Oven-Baked Stuffed Crab & Mushroom Tilapia

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Oven-baked stuffed crab, when paired with mushroom tilapia, is a dish so great even the pickiest eaters in your family will beg for more. Make oven-baked stuffed crab and mushroom tilapia with help from a hospitality professor at University of New Haven in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Coastal Flavors
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Jeff Trombeta from the University of New Haven in Connecticut. And today, I'm going to make an oven-baked tilapia filled with crab meat with a mushroom sauce. So, we're going to start out by making the crab stuffing that we're going to spread over the tilapia. And I'm going to do something a little funky here; this is basically mashed potatoes. Why is it green? I happen to have some spinach puree, I added it to the potatoes, that's all that is. You could add a red pepper puree, you can keep the potatoes as they are. You can see how much I put in there crab meat, this is lump crab meat. It's a beautiful product and what I do is I just have enough potatoes to bind this, so it's full, filled with crab. And don't mash it too much, keep the crab whole. Crab is very delicate and it breaks up and it shreds. So, you want the customer or your guests to see the crab meat. We're going to take this tilapia and we're going to, we're going to build it right on my pan here. Take a little olive oil, not too much; that's another mistake that I find chefs and cook make all the time, is they put too much oil on the bottom. Don't make it greasy. So, I have some tilapia paired up with a top and a bottom and that's the way I'm going to fill it. I'm going to take that and I'm going to put that crab meat on there. This is going to be a sandwich. So, you don't have to make it beautiful, but you want it to show. So, this is ample. And that potato, the other good thing about the potato is that it's, it's not breadcrumbs. It's not just blend starch. It's potato, pomme de terre, apple of the earth, okay, so it's got some flavor, it's got some nutritional value. Let's get our top on our fish and you can see that it's visible. That's a good thing and we'll quickly give our hands a wash. So, now, I have my fish, I'm going to brush that lightly. This is virgin olive oil, so it's got some body and consistency. It's the first press, the extra virgin. We're going to take some salt, okay, or we season. The potatoes are seasoned by the way. I have an assortment of herbs, this is fines herb. The French had it right when they labelled something fines herb. It's a mixture of herbs; oregano, fresh oregano and basil. I want a 400-degree oven because I want to give it a, a good quick cook because it's a thin piece of fish and it will cook quick and high heat is very good for thin. So, I have my mushrooms going and they've been cooked down in butter and white wine. They've been cooked 'till they've been seche. Seche meaning dried. And now, I'm freshening them up with some shallots and some garlic and parsley and we are going to add a little bit more wine to freshen it up. I have a nice Riesling here. Riesling is a little off dry, so it has a little sweetness to it, but good acidity. It's a really nice, actually it's a great wine to cook with, a Riesling. This is a German Riesling from the Nahe region. And while that's cooking down, we'll check our fish. So, my fish is ready; it's a beautiful tilapia with a, a spinach mashed potato and crab meat filling. Fish cooks quick, and I just want to feel it and make sure that it's, it will flake if I push it harder. So, when you put some pressure on it, you can feel that it will come apart, then it's ready. Do not overcook it and let the white protein cook right out of it. That just dries it out. So, my mushrooms are reduced dry, so that wine is really concentrated and the shallots and the garlic are blended in. This is an emulsified sauce, all we're doing is we're going to crank that up and we're melting this butter in. Now, butter's got some very nice properties. So, it's solid to a point, so it won't look greasy. It will look smooth, almost like a cream sauce or basically what the French call, a beurre blanc. Little black pepper, mix that up. We're going to help it with this, you want to keep it together. I have two utensils here, just take it off there gently and we put it in the center of the plate. Take our sauce, our mushroom sauce; it looks good on the top. Chefs always make their decision at the last moment where the sauce is going. Don't lock yourself into, 'Oh, I got a sauce on the top or sauce underneath." I like the herb crust. I like showing the fish. The fish is nice and fresh; so, I'm just going to put this little mushroom sauce on the side. Freshen it up; I have some chives, put that around it and that is a oven-baked tilapia with a crab filling. Get under there, it has a nice balance between the amount of crab meat and potato and tilapia. So, here we have oven-baked tilapia with a crab filling and mushroom topping. I'm Chef Jeff Trombeta from the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

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