Reflections from a Recipe Collector
One of my favorite places to eat when I visit Florida is the Casey Key Fish House, and I always get the fish tacos. I’m sure all their food is wonderful, but I love those fish tacos! Since I have no visits to Florida scheduled for the near future, I went in search of a recipe. I found a couple that looked good, but I was sort of intrigued by the one I chose from Epicurious.com. I hope you feel like giving it a try also.
Recipe from Simply Mexican by Lourdes Castro
Fish - You can use any fish you like so long as you can flake the flesh when it is cooked. Most white fish fall under this category.
Marinated Onions - Once you make this very simple condiment, you will find yourself keeping a container of these onions in your refrigerator to add to all of your dishes. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of vinegar needed to cover the onions completely. Since you will most likely have onions leftover, keep them submerged in the vinegar in a refrigerated airtight container. You can then use the vinegar for your other cooking needs. The onions will keep for several weeks.
The onions and fish can be made up to a day in advance. When reheating the fish, you may want to add about 1 tablespoon of water to make sure the fish does not dry out.
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- About 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 jalapeño, stemmed and chopped
- 1 pound flaky white fish (such as mahi mahi or cod), cut into 4 pieces
- 8 fresh corn tortillas
- Mexican crema, homemade or store-bought
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
- 2 limes, cut into quarters
1. Marinate the Onion
Put the onion in a small bowl and pour in enough red wine vinegar to cover well. Set aside for at least 30 minutes or up to several weeks.
2. Marinate the Fish
Pour the olive oil into a small bowl and add the ancho chile powder, oregano, cumin, chopped cilantro, and jalapeño. Mix well. Place the fish on a dish and pour the marinade over it, making sure to coat the fish well on both sides. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes.
3. Cook the Fish
Heat a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Remove the fish from the marinade and place in the hot pan (there is no need to add more oil). Season the fish with salt. Cook the fish for 4 minutes undisturbed, then turn over, and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and flake the fish into the pan with a fork, making sure to mix in all the marinade that has stuck to the bottom of the pan. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Set aside.
4. Heat the Tortillas
Place four of the tortillas on a plate and sandwich them between two slightly dampened sheets of paper towel. Microwave on high for 45 seconds. Place the warm tortillas in a towel-lined basket or plate and cover. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
5. Assemble and Serve
To assemble the tacos, place a heaping spoonful of the marinated flaked fish onto the center of a tortilla. Top with the marinated onions. Serve accompanied by Mexican crema and salsa. Garnish with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs.
I paired the fish tacos with my version of Mexican Rice that can be prepared while the fish and onions are getting their spice on!
- 2 T canola oil
- 1 C white rice (such as Uncle Ben’s)
- 1-10 oz can chicken broth
- 6 oz water
- 1/3 C salsa (or more to taste)
1. Heat oil in pan and add rice. Stir as rice browns slightly.
2. Combine water and broth and add to rice (be careful of steam!).
3. Stir salsa into rice and liquid, and cover with lid. Turn burner to low and cook 20 minutes.
4. Let stand 5 minutes and fluff with fork.
This was really quick and easy to prepare. I used tilapia since I had some in the freezer, and it worked great! I would have liked it a little spicier, but that’s personal preference. I really enjoyed the marinated onions; they added a great crunch to the taco. Cole slaw would be a less spicy substitute. This dish wasn’t a bad substitute for Casey Key Fish House. Now, if I could just duplicate the setting!