Sunday, March 15, 2009

fish tacos

Tonight's meal was inspired by the vegetables that are sitting in my fridge, screaming to be eaten. They are yelling at me because there are only 2 days left until the next CSA delivery, and there are quite a lot of them still cohabitating in the fridge. I think due to the combination of long lasting meals from last week (I had the final bit of the kale & potato enchiladas for lunch today) and the fact that we ate dinner at friends' last night (thanks Dave & Ashley for the fantastic homemade sushi!). So the remaining vegetables are screaming. Let's see what we can do about that.

Items that I would like to incorporate into tonight's meal include red cabbage and collard greens (the broccoli and cauliflower beckoning will have to wait until tomorrow night). This may not be an obvious leap, but my mind went straight to fish tacos.

The first time I had fish tacos was when I was a senior in college. My roommate and I discovered that a seafood restaurant in our neighborhood had a very good happy hour, with reasonably priced appetizers and drinks (on sunny days, we'd end up there for the great view of the water and half priced wine!). On one of those occasions, we decided to try the fish tacos (for $5, you can't really go wrong, right?). They were fantastic.

I think one of the reasons I'd avoided them before was that I tended to associate tacos with hard shells, ground beef, and seasoning that comes in a packet. None of those things sounded like something that would go with fish. And a taco without cheese? Now that's just silly. Or so I thought. 

It turns out that the flavor and texture mix of white, flaky fish, crunchy shredded cabbage, black beans, and the fruity salsas that are often served with fish tacos is simply not something to pass up. I learned my lesson.

Two years ago, JR took a fishing trip up the Washington coast with his dad. They caught ling cod and halibut, and JR had his portion shipped overnight to Texas, where we were living at the time. The best fish tacos I've had to date were the ones that we made with the halibut JR caught. Though now that I think about it, those particular tacos did involve seasoning that came out of a packet (the Texas period in my life predated the cooking mostly from scratch habit that I've fallen into in California). So, while the halibut we'll be having in our tacos tonight has been frozen and most certainly won't measure up to JR's, I think tonight's overall preparation will beat the Texas fish tacos. Here's what I did:

Fish Tacos
Serves 2

Fish tacos:
6 corn tortillas
1 small red cabbage, shredded
1/4 c. poppy seed salad dressing (I used this one)
1/2 pound white fish (I used halibut)
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili pasilla
1/4 tsp. chili cayanne

baja cream:
1/2 c. sour cream
1/4 c. mayonnaise 
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. lime zest
pinch of salt

To make baja cream, whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

Combine cabbage with poppy seed dressing. Set aside. 

Combine lime juice, oil, and spices. This will form a paste. Rinse fish and pat dry with a paper towel. Drizzle olive oil in a shallow baking dish. Add fish and spread paste over the top. Allow to marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake fish 15-20 minutes, until if flakes easily with a fork.

Assemble tacos - add fish, cabbage, and salsa to warmed tortillas. Top with baja cream.


We had ours with tomatillo salsa verde, guacamole, and spicy collards & black beans. It definitely beat the Texas tacos (but not your fish JR!).

1 comment:

  1. Made these with the tomatillo salsa verde tonight and they were awesome! Will definitely make them again!


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