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Cooking is Like Research and Wriring

Baked Tilapia Recipes below (image from http://gourmetgibbs.blogspot.com/) caption
In the mid 1990s I did about six months of research and writing in Guatemala working on my second book, a social history of the railroad and banana industry called Black Labor in Caribbean Guatemala. I also did allot of cooking. I find cooking similar to doing research and writing. A cook develops a plan and executes it. The availability of fresh produce at a weekly open air market just blocks from my apartment stood as one of the best parts about living in Guatemala. As a cook I have a type of photographic memory in which I can see a dish and then I can recreate it in my kitchen substituting ingredients and reinterpreting recipes.  A dish I made especially for my wife the other night is a case in point. The original recipe called for spinach but I had a lot of unused asparagus in the freezer.

Baked Tilapia Recipe

4 to 6 pieces of Tilapia
1 bunch of asparagus
1 crushed garlic clove
½ a Vidalia onion chopped
2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
Salt, pepper, thyme, and other desired seasonings

Preheat the oven to 450. Put the asparagus in a salad bowl then pour a tablespoon of olive oil over it. Season the asparagus then place it on a cookie sheet spread with Pam etc. pour chopped onions and garlic over the asparagus. Put tilapia on plate and brush them with olive. Season them and put them over the asparagus and bake for 7 to 14 minutes depending on how you like them. I cook my well done because my wife likes her fish that way and crispy asparagus. Serve over rice. Serves 4 to 6 people.

Guatemala Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Guatemala+

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