It’s beautiful outside! I mean the type of breathtaking beautiful that makes you want to sing out loud, dance without music and laugh at seemingly nothing at all. I don’t know about you, but on days like this I get a craving for tacos like none other. Oh, and a margarita (on the rocks, extra salt please)!
My first encounter with fish tacos was in Knoxville, TN (what are the odds) at La Costa (a restaurant that has long since closed). The owner graciously shared his laborious recipe with me ages ago and I’ve finally carved out a week night solution that is palette pleasing and super easy!
What you’ll need:
4 tilapia (or other mild-white fish) filets, cut in half lengthwise
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1/2 small red cabbage shredded
1 serrano pepper finely minced
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup natural sour cream
1 tbsp sriracha
salt & pepper
1 large heirloom tomato diced
1/2 large onion diced
Juice of 1 lime
1 chopped handful of cilantro
8 flour tortillas
canola oil for frying
What you’ll do:
Combine sugar, vinegar, coriander and a bit of salt. Add cabbage and serrano pepper. Cover and allow to marinate in the refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours. (Hello, red-cabbage slaw)!
Combine onion, tomato, lime juice, cilantro and a bit of salt. Then set aside (Pico de Gallo, done)!
Combine sour cream and sriracha, then set aside (spicy crema, Boom)!
Salt and pepper the fish filets generously on all sides.
Mix flour, cornmeal, and panko with cajun seasoning in a plastic bag (easy cleanup). Add the fish and shake well to coat with the breading.
Heat canola oil in frying pan to medium heat. Add fish filets (careful not to crowd the pan). And increase heat to medium-high.
Fry fish for about 3 minutes on each side or until the breading is a beautiful, golden brown.
While fish is frying rejuvenate those tortillas! You can either wrap in foil in a warm (300 degree) oven for about 7 minutes or place on the stovetop one at a time in a dry, high heat skillet for about 10 seconds on each side.
Layer it in … Tortilla, fish, cabbage slaw, pico and spicy crema.
I’m more than likely spilling the beans on my age here, BUT … remember going to steakhouses as a kid? You know, that same sirloin that you smothered in A1 or Heinz 57? Uh huh! Remember that leafy green stuff your steak sat on top of? That’s kale. Crazy delicious and oh so dang good for you! Once revered as nothing more than a garnish, kale is stepping out in high fashion, check out WebMD‘s glowing recommendation:
“One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.”
If that’s not enough reason to give kale a fighting chance on your grocery list … kale lasts for up to 10 days in a refrigerator near you, dressed and readily available for your dining pleasure. No kidding – 10 days! Use in place of the lettuce of your choice (seriously). Spinach – step aside! Here’s 3 of my favorites to get you going!
First a few pointers:
To make massaged kale mixture (the base): Combine 2 pounds well washed, stems removed and finely chopped kale with 3 tbsp. quality olive oil. Massage (literally) the mixture. You’ll know you’re done when the texture changes to slightly silky and the color of the kale deepens.
To make ROCKSTAR quinoa: Ratio of 2:1 (chicken or vegetable stock to dry quinoa) combined with 2 cloves smashed garlic. Bring to rolling boil. Reduce to simmer for 12 minutes. Done!
Kale salad with Avocado & Grapefruit
What you’ll need:
Massaged kale mixture (2 handfuls)
1 grapefruit sections and juice reserved
1/2 avocado diced
1/2 cup prepared quinoa
salt & pepper to taste
What you’ll do:
Toss kale mixture with juice from 1 grapefruit, salt and pepper.