Monday, May 4, 2009

Fish Tacos

It's Cinco de Mayo week. Two bits, four bits, six bits, a peso. All for tacos, Stand up and say so!


  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (freshly ground from toasted whole seeds would be best)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime's worth of lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds tilapia fillets, cut into 2-ounce strips
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw
  • 1 cup mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Whisk together all sauce ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, including salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the fridge while preparing the rest of the dish.

Mix together flour, kosher salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a pie pan or small square casserole. Dredge the fish strips in the flour, shaking off any excess so only a light dusting remains. Place floured fish strips on a wire rack until they are all floured.

Heat oven on its lowest setting. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until shimmery. Carefully lay as many fish strips as will fit in the pan without crowding it. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Put the cooked fish in the warm oven (on a sheet of aluminum foil or a sheet pan) as you cook each batch.

Meanwhile, heat a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the middle and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the cooked side is light brown, speckled with dark brown. Flip and sprinkle salt on the cooked side. Toast the second side for about half as long, until it just starts to color. Remove the tortilla and quickly (and gently) fold in half to make a taco shell, with the salted/browned side out. Hold it folded for about 30 seconds while it cools (you may wish to use tongs or paper towels to avoid burning your fingers). When it cools slightly, it should hold it's folded shape. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Note: If you are not an experienced kitchen juggler, you may wish to make the tortilla shells first, then cook the fish. As you become more familiar with the timing, you may want to save time by cooking both at the same time.

To serve: place a fish strip in a taco shell. Top with onion, tomato, cabbage, cheese, and sauce.

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