Salmon steak

Salmon steak (August 21, 2012)

In labeling our topic du jour "quick seafood entrees," we admit to some redundancy. By definition, seafood is quick to cook. Ergo, besides its many nutritional virtues, seafood helps you get dinner on the table in very little time, generally with very little effort.

Unless, of course, you're doing something like making a seafood soup base by simmering skin, bones, shells, etc., for hours to reduce the ingredients to their most intense flavor. But, that's a topic for another time.

Our aim is to provide a few suggestions for main dishes that feature seafood at its best, whether you favor fin fare or shellfish. Read on.…

Saffroned tilapia

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We begin with a mild, almost non-fishy fish — tilapia, which is a farm-raised trout. Its flesh is firm enough to grill, but it has virtually no "fishy" smell and it's mild enough for even the die-hard critics of fin fare.

If its mild manners aren't enough, in this case we bake it with a tomato-based, herbed saffron sauce.

On the side, provide some orzo pilaf, which you can fix by sauteing shredded carrots, tiny broccoli tops, some mushrooms and a bit of onion until tender, then adding to the orzo when it's done. Add a green salad, with balsamic vinaigrette, if you've the time.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups peeled, seeded, canned tomatoes (whole plum tomatoes work well), drained well, then diced

2/3 cup fresh orange juice

1/3 cup dry white wine

1/4 teaspoon each, dried basil, oregano, sea salt, pepper

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

6 (4-ounce) tilapia fillets

1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the sauce, in a large, non-stick skillet, over medium, heat olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add onion and garlic and saute until onions are opaque. Add tomatoes, orange juice, wine, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and saffron. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To finish, heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray-coat a 9- x 12-inch baking dish. Arrange fish fillets in dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Spoon on the tomato sauce. Cover and bake until fish is tender, about 8 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Rockfish Chesapeake