Flicks & Food With The Domestic Diva: THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG Cajun-Spiced Tilapia With Grits

IMG_5398 The other day I watched the latest Disney animation bonanza, THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, and found it surprisingly refreshing.  Maybe it was the hand-drawn animation, heralding back to a simpler time before computers janked all the movies up with overblown special effects and 3D everything.  Maybe it was the setting, in New Orleans, with an African American princess named Tiana (gasp!).  Maybe it was because the film made me feel like a five year old again, curled up in front of the TV with the BAMBI clam shell and tears running down my cheeks. Or, maybe it was the Cajun food, which is everywhere in this film as Tiana is a chef who aspires to own a restaurant one day.  Watching this flick literally made me hungry for everything from shrimp etouffee to gumbo to Cajun-spiced fish to beignets.

In honor of this great achievement in food animation, I'm writing up my recipe for Cajun-Spiced Tilapia with Grits, a true Southern staple that's both delicious and a cinch to cook up.  Instead of the more traditional Catfish, I use Tilapia which is inexpensive and readily available (if you want to read more about farm-raised tilapia and its health benefits, read my article here). 

So cook up this supper, put in this flick, and enjoy the Disney magic! 

THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG Cajun-Spiced Tilapia With Grits
Serves 2 people
Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 cup grits, cooked per package instructions
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
salt and pepper

To make the grits, stir in the fresh thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the tilapia, thoroughly coat both sides of each fillet with the Cajun seasoning.  Heat the grapeseed oil or canola oil in a saute pan over high heat until almost smoking.  Add the tilapia and reduce heat to medium.  Cook for one to two minutes, and then flip.  Continue cooking until cooked through (only a few minutes depending on thickness).  Remove from heat.

To plate, spoon some grits onto a plate.  Top with a piece of fish and finish with fresh squeezed lemon juice.  Enjoy!

Wine Pairing 

With all the spice, this dish screams for a big, meaty red wine. I'd suggest Tablas Creek 2007 Cote de Tablas, which was rated a whopping 93 points by Robert Parker and retails for a mere $25/bottle ($20/bottle if you're a member of their wine club).  It's a big wine, and should be decanted at this young age.  While Tablas Creek is a Central Coast California winery, they make primarily Rhone blends, both red and white.  One of the best wineries around if you ask me, and also one of the best deals for this quality of wine.

DD profile pic About the Author
JENNIFER DAWN ROGERS … A graduate of Harvard University and a former film development executive, Jennifer cooks and writes in Los Angeles.  In 2009, she launched her blog Domestic Divas (www.domesticdivasblog.com), which focuses on local, organic cooking and wine reviews.  She is currently writing her first novel.

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