Thursday, January 27, 2011


My little food snob of a blog has been rattling in her cage lately. For a minute there, she was placated by Christmas carols and New Year's vacations, but the din she makes around supper-time is outrageous.

So I'm Back.

I'm back, and I'm going to tell you about fish tacos.
The first thing to know about fish tacos is that I'm usually very partial to the beer-battered deep-fried kind. However, I wasn't feeling that heavy last Monday so I decided to just wing it.

And that's when the cage broke.

Non-Battered Fish Tacos
Feeds two people two-to-three tacos

For fish:
1 lb Cod Pieces
1/2 c. flour

1 tbsp Aleppo

For Cabbage: (can be made ahead)
3/4 a bag shredded cabbage (or half a small head)

1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt (I use 2%)
1-2 tbsp. Mayonnaise
1 tbsp Penzey's Buttermilk ranch mix*
1 tsp.
Juice from half a lime
salt and pepper to taste

To Serve:

1 pt. grape or cherry tomatoes
small diameter tortillas
shredded cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Defrost fish in a bowl of cold water. While fish is bathing, cut the tomatoes in half and arrange them face up on a baking sheet with sides. Cover the sheet first with tinfoil if you also hate washing baking sheets. Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on the tomatoes and put them in the now-warm oven.
Don't forget about them.

Check on fish. Change its water if necessary, or, If its defrosted, pour the water off and dry it on paper towels.

To assemble cabbage, mix everything together in a large bowl. To be fair, I didn't actually measure any of that stuff when I made it, so use your head, if necessary. If you are not eating immediately, or are preparing the cabbage in advance (which isn't a half bad idea), err on the side of too much cabbage/not enough dressing, as just a couple hours will reduce the volume of the cabbage by half as it absorbs the dressing and settles/looses air.

Once the fish is dry (ish) mix the flour and Aleppo. You'll be shocked to learn that I didn't measure this either, but your looking for a fairly high ratio of Aleppo to flour, and just enough flour to coat all your fish pieces.

Heat your favorite frying pan over medium-high heat with a tablespoon or so of olive oil.
Dredge the fish pieces in the flour mixture till just coated. When the oil is hot, add them to the pan. Work in batches if necessary so that they don't overlap.

You forgot about the tomatoes, didn't you.

That's alright, check them now, they're probably just right-- disintegrated and a little caramelized. Take them out of the oven.

To serve, assemble fish, cabbage and tomatoes in a warmed tortilla. Or, if you wanted, in a small pan lightly coated in oil, melt a little bit of shredded cheese between two tortillas and built your taco in a mega,cheese-filled tortilla.

* Some notes on ingredients:

1. Plain Greek yogurt tastes a whole lot like sour cream, is the same texture/viscosity, has a lot less calories, and is actually really good for you (live cultures and what not). I keep a sour-cream sized tub of it in the fridge at all times: Its great for breakfast or a snack with honey (or jam or something else to sweeten it), it can be used as sour cream for Mexican or Indian, and is a great base for dips-- add taco seasoning for sweet potato fries, or chopped spinach and shallots for spinach dip.

2. If you don't know about Penzey's spices, you should. They run a primarily mail-order operation of herbs and spices that are high-quality, affordable, and specifically sourced-- they carry four different types of cinnamon! I extra-recommend a trip to one if their stores if you can swing it-- touching and smelling and exploring all those spices is a sensual bliss. (The nearest
store in southeast Michigan is in Beverly Hills.)

3. I'm sure I've ranted about Aleppo before, but I have to do it again. I use it more than any other spice or seasoning. Its a soft, subtle, flavorful heat that is never overwhelming. I've only ever seen it at Penzey's though, so you should probably just go order some.


Cynthia said...

Glad to see you back at the console. Keep writing!

Allison said...

Thanks. I'm excited to be back. :)