Last night Shaun and I tried a new dish. With a fresh order of groceries plaguing the apartment, Shaun suggested fish tacos. While I'm typically for anything with the word taco attached, I've never been one for fish and Mexican-style food together. In fact, the whole thought of cooking any sort of fish gives me anxiety. What if I do it wrong? What if it's overcooked? Or worse, what if it's undercooked? Ick. Shaun, on the other hand, could eat seafood every day for the rest of his existence and be a happy man. He also has no qualms about cooking his own seafood. So I decided to make my man happy and expand my culinary skills just a bit. I gave in. Fish tacos it would be.
And who would have thought that I'd stumble upon my new favorite dinner. Light, refreshing and tasty, this dish has garnered itself a permanent place in my repetoire. Oh, and did I mention that it couldn't be easier? We gave the fish lots of flavor and defishified it by marinating it in a bit of oil and lime juice. The acidic nature of the lime starts cooking the fish immediately in what is known as a ceviche. I also turned it up a notch by ditching the sour cream and creating a simple Mexican crema, a touch that turned this dish from predictable and boring to zesty and mmmm-inducing.
Fish Tacos with Mexican Crema
For the fish:
1 lb flounder, or white fish such as snapper, tilapia
4 whole wheat tortillas
2 tbsp Canola oil
1/2 onion, sliced lengthwise
1/2 lime, juiced and zested
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
shredded lettuce or cabbage
Marinate the fish filet in the ceviche for 15-20 minutes.
The acid of the ceviche will start to cook the fish. In a skillet, add the fish mixture.
Cook fish until flaky. As you turn it, the fish will break up into small pieces, which allows for more even saturation of sauce. We also added in a few sliced mini tomatoes that had grown on our terrace tomato plant, Tito.
For the Mexican crema:
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
3 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 lime, zest and juice
1 tsp minced garlic
*if you want it spicy, add a pinch of cayenne pepper
Mix yogurt, mayo, chili powder, cumin, lime and garlic together in a small mixing bowl.
You may need to adjust the seasoning to your taste. I added a bit more cumin and chili powder. Don't you just love the color of this crema, especially the multicolored flecks woven throughout?
Once this is done, put it all together. On a tortilla, layer about 1 tablespoon of the crema, followed by the fish, followed by the shredded lettuce or cabbage. Note: we used shredded lettuce from a bag of salad that we already had - hooray for multitasking goods! Top with salsa, if desired.
Fold up and enjoy!
So there you have it. The tale of my first foray into fish tacos and the result was nothing short of lovely and mouthwatering. The soft, flavorful fish paired with the Mexican crema really made this a special Tuesday night dinner. Gotta love a simple upgrade like the crema that turns your dish up a notch from standard to artisinal...especially when it couldn't be easier.
Oh, and if you're still nervous about trying something new, just remember that sometimes you just have to jump in and give it a try. And the worst case scenario? Have your favorite pizza joint on speed dial.