Tuesday, April 30, 2013

California Style Fish Tacos with Tequila Lime Slaw

Does anyone else feel like Tuesday is the new Monday?


Or, at a minimum, ranking right up there with Monday as the worst day of the week.  Monday is bad in its own right, but mostly because it signals the start of the work week.  At least with Monday, you can usually slowly work your way back in the groove.  In my experience, people don't expect too much on a Monday, probably because they too are trying to get back into the weekday grind and are tackling tasks they also put off on Friday afternoon.

Tuesday is a different monster all together.  Tuesday is when the demands start rolling in, and you know you will have to accomplish all the Tuesday tasks by the end of the week (it's an unspoken rule).  Apparently, smarty pants researchers at the London School of Economics agree with me (evidence here).  Validation makes a Tuesday a little more palatable. 


Is it obvious I had a rough Tuesday?  I will quit rambling about my Tuesday woes now and move on to rambling about these fish tacos.  After all, it is Taco Tuesday, the only thing other than validation that Tuesdays are miserable that makes a Tuesday more palatable.

These tacos are delicious, and fresh, and boozy and will make you feel like you are on vacation in California or the Keys, or at least that it's a Saturday night instead of a Tuesday night (every little bit helps).


And they are super fast.  I know I've said that dishes were fast before, and I know some of you may not believe me (*cough* Lauren *cough*), but its true.  It will take you twenty-five minutes start to finish; ten if you take my short cut below, pinky swear.

The trick the quick cook time is buying fish bits (that's what I call them at least) from your fish market.   My fish market will often have fish bits (i.e. mahi mahi, snapper, trigger fish) which are just smaller chunks of the fish left over when cutting the fillets.  There are also grouper cheeks, which are cut from just below the eye of the grouper.  Not only do the bits cook up substantially faster than their fillet counter part's, they are much cheaper.  Win.

If you cannot find bits at your fish market, no worries.  Just get a fillet and cut it into smaller pieces for faster cooking. Fresh tuna is also a really good option for fish tacos.


The other key component to these quick yet delicious fish tacos?  Chef Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic.  The stuff is amazeballs.  Just the right balance of salt, spice and savory.  I have tried other spices, and have even made my own concoctions from time to time, but I always go back to this stuff when I need quick and guaranteed good flavor.


Admittedly, every time a make fish tacos, I do them a little different.  This particular time, I was attempting to recreate the fish tacos I had while we were out in California last fall visiting Scott's sisters (hi Jen and Kim!).  They were served with a sweet, yet spicy, lime and cilantro slaw that complimented the salty fish perfectly.  I think I got pretty damn close (pats herself on the back).


If I'm really in a hurry, I will skip the slaw and just serve the fish tacos with the traditional, easy to throw on the table toppings - lettuce, tomato, cheese (cheddar, monterrey jack, cotija - whatever floats your boat), avocado chunks, lime wedges, sour cream etc.

If I have a little more time, I will serve them with a fruit salsa (like this one), or with my Bourbon Pimento Cheese (recipe here) - a little more eccentric, undoubtedly Southern and slap your momma good. 


I promise, these will make your terrible Tuesday better.

California Style Fish Tacos with Tequila Lime Slaw
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

For Tequila Lime Slaw:
1/2 head of green cabbage, shredded 
1/2 green pepper, diced fine
2 jalapenos, diced fine (remove seeds and membrane to minimize heat)
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped fine
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of tequila
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
Zest of 1 lime
2 limes, juiced

For Tacos:
1 1/2 - 2 pounds of Trigger Fish Bits (or Grouper Cheeks or whatever fish you want)
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 cup of sharp white cheddar cheese
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon of Chef Paul Prudhomme's Seafood Magic
2 limes quartered
8 corn tortillas, heated*
Tequila Lime Slaw

Directions:
For Slaw:  To make dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together honey, tequila, cumin, chili powder, sugar, lime juice and lime zest.  In a large bowl, mix together cabbage, cilantro, green pepper and jalapeno.  Add dressing to cabbage mixture and stir well to combine.  Refrigerate slaw while preparing tacos.  For Tacos:  Sprinkle fish with Paul's Seasoning.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, and add coconut oil after pan has had an opportunity to heat up (about 3-5 minutes).  Add seasoned fish and cook for 2 minutes on each side (do not crowd pan, cook in batches if necessary).  To assemble tacos, add cheese to the bottom of a corn tortilla, top with fish, slaw and tomatoes and serve with lime wedges.  Corona is optional, but highly recommended.

* When I'm in a hurry or I'm cooking for a large group, I will heat the tortillas in oven.  Stack about 5 tortillas on top of each other, wrap in foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes while prepping slaw and cooking fish.  However, tortillas taste a bazillion times better when you grill them in a skillet.  Heat a skillet over medium high heat.  Add tortillas one by one and cook on each side for 30 seconds to a minute (until browned).

5 comments:

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  2. Hi there...Just wondering which fish market you use. Im really close to you I live in Surfside. I didn't know about the fish bits tip-thanks!

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    1. Heather, I use Seven Seas and Harrelson's. I got the trigger fish bits from Seven Seas. The bits are the excess pieces they have when they cut the filets. They run out of these quick (because the price point is so good), so the earlier in the afternoon you go the better chance you will have.

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