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Monday, September 17, 2007

Fish Tacos, Fish Tacos, Fish Tacos! Go! Go! Fish Tacos!

Guess what I made for dinner tonight. Seriously. Just guess. Fine, I'll tell you. Fish Tacos! And get your mind out of the gutter. There's no euphemism to be had here, just tacos. With fish!

Take about a pound and a half or two pounds (tonight I used 1.89 pounds) of some kind of white fish fillets, frozen or fresh. We usually use tilapia or catfish. Big shocker, I use a packaged seasoning from the Fancy Mart. Feel free to make your own and, if you want me to read you the ingredients of this one that I like call me, but I'm not going to type them out.

Slice the fish into one inch strips. This is much easier to do when they're frozen, even if they're not frozen all the way. I learned that trick from a stir fry recipe involving flank steak. It has made my life a lot easier, so I'm passing it on to you. Mwah!

Put the fish into one of those big Zip-loc bags with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Seal the bag and knead it so the oil covers the fish. The seasoning packet tells me to mix the powder with a quarter cup of water and dump that in the bag. I use a little less water than that. I knead the (sealed!) bag again to coat the fish. Try to get most of the air out of the bag before you seal it. Now you can leave the fish in the fridge until you're ready to cook. If your fish are frozen, they should be thawed by the end of the day if you do this in the morning.

Next up, black bean salsa to go with the tacos. This is actually my sister in law's recipe, but I don't think she'll mind if I share. Dump a can of drained black beans into a bowl. Feel free to use non-canned ones. Whatever. Add the following to the bowl:

1 red bell pepper, chopped. Orange is fine, but red is prettier. Yellow is unacceptable, because there is more yellow to come.

1 green onion, green and white parts, very thinly sliced.

1 clove of garlic, minced.

1 cup of chopped pineapple. I actually used fresh, albeit sliced by one of the fine employees of the Fancy Mart. If you use canned, drain it first.

1 cup of frozen corn. No need to thaw it, it'll thaw quickly and it helps keep the salsa cold.

A heaping spoonful of some kind of prepared salsa. If you don't have that, add a spoonful of chopped tomato. If you don't have that, skip it. I did.

If there are no children involved, please add a finely chopped habañero.

Last, but not least, add a ton of fresh cilantro. You don't even have to chop it, just drop the leaves in whole.


Put about two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and about a teaspoon of sugar in a little glass bowl and heat them in the microwave for about 20 seconds, just long enough so you can stir it and mostly dissolve the sugar. Drizzle that over the salsa. Then add a few drops of lemon or lime juice and drizzle the salsa with olive oil. Stir!

Now add cayenne pepper and salt to taste. You can skip the cayenne if you don't want any spice at all. Final stir!

Now, go about your day. Have a good time doing whatever it is you do. But make sure you find time in your busy, busy day to pick up taco shells (soft or hard), mixed greens (to add to the tacos or serve under the fish and salsa, you low-carb eating freak), sour cream or whatever else you like. If you live in my town, you should go to Rosewood Market and grab a container of their awesome chipotle veganaise. If you don't eat it all with the tacos, never fear. It makes a great dip for boiled shrimp or potato chips. It's awesome with crab cakes too. In fact, go ahead and pick up two containers of it; save yourself a trip.

At the end of your busy, busy day, waltz into your kitchen, pour yourself a drink and maybe put on a nice apron. I really like these from Anthropologie and I'm thinking of getting one. Let me know which you think would look best (on me, of course.)

Once your drink is poured, your waltz waltzed and your apron tied, pull out a nice big frying pan and heat it. Dump the fish in and throw away the bag. Mom, this is for you. Throw. Away. The Damn Bag. I know they're expensive and can be washed and reused, but this one had raw fish in it, m'kay? Cook the fish until it starts to flake apart. Cut it with your spatula until it's all crumbly. I can't think of a better way to describe it. Sorry.

Bring out the salsa and whatever else you plan on serving with the tacos. The salsa can be made at the last minute, but I think it's better when it's been in the fridge a few hours. If you're using shells, load them up with fish, the black bean salsa, some lettuce-y greens and a dollop of chipotle mayo or sour cream. You can also serve it as a fish taco salad - just dump everything on top of some mixed greens, crispy shell bowl à la Taco Bell optional.

And it's good the next day, too. Enjoy!

Olé, y'all!

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