Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Curried Tilapia Fish Tacos

In which our fearless heroes make delicious fish tacos, nearly from scratch. Also, some guacamole. Sometimes, things just come together. Hannibal would have loved it. So, a month and change of traveling, road food, barbecue and other excess has caught up to us here at B&P HQ, and we're going pescatarian for awhile. To celebrate the first opportunity to prepare something more exciting than Costco's Ultimate Fish Sticks, I decided to try something pretty different, and go for a latin/carribean/subcontinental sort of meal. So, with a refrigerator full of fish, and armed with a couple pounds of masa, I got to work.

2 Avocados
Diced tomato (1/3 can)
1 lime
Chipotle/Ancho Chili Powder

As luck would have it, I didn't think far enough ahead to thaw out my fish, so I took the opportunity to use some avocados I had handy. Just:

1. Peel the avocados, remove the pits, and put in bowl.
2. Squeeze lime juice, add salt, pepper, and a little homemade chipotle/ancho powder for kick.
3. Mix, season to taste.
4. Add tomato if you want.
Once thawed, I got the curried tilapia going. This would work just fine on its own, with some rise or good bread or whatever starch makes you happy. Very tasty, lot of flavor, but well balanced and not overbearing. I  also made a light slaw to top the tacos - nice, fresh and acid to balance out richer curry (I'm not usually a heavy mayonnaisey slaw person, to be fair). Using:

2 tilapia loins
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 or 4  serrano peppers, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, freshly chopped
Diced Tomatoes, 2/3 cans (left overs from guacamole)
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp ginger
1 - 2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
Olive Oil

Cole Slaw:
Finely chopped Cabbage
White vingegar

1. Warm olive oil over medium heat in medium pan, and saute onions until they start to get translucent.
2. Add chopped peppers, and garlic, and continue to saute for 5 - 10 minutes.
3. Pat tilapia loins dry, and cut into ~ 1" slices, toss in curry powder, ginger, cayenne (and garlic powder, if you want), until coated liberally.
4. Add fish and spices to onions and peppers. Gently stir or toss until the outside of the fish is mostly white. Don't overdo it, err on the raw side.
5. Add tomatoes and 1/2 a can of water (~2/3 cup, or so) to the pan, and mix gently. The fish is going to be pretty easy to break at this point. 
6. Squeeze in 1/2 a lime (to taste), add cilantro, and salt as needed. Simmer for 30 min or so. It's hard to overdo at this point, and the fish should be for awhile. Stir occasionally.
7. Prepare the coleslaw by mixing cabbage, a splash of vinegar, lime, and a pinch of pepper, salt, and sugar, until coated evenly. Set aside.
Prepped Fish
Chopped Serrano 

Fish, onions, and peppers
Everything stewing!
Finally, you'll need tortillas. I made corn tortillas from scratch - It's pretty easy. I had nothing resembling a tortilla press, so mine were pretty small and little thick. All you need is some Masa Harina, which is a kind of slake-lime treated corn flour. 

1. Heat cast iron skillet to medium/hot
2. Mix Maseca (apparently a popular brand) with an equal volume of water.
3. Form into a ball (about ~1 inch in diameter).
4. Press onto skillet with something heavy (I used the bottom of small saucepan) and greased to prevent sticking.
5. Cook for 40 - 50 seconds, flip, and cook for another 40 seconds.
6. Repeat until you have enough.

A big BALL of masa
Flipped tortilla
Finally, put everything together. I layered a couple pieces of fish on each tortilla, follwed by some tomato, peppers, and sauce from the curry pan, topped with the slaw. Good stuff! This one of the best meals I've made in awhile, and I'm a little sad the pictures don't do it justice (I need to invest in a non-iphone camera!). 

Fish and gravy

With some slaw

About to eat!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice and informative blog posting. Among all the fish, tilapia fish is Awesome! Tilapia fish farming is very profitable and easy. I like this fish very much for it's unique taste and nutritional value.