Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Blackened Fish Tacos with Cucumber Salsa

Does food ever take you places? Like, to distinct points in time? Some of my greatest memories are around food.

I guess that's not surprising. I really love food. It's a blessing and a curse all in one.

This meal, these Blackened Fish Tacos with Cucumber Salsa, they took me to Virginia Beach. In Virginia Beach, my friend and I escape the norm and enjoy watching dolphins on the beach, drinking daiquiris by the pool, and taking bike rides down the boardwalk. We've gone there twice now, and needless to say we are pretty much regulars.

Confession...the last time we were in VA Beach this past September, I sat at the bar and ate an entire pound (A POUND) of crab legs by myself. I sat there alone, and I ate the crab legs--all of them--alone.

I feel like I can be myself there.

I am totally obsessed with these fish tacos because they are light and fresh, with just the right amount of heat on the blackened fish. They took me to warm beaches and sunny skies (much different from the 21 degree weather blessing the city of Boston right now...). Oh, and the prep is a cinch!

The cucumber salsa is so simple and elegant. It totally beats out soggy lettuce on these tacos.

Diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, yellow bell peppers and green onions are tossed with cilantro and lime juice. A simple seasoning with salt and pepper and garlic powder finishes the topping.

Flounder fillets are seasoned heavily with a mixture of chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, Mexican blend, salt, and pepper.

A pan is heated up and canola oil gets so hot that it is just starting to smoke. The fillets are placed seasoned side down and cooked for 2 minutes on each side over medium heat.

This will sear those seasonings right onto the fish. Crispy and spicy and flaky flounder, oh my!

Once the fish is cooked, heat up tortillas right over your gas burner or in a dry frying pan. I used corn tortillas because I like the grainy texture. Feel free to use a flour or whole wheat tortilla as well!

To build the tacos, add a layer of flaked fish to the bottom of the tortillas.

Slice an avocado and place 2 pieces on top of the fish.

Shredded cheese on top of the avocado, and the cucumber salsa is sprinkled right on top.

Serve with lime wedges and non-fat sour cream dusted with chili powder!

This meal is a great twist on Taco Tuesday, and it is much lighter and more figure friendly than your typical beef/cheese/sour cream combo. Use any fish you have on hand, and get ready to have dinner in nearly 20 minutes!

Here's what you need:

3 flounder fillets (fully thawed if frozen)
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded then diced into small chunks
6 cherry tomatoes, diced
1 medium yellow bell pepper, removed of seeds and diced
1 green onion, diced (white and light green parts only)
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime, plus 1 lime cut into wedges for serving
1 teaspoon each of salt, pepper and garlic powder
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon each paprika, mexican blend seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
6 corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
Shredded cheddar cheese and non-fat sour cream for serving

Here's what you do:

Pat dry the flounder fillets between two paper towels and set aside.

Combine the cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Mix until fully combined. Set aside and allow flavors to blend.

In a small bowl, combined the chili powder and all remaining seasonings (up to and including the salt and pepper). Evenly divide it between the fillets and rub with your hands to create an even layer of seasoning on one side of the fish,

Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and heat until it is smoking. Be patient -- the hotter the oil is, the better your blackening will go! Turn off the heat and add in the flounder fillets, seasoned side down. Sprinkle the other side with salt and pepper.

Turn the heat back on to medium and cook the fish for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a shallow bowl and shred into large chunks using a fork.

Prepare your tortillas by heating through on both sides over a low flame.

To build the tacos, scoop 2 tablespoons of the flaked fish onto the warm tortilla. Top with avocado, cheese, and cucumber salsa. Serve with lime wedges and sour cream dusted with chili powder on the side.

This is a kitty approved recipe.

1 comment:

  1. Hi dear friend,
    One of the best parts of summer is a summer garden, and a favorite summer garden recipe is summer salsa. The fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, peppers, onions, etc. are all foods that are relatively easy to grow.

    Thanks..Read more at- Wohnung Kiffen