I was not really a big fish eater until the last few years. I don’t even think it was because I didn’t like fish and now I do, because I think I just got it in my head when I was a kid that I didn’t like fish, so I wasn’t even willing to try it. Any of it. Thank goodness that’s over. The problem is, though, that the fact that fish is only a recent addition to my repertoire really limits my experience and exposure and confidence. I need to cook more fish. Especially because the kid just LOVES it. All of it.
This is an easy one. We can call it Cooking Fish 101. Fish tacos! Who doesn’t love fish tacos?! Who sees fish tacos on a menu and doesn’t think, “I want THAT.”??? Not many.
Of course, fresh fish would be best every time, but living in Chicago and working full-time can make getting your hands on primo fresh fish a challenge at times, amiright? So we work with what we’ve got. If what you’ve got is fresh fish, go with that. It will 100% guaranteed trump my version with just that one tiny adjustment. Anyway…
WHAT YOU NEED
* white fish filets (if I can’t get fresh, I use the frozen tilapia from Trader Joe’s that comes 2 filets to a package) – you want about 1/3-1/2lb filet per person, give or take (more is never bad with fish tacos)
* olive oil
* salt + lemon pepper (or just pepper is fine, too)
* 1 ripe avocado (per 2-3 people)
* 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (per 2-3 people)
* ~1C frozen corn (give or take, just eyeball it for your salad; per 2-3 people)
* 1/2 a medium-sized jicama (per 2-3 people)
* corn tortillas
* cilantro (if you like it… cilantro can be very polarizing, I find)
WHAT TO DO
So, if your fish is fresh, you probably don’t need to flour-coat it, or add the butter when you’re cooking – just grill it or pan sear it or whatever you want to get it cooked to flake-able. I’ve done all variants of prep on this fish.
This time, though, my frozen fish had been in the freezer for a little while, and I wanted to combat any possible freezer taste on it. So I dredged it lightly in flour, sprinkled on a little salt and lemon pepper per side, and pan seared it (on about medium heat) in about 1-1 1/2T olive and a pat or 2 of butter.
About 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. When it’s ready, it’ll look something like this:
Meanwhile, prep your salad. Chop your avocado, halve the cherry tomatoes, and peel and chop the jicama, and throw it in a bowl. I also often add diced red onion, but I didn’t have any, so I skipped it this time. Heat the corn in a pan with a little olive oil and throw it on top. Squeeze 1-2 limes over the salad, and about a Tablespoon of olive oil, plus a little salt and pepper to taste, and boom–your salad is ready:
Heat your tortillas in a warm frying pan or the microwave, and cover to keep warm while you eat. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro (again, only if you like it, I know people have VERY strong feelings about cilantro… I once had a boss who hated cilantro so much she learned how to say it in the native language of every cuisine she ate so that there would be no confusion in the kitchen when she placed an order) and sliced limes. This is a make-your-own plate kind of a dinner. AND IT’S KID-FRIENDLY (at least for our little kook!)!
So easy, right?! And fool-proof fish! Can’t be beat.