes. If the grits begin to thicken too much, add more liquid (water, chicken broth or cream). If you want cheese grits, add 1 to 2 cups of your favorite cheese during the last 5 minutes, stirring well to melt the cheese.
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