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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Homemade Fish Tacos





And when I say homemade, I mean everything from scratch.  The only thing I didn't do was catch and clean the damn fish.

I'll admit it, I'm insane.  I worked 8 hours, got into a car with the temperature of the surface of the Sun, stopped at the grocery to pick up all the fresh veggies then home to make everything.  We didn't get to eat until about 8 30pm. Ugh.  But I am a glutten for punishment.

My sister-in-law is convinced my house would smell nasty...making fish and all. Apparently, she doesn't like fish...except for sushi. It's hard to argue when I love sushi so much myself, but honestly, the house did not stink.  My original idea was to grill the fish, but when the time came and I had been prepping and cooking for over an hour in a hot kitchen - grilling was out. I broiled it.  And it smelled wonderful!

The fish taco started with just the idea of tortillas.  I wanted to make homemade tortillas and show my girls how easy it is to make them from scratch. And it was also to reminisce about their grandmother, Tita, may her sweet soul rest in peace.  Tita taught me how to make homemade tortillas when I was still married to my daughters' father.  She taught me a lot, honestly.  And to this day, without fail, whenever I'm cutting up fresh cilantro she comes to mind.  Every single day she made a fresh pot of beans with fresh cilantro. Every morning I was there, they were in the pot and the house smelled wonderful. So, that was it. From scratch tortillas.  Now, what to fill them with?

I think you know it's Summer and it's Africa hot. We are well past 20 days with consecutive 100+ degree heat and no rain. I didn't feel like a hot steamy pile of fillings inside a hot tortilla like beans and rice and chicken.  Phew.

So what's the next best thing to fill a tortilla with? FISH!  Then I decided to make fresh salsa and a yogurt sauce.  Mmmm.

Now before you think this is all so hard, it's not. Just a little time consuming and as of late I can't stand for more than maybe 10 minutes at a time, so things take three times as long for me to do these days.  When I've made salsa in the past, I've chopped every single ingredient by hand. Tomatoes, garlic, onions, cilantro, peppers. This time, I opted for canned tomatoes and it was as fresh as anything! The yogurt sauce is even easier.  It's the tortillas that are time consuming, because I had to cook one at a time and I made about 20.

Let's start with the salsa.  And again, pardon the photos...my Rebel is still sick.


SALSA
A lime (use 1/2 at first) 
Large can of stewed whole tomatoes
Regular can of spiced chopped tomatoes
1 roughly chopped onion
A handful chopped cilantro
2 cloves of garlic
A jalapeno (Not pictured)

Put everything except the chopped tomatoes in. Juice 1/2 the lime until you taste it.


Do a pulse on the chopper a few times, then add the can
of chopped tomatoes and pulse again.  Then taste and
add salt and pepper.

There it is! I put it in a container and in the fridge. It's best to do this 
a day ahead for the ultimate in flavor!



 Greek Yogurt Avocado Sauce
2 avocados
1 container plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1/2 a lime

Literally toss it all in the blender and WHIRRRR!
Done!

 TORTILLAS
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 1 1/2 cups water


Mix them all up and turn out to floured surface
and kneed just a few time.
This kneeding part is hard for me to stop. I LOVE the feel
of dough!

Make into balls.  The only way I can describe the size is
it's smaller than a raquet ball and bigger than a
golf ball.

There are several ways to roll them out.  I put them in between a folded
sheet of parchment paper. The won't stick.  Then I pressed them
out flat. They naturally go into a circle.

Notice my first tortilla. I rolled it.  Not so good. 

It got plenty of sneers from the peanut gallery


Hmmm. Let's try this again...

The parchment paper worked best. 


Here's my daughter giving it a go.  
This is the most time consuming part.

When you do this with parchment paper you can slap them 
on the skillet and peel the paper back.
I reused the papers until I was done. 

Then the seasoned fish went under the broiler for 
roughly 20 minutes. 


Then I laid everything out for building the fish tacos - extra chopped cilantro and shredded lettuce. 

Chop up the fish..

And there they are. Not exactly picture perfect, 
but when you have kids that waited until 
8 30pm to eat, you're lucky to not
draw back a nub. 


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