Fish Tacos

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A few weeks ago, I had Sunday dinner at my friend Maitland’s house.  She and the five other girls I ate with do these dinners pretty regularly, but this was the first time I cooked with them.  We decided to make fish tacos – something I had never made for myself before.  They found all of the recipes and I just helped with the prepping and cooking.  My main responsibility was the guacamole.  This was easy for me because I love guacamole.  It is so simple to make, and it is so much better fresh than store-bought.  I basically just combine all of the ingredients and keep adding and tasting until I achieve the right balance.

The tacos were amazing.  It was the first warm-ish day that we had had in DC, and these tacos tasted like summer.  I could have eaten eight of them if I hadn’t been careful.  All of the components were simple, and the combined result was delicious – the black bean mango salsa added just the right amount of sweetness; the cabbage slaw gave it a nice texture; the blackened seasoning on the fish was perfect (I loved the complexity that the brown sugar added – almost gave it a barbecue flavoring).  I am sure I will be using these recipes again in the future.

Note:  The recipes below might need to be fiddled with to yield the right amounts.   I am assuming that they each make about 4-6 servings.

Fish Tacos

  • Corn Tortillas
  • Blackened Tilapia (recipe below)
  • Black Bean and Mango Salsa (recipe below)
  • Cabbage Slaw (recipe below)
  • Guacamole (recipe below)
  • Additional toppings – Salsa/Pico/Fresh Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Queso Fresco, Fresh Cilantro

Wrap ingredients in tortilla and enjoy!

Blackened Tilapia (from Cooking Light)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Combine paprika and next 6 ingredients (through ground red pepper); sprinkle evenly over fish. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Enough fish for 8 tacos.

Black Bean and Mango Salsa (adapted from the Food Network)

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 mango, finely diced (could substitute pineapple and it would be good, too)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the beans into a large bowl and add the diced mango, red onion, cilantro, lime zest, orange zest and juices and drizzle with the oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Lightly toss, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Red Cabbage Slaw (from Food Network)

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 large carrot, cut into fine julienne
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Guacamole (I usually just wing it, so these measurements might be a little off.  Honestly, just add a little more of each ingredient until you find the right balance.  Lime and salt are key)

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lime
  • 1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Slice avocados into quarters.  Mix all ingredients together in bowl.

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