Yes, you read the post’s title correctly. Today I’m sharing a recipe for fish tacos. As I’ve said on several of your blogs, I rarely make tacos. I don’t think it worth the effort just to make 2 or 3 tacos for my dinner. I still feel that way but at the time this post was written, my chile plants were producing at a rate that rivaled my eggplant crop.. If only my tomato plants had been so competitive.
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Well, it was far too humid to try to dry the peppers and without a dehydrator, I was loath to turn on the oven, no matter how low the temperature would be set.. So, I cooked some, pickled others, and added a few to the cherry bomb peppers that I was preserving. But the chiles kept coming and Lucy can only eat so many. Thanks to a couple blogging friends, I decided to make tomatillo salsa. (That recipe follows this one.)
Well, the salsa did make a dent — albeit a small one — in the chile inventory but what to do with it? I was stumbling around the grocery, trying to figure out what to prepare when I saw that there was a sale on pollock. That’s all I needed to make up my mind. Fish tacos would be on the night’s menu.
Since my tomatillo salsa was rather smooth, I felt that the taco needed something more crispy than shredded lettuce. That’s why the shredded cabbage was included but you should use whichever you prefer. The same is true for the tortillas. As much as I like corn tortillas, I bought flour because I felt that corn tortillas would just about disintegrate by the time I was done snapping photos. Oh, to be a better — read faster — photographer. And, by the way, hats off to those who would make their own tortillas for a dinner for one.
To prepare the fish for breading, the fillets were cut into strips about 3 inches (8 cm) long. Seasoned corn starch was used to coat the strips, just as was done when soft shell crabs were prepared several weeks ago. Once coated, the strips were dipped in a mixture of eggs, milk, and Sriracha. From there, they were coated in Panko bread crumbs and reserved. Easy peasy.
A note about the ingredients. Few amounts are listed because they will depend upon the number of tacos to be prepared and your own taste preferences. More cornstarch and breadcrumbs will be needed if you’re feeding 4, for example, than if you are preparing tacos for 1.
Lastly, for those avoiding fried foods, I’ve included instructions for baking the fish, as well as for frying.
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Fish Taco Recipe
- Fish fillets cut into strips (see Notes)
- corn starch seasoned with paprika, ground chipotle, cumin, salt, and pepper, to taste
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp Sriracha sauce, more or less to taste
- Panko bread crumbs
- roasted tomatillo salsa – recipe follows
- shredded cabbage
- diced tomato (optional)
- sour cream (optional)
- diced red onion (optional)
- limes, quartered
- Set up a breading station:
- In the first dish, place corn starch seasoned with paprika, ground chipotle, cumin, salt & pepper to taste.
- In the second, combine and beat the eggs, milk, and Sriracha.
- In the 3rd dish, add enough Panko breadcrumbs to coat the pieces of fish.
- To fry:
- Add enough oil to the pan for a depth of 1/2 inch (1.5 cm).
- Heat over med-high heat to 360˚ (180˚C).
- Place breaded strips into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
- Remove from oil, place on paper towels, season with salt immediately.
- To bake:
- Pre-heat oven to 400˚ F (200˚ C)
- Place breaded strips on to a rack placed atop a baking sheet.
- Bake until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes, turning them over midway through the bake.
- Remove to a platter and season with salt.
- To assemble the tacos:
- Over med-high heat, warm the tortillas on a grill pan, cast iron fry pan, skillet, or barbecue grill until heated through.
- Create a taco using a tortilla, pieces of fish, a couple tbsp of salsa, some shredded cabbage, and a squeeze of lime.
- Sour cream, onions, and tomatoes may be added, according to personal tastes.
- Garnish with lime quarters and serve.
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Although I used pollock here, feel free to use any white fish. Cod, hake, or tilapia come to mind, although mahi mahi, halibut, or even tuna would be very good, too. You may want to adjust the seasoning depending upon the fish you’ve selected.
Fish not your thing? Tacos are a great way to re-purpose leftover roast chicken. Use a fork to pull apart the chicken meat and warm it quickly in a frypan with a little butter. Once heated, use it to build your taco with a bit of tomatillo salsa and whatever other fixins you like: shredded cabbage/lettuce, sour cream, diced onion, diced tomato, fresh cilantro, and/or a bit of shredded cheese would work just fine.
Did I say roast chicken leftovers? Well, first you have to roast that bird. Do it however you wish. Mine was spatchcocked and seasoned with plenty of herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil before roasting. Be sure to have the salsa nearby so that you can generously spoon some atop the chicken once served.
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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Recipe
I have 2 blogging buddies to thank for this post, Kathryn of Another Foodie Blogger and MJ of MJ’s Kitchen. Had it not been for Kathryn, I never would have bought tomatillos, and MJ is the Queen of Chiles. Now, this salsa and serving suggestions may not be exact duplicates of their recipes — shower them with all the praise and I’ll shoulder any blame — but I was certainly inspired by them. If you’re looking for some inspiration, by all means check out these 2 wonderful blogs.
- 6 tomatillos, husked and washed (see Notes)
- 4 cayenne chilies, tops trimmed (see Notes)
- 1 chile de agua, top trimmed
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic
- small sweet onion or half of a large, cut in half
- olive oil
- cilantro, to taste
- lime juice, to taste
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 400˚F (205˚C).
- Place tomatillos, all the chilies, garlic, and onion into a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and spread on a baking sheet in an even layer. Roast for 30 minutes.
- Once cooled, place all the roasted ingredients into a food processor, along with cilantro and the juice of 1 lime.
- Pulse the ingredients several times until the salsa is the consistency you prefer. Midway through, taste and season with salt and pepper. Add more cilantro or lime juice, if needed.
- Refrigerate until needed.
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After removing their paper coverings, be sure to rinse the tomatillos very well to remove their somewhat sticky coating.
Until this point, I hadn’t tasted any of my home-grown chiles, all having been pickled and preserved. Now that I’ve tasted this salsa, I will only add 2 cayenne peppers in the future. For my tastes, 4 of these cayenne are a bit much. (Please pass the milk.)
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It’s déjà vu all over again …
With the holidays fast approaching, it’s never too early to start working on the menu for the holiday feast(s). It wouldn’t be much of a celebratory meal if there aren’t any appetizers, and crostini/bruschette are tasty ones to whip up. You can see a couple of suggestions by clicking HERE.
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Coming soon to a monitor near you …
Sweet Potatoes au Gratin
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