Casual setting with close family friends was frantic because I put dinner at the living room coffee table. Well, we are definitely setting the table next time. (*Kids will sit when there are seats for them!) I was behind schedule with my ambitious food prep plan of measurements and detailed step-by-step pictures, etc. I didn't take into account my 4 hyper kids and a useless hubby (recovering from surgery). In hindsight, shoulda had sitter to occupy kids until our friends arrived...and a camera tripod set up, yeah! I made a 8 total dishes and put together a Tilapia dish last minute that was a big hit.
**SEARED TILAPIA with CITRUS RELISH**
(sharp knife, large frying skillet, small mixing bowl, serving dish)
3-5 large fillets of Tilapia
1 cup craisons
1 T black sesame seeds
small bunch of fresh mint leaves
1 cup nuoc cham (recipe at step 5)
optional fresh birds-eye chilis
(1) Marinate the Tilapia by coating both sides with granulated garlic, salt and pepper. Let sit room temperature while you prepare the citrus relish.
(2) "Supreme segment" the grapefruit and orange. "Segment" means to just peel and pull apart. "Supreme" means to remove the skin, pith, membranes and seeds of a citrus fruit and separate its wedges. Here is how to supreme a grapefruit: cut off the top and bottom to expose the pulp, then cut off the skin from top to bottom following the curve exposing all the pulp, then cut out SUPREME SEGMENTS along the inner membranes/walls. Repeat until all the segments are out. Pictures below. I like big knives for everything but this would typically call for a smaller knife.(3) In a bowl, combine the supreme segments of grapefruit, orange with cut avocado, chopped mint and craisons. Set Aside.
(4) Heat a large skillet on High with olive oil. Add the Tilapia fillets. Wait about 3-5 minutes (longer if your fillets are thicker) or until the edges look crispy brown, but not burned! Flip to cook, sear, the other side. Add black sesame seeds.
(5) Transfer the fillets to a serving dish. Pour on the Citrus relish. Add a generous amount of Nuoc Cham over the entire dish. (*To make nuoc cham: boil equal parts water, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar until sugar dissolves. Store in the fridge to use for most dishes.)
(6) Serve additional spicy dip on the side for those who require more KICK! Take the Nuoc Cham and add chopped birds eye chili. Voila....Bon Appetit!