Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are one of my favorite foods. My dad lived in San Diego for most of my life and whenever I visited I love getting baja style fish tacos. Some Mexicans I know sneer at the idea of fish tacos because "that's not Tacos! That's Tex Mex". Well, the taste is so good I can't help but eat them up. So when I found a recipe in Recipes from the Root Cellar for winter fish tacos - I knew it was time!
Okay, so I feel kind of bad. A lot of the recipes lately haven't been specifically tailored for two. However, I try to post recipes that cut in half easily or freeze well. This recipe is super easy to cut in half. Yes, it serves three - but come on! Leftover fish tacos? Is that really something to complain about? I didn't think so. I actually made the full recipe because I had some beloved friends over.

First, the pickled red onions. They were probably my favorite part of the whole meal. Who knew I would love pickled red onions quite so much. I have already vowed to make a whole jar full to keep in my fridge for any given moment. Okay... so I did have to look up what non-reactive meant. I still don't know exactly what that means, but I used a small glass pan to make them. I am sure any ovenproof casserole dish would work. It's well worth it my friends!

The fish and marinade are easy enough. I just used a fish called whiting (??) because that is what Aldi had available. Like it says, any white fish will do. Okay, lets talk about the sour cream sauce. I made exactly what the recipe asked for, but four people barely put a dent in it. Unless you have some sort sauce crazy friends - you should probably make just enough. For example, 1/2 cup sour cream 1/8 cup mayonnaise for four people OR 1/4 cup sour cream and 1 or 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise for two people. I think I might shred up some cabbage and just make a slaw with the leftover sauce - because there is a ton of it left. And yes mayonnaise haters - you could probably just leave it out completely or use something else. I got my tortillas from a local Mexican grocery store (where I ate a tongue taco - it wasn't bad!), but they look too perfect to be made fresh. Next time I'll just buy mission tortillas and be happy about it.

I served these with a carrot salad (coming soon) and black beans. Good friends and good food, life aint too shabby!


Winter Fish Tacos
(Serves 6)

Pickled Red Onion
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 cup rice vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Dash of hot pepper sauce

Fish and Marinade
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 pounds mahimahi or other white fish fillet

Sour Cream Sauce
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoons (packed) finely grated lime zest
Pinch of salt
Dash of hot sauce

Tortillas and Garnishes
18 small flour or corn tortillas
2 cups shredded green or savoy cabbage

1. To make the pickled onion, combine all the ingredients in a small nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, transfer to a serving bowl, and let cool.

2. To prepare the fish, combine the oil and lime juice in a large, shallow, glass baking dish. Add the fish and turn to coat. Set aside and let marinate for 15 minutes.

3. To prepare the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until will combined. Set aside.

4. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer the fish from the marinade to the hot pan, skin-side down. Cook the fish for 4 minutes on the first side, flop, and drizzle with the marinade. Cook on the second side for 3-5 minutes, depending on thickness of the fish. Let rest for a few minutes, then flake with a fork.

5. To warm tortillas, stack them between damp paper towels and microwave about 60 seconds.

6. Serve the warm tortillas, fish, pickled onions, sour cream sauce, cabbage, and salsa in separate bowls and allow diners to assemble their own tacos.

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