Lucky Fish Tacos

If you live anywhere except under a rock, you know that the Bruins won the Stanley Cup last night. We also happened to have fish tacos for dinner. Husband has of course dubbed these “lucky fish tacos”.

A few notes on the fish: I’ve mentioned before about our fish share, which is Cape Ann Fresh Catch, out of Gloucester. CAFC delivers sustainably caught seafood, and they don’t overfish. I feel really good about that.

I will admit I was never a fan of fish as a child. I’ve come to seafood later in life, introduced to it by Michael. He’s a life-long seafood fan, and assured me that I’ve probably not had it prepared the best ways, and that would account for my aversion to it.

He was so right.

We tried out the fish share, and I loved it. I didn’t know that I would, so it was a shock to me. Over the winter I made all kinds of stews and right now, I’m interested in exploring summer fare. I’d never made fish tacos until recently, and they’re looking like a total win at our house.

Onto the details! I served these with a side of beans (no rice), which is a recipe from the Grajales family. Old friends. More credit where credit is due – I got this idea from Jen at Peanut Butter Runner and Bakin’ and Eggs (yep, she’s at both!). I adore so many of her recipes.

For the tacos:

  • 1 8oz fillet of white fish of your choice (I used Hake)
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • red leaf lettuce, cut into ribbons
  • taco shells (I like Little Bear Organics Yellow Corn shells)
  • sour cream
  • lemon juice
  • cilantro
  • cajun creole seasoning (I prefer something salt-free)
  • pat of butter, drizzle of olive oil

For the beans:

  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup of red pepper, diced
  • 1 can of red beans, rinsed well
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • black and red pepper
  • dried oregano
  • dried parsley
  • salt
  • cilantro
  • cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp or less of butter

I would make the beans first since the fish cooks very quickly.

Melt a little butter over low heat. Add scallions and red pepper. Cook about 10 minutes, until very soft. I didn’t put any amounts for the seasonings, because I generally go by how it looks/smells. Add a good pinch of dried oregano and the same for parsley. Add salt and pepper. I then added about a teaspoon of cumin. Add the beans and tomato paste. Once the beans begin to soften, I use a potato masher to flatten down some of them. Top with fresh cilantro. Cover and let sit while you make the tacos.

I start by prepping all my toppings. Cut the tomatoes and lettuce and place into bowls. Then, make the baja cream. Combine 1/2 cup sour cream with juice of half a lemon. Chop cilantro and fold into sour cream. Set aside.

In a sautee pan, place a pat of butter and a drizzle of olive oil. You just want to coat the pan, and not really fry the fish. It should be a quick sautee. I have found adding a spot of butter helps with sticking, but you can use a nonstick pan or another method if you prefer that.

Coat each side of the fish with cajun creole seasonings and a little salt. I use a brush to really rub the spice in. When the pan is really hot, add your fish. It will cook pretty quickly. When the edges start to curl, you should check to see if it’s ready to be flipped. When it is easily flipped, it’s ready. (Read: you won’t have to scrape it off the bottom of the pan.)

Cook through on the other side, remove and place on a plate. Rest for a minute or so before cutting into pieces that will fit into the tacos.

Assemble as desired. That’s all folks!

Accidentally Vegan, Intentionally Delicious.

Sometimes I make organic meat or fish with dinner. Sometimes, I don’t. After an 18 year stint being vegetarian, I still lean that way, as you know. So sometimes, I don’t really remember that I forgot to “make meat”. And that’s ok with us! We try to live by the idea that you shouldn’t take more than you need (this applies to both meat consumption and taking too many papertowels). Does that sound preachy? Not really meant to, but with overfishing, and the practices of most farms…it can be downright scary. Know your sources, I say. And who needs 3 servings of meat a day? Well, it’s not us, we know that much.

Somedays we can’t get enough fish! Other days, we don’t notice we didn’t have any. But sometimes, I make a delicious dinner and realize – hey! I didn’t even add cheese. That kind of feels like a win to me, espescially when it’s so filling and SO GOOD. I love being all flexitarian (I went there!) for reasons like this dinner, right here.

Orange Herbed Salad:

spinach

orange segments

avocado

Herbs: cilantro, basil and mint

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil (or any oil you prefer)

Mix salad ingredients together (in portion sizes needed), and lightly dress if desired. I can tell you I’ve made this salad three times in the last week. I took it for lunch twice with a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese on the side, and it was seriously delicious. I don’t kid about food being good.

My inspiration for this next dish came from Cate, of Cate’s World Kitchen. I know it’s not really the same, but credit where credit is due. And this was my jumping point.

Pesto Quinoa:

3/4 cup of cooked quinoa (you can use any color you prefer)

1/2 head of lacinato kale, cut into thin ribbons

2 cups of mushrooms

For the pesto:

~1.5 cups of basil, loosely packed

juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup walnuts

salt and pepper

While the quinoa is cooking, sautee the kale and mushrooms until the kale is pliable and the stems are easily chewed (about 10 minutes). In a blender/food processor, combine the pesto ingredients and puree until smooth. Combine quinoa, kale and mushrooms and pesto. That’s about it!