I rinsed and patted dry the tilapia fillets, salted and peppered each side, and then set them aside while I made the sauce. It's pretty basic -- garlic and onion sauteed in olive oil until they're soft, and then an addition of strips of sweet pepper (I also threw in some spicy, because they were in my fridge) and shortly after that finely diced tomatoes. I also tossed in some dried red chili flakes for an extra kick.
I cooked the sauce down until it was jammy and then made room for my fish pieces. They cooked pretty quickly -- maybe about 8 minutes, with a flip to the other side halfway through.
Once they were cooked through, the fish was removed so that I could finish the sauce. I threw in chopped black and green olives, chopped capers, and a preserved lemon that was rinsed and cut into small pieces.
Have you ever worked with preserved lemons? They're crazy. They're kind of gooey and gross and you chop and eat them with the peels included, because they're so soft by that point.
A little white wine vinegar and cumin finished the sauce, which I poured back over the fish and served.
The fish was nice and flaky and the flavors of the sauce were pretty good. Matt's starting to feel like all these fish dishes that are cooked in and then topped with a sauce taste the same, but at least that same taste is a good one!
tilapia -- $4.04
olives -- $2.00
onion -- $1.14
Total Cost of Tunisian Fish with Preserved Lemons and Olives : $7.18