Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fish Tacos

I'm don't have a lot of affection for Martha Stewart. This is not a high-toned feminist or post-feminist position, I just feel like she manages to un-fun a lot of pretty fun stuff: making things, messing around in the garden, and cooking delicious food: all things that are best enjoyed with an experimental attitude and a sense of adventure. Instead, she tends to present The One Way to do things, and emphasizes the product over the process. I find this kind of annoying, but it's probably why I like her food magazine, Everyday Food, when I just want something reliable yet new to make for dinner. In those recipes, the process has been worked out, the product is predictable, and you don't have to do a lot of experimenting. That said, I've probably never been able to truly follow a recipe in my life, so here is the Everyday Food recipe for fish tacos, as altered and rearranged in our kitchen yesterday.

Makes 12 small tacos to serve 4 people.

3 cups finely shredded red cabbage (about a quarter of a cabbage)
1 cup finely sliced scallions
1 jalapeno, minced (de-ribbed and de-seeded if you like)

juice of one lime
zest of that lime
1/4 cup sour cream

1 lb tilapia (or other mild white fish)

12 corn tortillas

Mix the lime juice, lime zest, and sour cream. Salt generously to taste. Mix the cabbage, scallions, and jalapeno with half the sauce and set aside. Save the other half of the sauce for serving. This slaw can be made the day before.

When you're almost ready to eat, cook the fish. I followed the recipe (really!) and fried it in a hot pan in a little oil, but it stuck to the pan, fell apart, and didn't get particularly brown. Despite its inauspicious appearance, it didn't seem to matter to the deliciousness of the end product, so if you have a preferred method of getting fish from raw to cooked, do it now.

As the fish is cooking, heat the tortillas until they're soft and warm. Wrap or cover them to keep them from drying out and cooling off.

To assemble, pile some slaw, some fish, and a drizzle of sauce onto a warm tortilla. Fold in half and eat while dripping pink spots onto your plate.

1 comment:

Garth said...

While tilapia is a fine (and emminently sustainable fish), I suggest trying this recipe with halibut cheeks. Unlike tilapia, they have a flavor and a texture of their own that stands up to taco treatment. Kind of a cross between a steak and a scallop. I don't know if they're readily available in your neck of the woods, but in-season we can buy them fresh off the Alaska fleet.