For various reasons, H and I have decided to eat a lot more fish at home. We tend not to cook shellfish (except for our adventures here), so chose to focus on creatures with scales instead. I haven’t cooked a lot fish, and H tends not to like a lot of fish, so this challenge was a good one. Luckily, my most recent subscription of “Cooking Light” had just arrived in the mail, chock full of fish recipes for us to try, so I was prepared and ready to begin.
After perusing through the magazine, I decided on fish tacos. Simple, summery and allowed me to use one of my favorite fruits – mango. Plus, since we’re not fish lovers quite yet, I figured the salsa, by virtue of its strong flavors, would shield the taste of the fish. Here’s the recipe, pulled from “Cooking Light’s” website.
1/2 cup chopped peeled mango
1/2 cup chopped green tomato
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
4 (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
1 cup mixed salad greens
1. To prepare salsa, combine the first 7 ingredients in a small bowl; toss well.
2. To prepare tacos, preheat broiler.
3. Place fish on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle fish evenly with seasoning. Broil 6 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
4.Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Add the tortillas to pan, 1 at a time; cook 1 minute on each side or until lightly toasted. Divide fish evenly among tortillas; top each taco with 1/4 cup greens and 1/4 cup salsa. Serve immediately.
I read through the recipe and figured it would be pretty easy to make. Shopping necessitated that I use red rather than green tomatoes, and ditch the Old Bay seasoning. I hadn’t heard of it before and couldn’t find it in my market. (Is this a very common spice, and am I the clueless one? Give me some feedback.) Tilapia is also a good choice, because although I settled on two frozen fillets from Honduras (the snob in me obviously prefers fresh and local whenever possible), I was able to get them for only $4 total. Lastly, I bought regular rather than whole-wheat tortillas because I figured this recipe was healthy enough as is.
So I began cooking. Here is a picture of the fruit and veggies before chopping. Pretty, no?:
Before chopping, I turned on the broiler. I hadn’t used one in such a long time, and was excited to work with another appliance in my kitchen. Things were going fine until I noticed the kitchen was starting to smoke. I ignored it, because there was obviously no fire and I hoped it would go away on its own. Until the fire alarm started blaring. Blog friends, I was mortified. We live in an apartment and I was sure all of the neighbors were home and could hear my kitchen catastrophe. So I ran around my apartment opening windows and praying the alarm would turn off. Finally, I just took it off the wall and resolved to make H look at it when he came home. Later on, we deduced it was a combination of two things – 1) it was 90 degrees in NYC and my AC was on. Hence no windows were open and 2) we don’t have an exhaust above our stove to capture the smoke. Making a mental note to check for one wherever we move next.
Abandoning the broiler idea, I decided to pan-fry the fish in some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic powder. I was proud of myself for improvising on the spot. Due to my obsession with the Food Network, I’ve recently seen this grill pan that works on top of the stove. Allows you to grill without a backyard or the annoyance of the George Foreman (I find that so hard to clean). It would’ve been perfect for this situation. H and I have that on our kitchen shopping list.
I served the tacos with black beans on the side and they were a hit! H even said “this normally isn’t my kind of thing but it’s good!” Definitely a quick and easy meal that tastes healthy and fresh. I recommend it! Picture above. Adios amigos!