Tacos, Foiled!

I was trying to make tacos, a simple enough goal.

And yet, I was being foiled.

Veracruz-style fish tacos

Veracruz-style fish tacos

Whilst in Seattle, my pal Bob reminded me that it was the “Year of the Taco” at Skinny Girls & Mayo. I hadn’t exactly forgotten, per se — but I clearly hadn’t been focusing any of my narrative attention lately to the recording of taco adventures in the kitchen.

And now, here I was trying, and finding no success.

It went like this: I defrosted some Alaskan cod to make some Baja fish tacos for dinner. The last of the ice had barely melted away when I got an afternoon invitation from my pal Monica, inviting us over for some of her Dominican pork pernil. That’s something I don’t say “no” to.

“Well, I guess I can make the fish tacos tomorrow night,” I thought to myself.

Tomorrow came, and I received an invitation from my pal Jon, inviting us over for “‘merican tacos” (i.e. gringo tacos). And shortly after that yet another invitation from our pal Heather for a barbecue.

My Baja fish tacos were not to be.

Instead, around lunch time of the second day, I set the pieces of cod into a pan with tomato, onion, green olives and oil, and set about making some Veracruz-style fish for lunch.

Veracruz is a state on the east coast of Mexico, sporting a large arc of Gulf waterfront and a strong Spanish colonial influence. That influence may be experienced not only in architecture but also in cuisine, exemplified in the olives, tomatoes, garlic and capers of the region’s famous pescado a la veracruz. (I would leave the capers out of my taco version.)

The tacos were a hit! A cool and spicy slaw offset the warm tanginess of the fish, while a drizzle of smoky salsa naranja completed the triumphant flavor confluence. To compensate for the heavenly crunch of a batter-fried filet, I toasted up the tortillas in a little oil to create one crispy side.

Tacos after all!

*    *    *

Veracruz-style fish tacos
serves 4

1 lb. red snapper or cod
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 large, ripe tomato, chopped
12 good green olives (Spanish or Italian), pitted and roughly chopped in pieces
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
12 small taco-size corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. greek yogurt
1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced
squeeze of lime
salt & pepper to taste
salsa naranja

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté all but 1 heaping tablespoon of your thinly sliced onion until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add fish, chopped tomato and green olive pieces, plus a few splashes of the olive juice from the jar. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until most of liquid has cooked away and fish in broken up into the sauce.

Mix together mayonnaise and yogurt. Add a squeeze of lime. Toss in shredded cabbage, reserved onion slices and jalapeño until incorporated.

In another large skillet, heat 3 tbsp. oil over medium high until they begin to smoke. Cook tortillas, 3-4 at a time, until they are lightly crisp and golden on the cooking side. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Repeat until all have been toasted.

Make tacos: Place three tortillas on each plate, scoop about 1 tbsp. fish mixture into the center of each. Top with cabbage slaw and a drizzle of salsa, and serve.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Italian Goodness
    Sep 16, 2016 @ 01:40:15

    I love the idea of a “sea food” tacos.. thanks for sharing!!!


  2. Mon Abri Farm
    Sep 16, 2016 @ 18:11:40

    Mmmmm tacos : )


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