Bronzed Tilapia With Tomato and Ginger Salsa

(4 servings)

McCormick & Schmick Seafood Restaurant has expanded to Bethesda, where diners may choose from more than 30 varieties of fresh fish and seafood prepared by chef John Lancey and his crew. Here's a quick, sure-to-please dish from Lancey. You may easily substitute any firm, white-fleshed fish for the tilapia. 7401 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda. Call 301-652-9166.

5 plum tomatoes

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

1/4 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon oyster sauce (optional)

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tablespoons cumin

2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons salt

Four 7- to 8-ounce fillets tilapia (or substitute red snapper, bass, flounder, sole or orange roughy)

About 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, scallions, onions, ginger, rice vinegar, oyster sauce (if using), sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate.

In a small bowl, stir together the cumin; chili, onion and garlic powders; cayenne pepper; and salt. Sprinkle both sides of the fish fillets with the spice mixture.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the fillets and fry (in batches if necessary) until lightly browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the fillets to a paper towel, pat lightly to remove any excess butter and transfer to a serving plate. Top with the salsa and serve immediately.

Per serving: 279 calories, 35 gm protein, 13 gm carbohydrates, 10 gm fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 2 gm saturated fat, 1,383 mg sodium, 3 gm dietary fiber

* Most Asian bakeries and markets are well stocked this week with traditional moon cakes. These sweet or savory wheat flour pastries filled with chopped dates, lotus seed paste, sweet potato or sausage, often with a whole egg yoke at the center, are a have-to-have at the annual Mid-Autumun Festival. The Chinese harvest celebration is observed on the 15th day of the eighth moon of the lunar calendar. That's this Friday, Sept. 24th. Families and friends gather under the stars in parks and back yards for a moon-gazing party.

Haagen-Dazs has introduced its own version of the moon cake, a delicious vanilla ice cream bombe with a center "yoke" of orange sorbet, all covered with milk chocolate. It sure beats sweet potato and an egg. The Mooncake (1 pound, serves 2 to 4, $8 to $10) is available at Haagen-Dazs ice cream shops in Georgetown, Union Station, Montgomery Mall, Columbia Mall, Tysons Corner Center and Pentagon City Mall.

* Forty-five years is a long time to hold on to pots and pans. Few people do. But if you have, and your pots are Farberware, it's payoff time. Farberware's filling a museum with its pre-1954 pots and it wants yours. Send them a photograph of your pot (the pre-1954 pots don't have a hanging hook in the handle). If it's authentic, Farberware will take the pot and send you a new one. Send photos, along with your name, address and phone number, to Jennifer Gurley, c/o Carter Ryley Thomas, 1 East Cary St., Richmond, Va. 23219.


FRIDAY: Romantic-menu cooking class with chef Jacques Haeringer at L'Auberge Chez Francois. $75 includes lunch, tax and tip. 11 a.m. 332 Springvale Rd., Great Falls. Call 703-759-3800.

FRIDAY: Champagne tasting sponsored by Arrowine at Dan & Brad's Restaurant. $69.99 includes tax and tip. 8 p.m. 950 N. Stafford St., Arlington. Call 703-525-0990.

SATURDAY: McLean Wine Festival--traditional vendemmia including Italian wine and food at Cafe Oggi. $5 adult entrance fee; $3 under 12. Noon to 5 p.m. 6671 Old Dominion Dr., McLean. Call 703-442-7360.

SATURDAY: Cooking as Art--demonstrations with chefs from local restaurants including the Mark, Sporting News Grille, Jaleo, Palomino, the Capital Grille, Teaism, Occidental Grill and Austin Grill. Free admission. 11:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Arts on Foot Festival, Penn Quarter, Eighth and F streets NW. Call 202-482-7271 or www.artsonfoot.org.

SATURDAY: Middle Eastern Bazaar including hafli celebration at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church. Free admission. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. 7164 Alaska Ave. NW. Call 202-829-5554.

SATURDAY: Flamenco Night--dinner and dancing at Catalan Restaurant. $60 excludes tax and tip. Shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. 1319 F St. NW. Call 202-628-2299.

SATURDAY: Asian food fair at Trinity Korean Presbyterian Church. Free admission. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 7009 Wilson Lane, Bethesda. Call 301-229-4440.

SUNDAY: Gourmet food show at the Galleria at Lafayette Centre. Sponsored by International Gourmet Foods Inc. and Dolce Europa. Free admission. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 1155 21st St. NW. Call 703-569-4520.

TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY: French wine dinner at Simply Bistro. $60 excludes tax and tip. 7:30 p.m. 10621 Braddock Rd., Fairfax. Call 703-691-0700.


SEPT. 29: Crab and Chardonnay Fest with La Colline chef Vatche Benguian and Melrose chef Brian McBride at La Colline. $85 includes tax and tip. 7 p.m. 400 N. Capitol St. NW. Call 202-737-0400.

SEPT. 30: Wine dinner with "Julia and Jacques: Cooking at Home" authors Julia Child and Jacques Pepin at La Colline. Benefits the WETA broadcast and education programs. $500 includes autographed book, tax and tip. 7 p.m. 400 N. Capitol St. NW. Call 703-998-2724 or www.weta.org.


This is a wonderful site for homesick Texans and anyone looking for the perfect recipe using Dr Pepper, which was invented in Waco and has two museums dedicated to it in Texas. Writer Patricia Mitchell explores the "Cooking With Dr Pepper and 7UP" cookbook, published by Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Companies Inc. (now a subsidiary of Cadbury PLC). Some of the recipes contain only a quarter cup of the famous soft drink, she complains, but the Dixie Jelly calls for plenty of Dr Pepper and tastes just like it. The Web site also has book reviews and other features, including a list of famous native Texans (Gene Autry, Lyndon Baines Johnson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Tish Hinojosa, George Foreman, Buddy Holly and Jerry Hall and more). Or turn to the recipe section for Black Beans Habanero, Burnt Onion Gravy, Breakfast Chorizo, Cornmeal Drop Biscuits and Fresh Peach Pie.

--Martha M. Hamilton