Not your same old Lenten fish fry: Try some fish tacos
While fish is on the minds and menus of many observing the Lenten season, there are more options than the local parish fish fry.
Not that church fish fries could ever be considered a bad thing, it’s just that there’s another fish story to tell.
Fish tacos are an awesome combination of fried or grilled fish, crunchy toppings and a smear of a creamy sauce to cool it all off.
Baja-style Fish Tacos MAKES 6 SERVINGS
Beer batter 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt ½ tsp ground black pepper 1 cup dark beer Cream sauce 1/3 cup mayonnaise 2/3 cup Mexican crema or reduced-fat sour cream 1 tsp grated lemon zest 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tbsp water Salt and freshly ground black pepper Fish tacos Oil, for frying 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning 2 pounds skinned halibut cut into 5-by-1/2-inch strips Freshly ground black pepper Corn tortillas 2 cups shredded cabbage 1 cup tomatillo salsa (store-bought or homemade) for garnish, optional Pickled jalapenos, for garnish, optional Pickled red onions, optional (see note)
Preparation time: 20 minutes; total time: 45 min.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually add in the beer while whisking. Set aside and let the batter rest for 15 minutes before using.
To make the cream sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and crema. Whisk in the lemon zest, lemon juice and water. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
For the fish: In large skillet, over medium heat, add enough oil to reach a depth of 1 inch. Heat the oil until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees or when the end of a wooden spoon sizzles when inserted into the oil.
On a large plate, combine the flour and salt. Season the fish pieces all over with salt and pepper and coat with the flour. Working in batches, dip the fillets in the beer batter and coat on both sides. Fry in the hot oil until golden brown and cooked through, about five minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Make tacos with the tortillas and fish and top each with cream, shredded cabbage, tomatillo salsa and pickled jalapenos, if desired.
Cook’s note: To make the pickled red onions, thinly slice one medium red onion and place in a bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 cup water and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Refrigerate one hour or overnight.
Adapted from www.foodnetwork.com.
Mahi Mahi Tacos MAKES 6 SERVINGS
1 medium white onion cut into ½-inch-thick slices 1 package (8 ounces) mini sweet bell peppers Cooking spray ¾ teaspoon salt, divided ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided 4 mahi mahi fillets, about 5 ounces each 8 corn tortillas 1 small jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced 8 lime wedges (optional)
Prep time: 20 minutes; total time: 30 min. Arrange onion slices and bell peppers on plate, brush with some canola oil.
Grill onions on high for six minutes or until grill marks develop. Turn and grill on second side until onions are tender.
Grill the bell peppers, about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove onions and bell peppers from grill, and let stand for five minutes. Slice onion rings in half. Thinly slice bell peppers; discard stems and seeds. Combine onion, bell peppers, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl.
Rub the fish with a little canola oil and sprinkle fish evenly with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and remaining 3/8 teaspoon black pepper. Place fish on grill and grill about three to four minutes on each side.
Warm tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish, onion mixture, and jalapeno slices evenly among tortillas.
Adapted from www.cookinglight.com.
Mahi Mahi Tacos with grilled peppers and onions.
Baja-style Fish Tacos with lemon crema and pickled red onion.