The kitchen isn’t quite yet restored. The pot rack went up Sunday, finally, and while it looks mostly complete (sans the microwave sitting in the middle of the floor), there’s surprisingly a lot missing. Our tea balls have yet to be discovered. For the time being our evening tea *gasp* must be standard tea bags rather than loose. Most of the pots have been found, though the colander is still MIA. I bought some yogurt the other day, but the fantastic granola we brought home from Vermont is yet to be found. It’s a work in progress. I’m hoping Sunday I’ll have lots of time to organize. My husband will be away playing Dungeons and Dragons (yes, he’s 30-something and still plays; if you don’t know what it is, trust me, it’s better) so I will have the day to myself. Writing, decorating and still unpacking.
Our diet has gradually shifted from 100% to about 50% takeout. I can’t tell you how much I crave normalcy. And the meals we do cook have been simple, though still creative. Tonight was my first attempt at fish tacos. Something I’ve loved for years (I can’t get enough from Ho’Brah a few blocks south), but never attempted on my own. In my eyes, a good taco is simply a complementary blend of things, wrapped together in a corn tortilla. Protein, acid, crunch, sweet and salt. And a little bit of heat is a given.
Weary I might fail with an expensive fish, I stuck to plain old cod, battered in panko breadcrumbs and taco seasoning. I double battered, to assure the crispness remained. I prepared a crema, some guacamole and even sought out some Cojita cheese. My potentially biggest failure ended up being a huge save. I completely forgot about some sort of slaw to bring it all together. I scoured my half-made-up kitchen for what might work. I ended up with a quick pickle of peppers tossed with some apples for sweetness and crisp. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but honestly it made the dish sing. The biggest lesson of my taco evening? No matter how soft those corn tortillas might seem, STILL WARM THEM. Otherwise you’ll be left with a crumbly mess with the first bite.
Fish Tacos with Pickled Peppers and Apples (Makes 6 Tacos)
- 1 small red pepper, finely diced
- 1 small apple, finely diced
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp canola or safflower oil
- 1 c panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp milk
- 8 oz cod, or other firm, white fish, cut into 1″ strips
- 1/2 c sour cream
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 12 corn tortilla shells, warmed
- 2 oz Cojita cheese, crumbled
- Lime wedges and guacamole to serve
Combine all ingredients together in a small bowl, mixing well. Allow flavors to marry for at least 30 minutes.
In a medium frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Mix panko breadcrumbs and taco seasoning in a small bowl until well combined. In another bowl, whisk the egg and milk until blended. Dip cod into egg mixture, then into panko, making sure fish is well coated (I double dipped), then place in frying pan. Repeat with other pieces of fish. Cook fish 2-3 minutes on each side until well browned. Remove from oil onto a small dish and keep warm.
Meanwhile make the crema by mixing sour cream, chipotle powder, lime juice, cumin and a pinch of salt. You can also warm your tortillas at this point on a clean, hot pan.
To assemble tacos, layer 2 tortillas with a slice or two of fish, a few spoonfuls of pickle, a drizzle of crema and crumbled cheese. Serve with guacamole and lime wedge.
- QUICK FIX: Beef, Corn, and Black Bean Tacos (amange.wordpress.com)
- A healthy idea: oven fried fish tacos (nbclatino.com)
- Asian Tacos!!! (eatinginthestreetsofbrooklyn.wordpress.com)
- Grilled salmon tacos with chipotle lime yogurt (cheftoponkumer2013.wordpress.com)
- Fish Tacos with Mango Salad (amateuristto.wordpress.com)
- Fish tacos with tomatillo salsa & avocado coleslaw (elsieskitchen101.wordpress.com)