Thursday, December 9, 2010

Fresh and Easy Fish Tacos

I've been posting some slightly more complex recipes lately, and frankly, that's not really my intention.  My intention is to share with you how I manage to cook for my family every night (after working a full time job all day) using fresh, local ingredients without losing my everlovin' mind. One of my secrets for maintaining sanity?  Shortcuts. Not quite Rachel Ray shortcuts. (I won't buy pre-diced vegetables, but thanks) and hell no to Sandra Lee's shortcuts (If you don't know who I'm talking about, Google Sandra Lee - I swear there are whole blog posts and you tube videos dedicated to justifiably mocking the first lady of Manhattan) but still, technically shortcuts.  Some of my favorites involve frozen proteins from Costco.  I like the tortellini, and lately, we're loving a panko crusted tilapia they have.  I try to cook seafood 2 - 3 times a week for health reasons, and things like frozen tilapia, shrimp and catfish are simple to use, taste yummy, and go over well with the littles.
By keeping that central protein simple, and already prepped, I'm able to build a healthy dinner by adding fresh ingredients to the dish, with out spending hours in the kitchen.  And a hunk of frozen fish? It's no where near as evil to me as a box of Hamburger Helper or an entire frozen entree.  It's still a pure, natural ingredient.  It's just already been cleaned and veined, you know? Have some fresh fish on hand you want to use for this?  Just sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper, and saute it a few minutes on each side in a preheated pan with some olive oil. 

We've still got a counter full of green tomatoes, so this dish uses one of those, plus some of the beautiful cabbage we came home with last week. I love tacos.  These have the goodness of the fish, whole grain corn tortillas, and I pile on the cabbage and the produce based sauce to insure we're getting our fruits and veggies.

See that sauce there? That's the real star of this dish.
Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Green Tomato "Tartar Sauce"
Serves 2 - 4
4 filets of panko tilapia, prepared in the oven according to package directions
4 - 8 corn tortillas (2 per person) warmed in the oven during the last few minutes of fish cooking
1/4 onion, finely diced
1/2 cabbage, shredded
Green Tomato Tartar Sauce (recipe follows)
Grated Cheese (optional - pictured without)
Slice the fish into strips, and assemble as you would any taco - fish, onion, cabbage, sauce and cheese

The real star of this show?  This sauce:
Green Tomato Fish Taco Sauce

1 large Green tomato, finely diced
1 medium mild green chili pepper, very finely diced
2 tbsp finely diced onion (optional)
2 tbsp capers
1 small diced dill pickle
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp mayo
2 tbsp (or more – depending on how “saucy” you want it) light sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl, and spoon over fish

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