The inaugural post! And the honor goes to… my fish tacos.
I use to find the concept of a fish taco unappealing. I wanted my tacos with ground beef or sliced chicken seasoned with TONS of cumin, chili powder and grilled onions. My friends would rave about the fish alternative, likening it to a bowl of Mac n Cheese after a night out. I didn’t get it, but I had to try it for myself.
I made my first dive into fish tacos at the Brooklyn Flea. (For all of you who don’t know, the Brooklyn Flea is a weekend flea market in Brooklyn – surprise, surprise – that has a combination of antique, craft and specialty food vendors.) I was given a puny, bland rectangle of battered and fried fish atop a corn tortilla with a lime wedge on the side. It was dry and boring; definitely not my new favorite comfort food.
So I made my own. I exaggerated the sourness of the lime by pickling peppers, onions and cucumbers. I added jalapeño peppers to the brine for heat, and brown sugar to bring out the sweetness.
The fish is broiled instead of deep fried. (Read it again! That’s broiled and not boiled…a battered and fried fish would become soggy from the brine on the pickled veggies). The product is much MUCH healthier.
The fish and pickles are topped with tomato, cilantro and a dollop of daisy (sour cream, that is) and that’s it! The product is deliciously sweet, sour, spicy, creamy and light. Add a cold pale ale and you have the recipe for a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Now THAT’s comfort.
1 lb Fish, filleted (I used Blue Fish, but you can use any light fish like flounder, cod, or grouper)
Pickled veggies (see the recipe below)
2 Flour tortillas
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Tomato
2 dollops of Sour Cream
2 wedges of lime
1. Rub the skin side if the fillet with olive oil to prevent it from sticking to the baking sheet.
2. Place the fish on a baking sheet and Drizzle olive oil on the top of the fish and season with salt and pepper.
3. Lightly brush the fish with mustard and top with tomato slices.
4. Broil the fish on hi for about 8 minutes, or until it is flaky. You do not want to overcook the fish, so check it every 5 minutes. It is done when it begins to flake when pressed with a fork.
5. Warm the tortilla. You can do this in the oven, or on the stop top if you have a gas range. I place the tortilla directly on top of the range and flip it every few seconds until it is lightly toasted.
6. Spread a dollop If sour cream on the tortilla and top it with a piece of fish. Top the fish with the pickles, tomato and cilantro and serve with a wedge of lime.
1 sweet pepper (green, yellow or red)
1/2 jalapeño pepper
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 allspice berries (optional)
1 Bay leaf
1/4 tbsp crushed red pepper
1.Place the vinegar, water and seasonings in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer on medium until the salt and sugar are dissolved and the flavors meld (about 3 minutes).
2. Slice the pepper, jalapeño pepper, onion and cucumber. Place them in the saucepan and simmer for about 3-5 minutes, or until the veggies are soft. If you boil the brine for too long, everyone in the house will begin to tear up, cough and begin to yell at you (boo!)
4. Put the veggies and the brine into a jar and cool. You can use an old pickle jar!
5. Once cooled, the picked veggies can stay in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks. Because they are in a brine, I expect that they can stay in the fridge for longer than a month, but I’ve never tried that before so…at your own risk!