When John and I first got together, and I was learning to cook, if I ever asked what he wanted for dinner, his response was always “tacos!”. This was fine with me because my cooking skills at the time were exactly on par with just cooking some beef in a pan and stirring in a store bought packet of “taco seasoning”. It was easy and convenient. But over time, as I started to amass more spices in my cabinet and learned how to use them, I started to question why I was wasting money buying spices in a packet and why I wanted to feed us something that had a ton of unnecessary ingredients like MSG and excess sodium so I started to experiment with making my own spice blends. Then, I started to get bored with the standard taco (ground beef, hard corn shell, lettuce, salsa etc) and began to experiment with what could go into a taco. The options really are endless if you think about it! A taco really just a vehicle for getting spiced things into your mouth and it doesn’t matter if it’s beef, fish, beans or tofu. Add some raw veggies and a sauce of some sort and you’ve got yourself a taco!
I love fish tacos in the summer. They come together really quickly and they’re great for hot weather. It’s not a meal that will weigh you down.
At first glance, this recipe will seem complicated because you need to make fish, a slaw, a cilantro cream and homemade corn tortillas. In all honesty, none of them take much time to make. Other than soaking the cashews for the cream, the thing that takes the longest is making the tortillas and even that can be done quickly if you have more than one cast iron skillet or a very large skillet that you can cook more than one at a time on.
And if making all of these things from scratch is too much for you? No big deal, we don’t do all or nothing here. Do what works for your life and if you prefer to use store bought tortillas or regular sour cream, that’s fine but I insist you use full fat sour cream (preferably organic) – the low fat, no fat stuff has fillers and junk added to it. No good. Making my own tortillas is something I’ve only recently started to do and I haven’t looked back but I understand if you’re not there yet!
1 lb wild caught haddock (or other white fish of your preference)
1 tbsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
Black Pepper & Seas Salt
olive oil or melted coconut oil
Put all spices, salt & pepper in a small bowl and mix. Rub fish with oil and then spices and lay out on a sheet pan. Let fish sit with the spices while you make the Slaw and Cilantro Cream. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes (will depend on how thick your fillets are) until fish flakes easily.
Cabbage & Arugula Slaw
2 cups shredded green or purple cabbage
2 cups baby arugula, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
4 medium carrots, peeled and then grated (cheese grater or in the food processor)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
juice from half a lime
sea salt & pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a bowl, toss to coat.
Cilantro Lime Cream
1/2 cup soaked cashews (soaked in water for 4-8 hours, rinsed and drained)
half a lime, zested and juice reserved
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic or 1 small shallot
1/2 tsp cumin powder
sea salt to taste
Put all ingredients in the blender or food processor and blend away until smooth. Add more water if needed. You can also use cashew cream if you already have some made in place of the cashews and water.
Fresh Corn Tortillas
2 cups Masa Harina Flour (use a non-gmo brand Bob’s Red Mill & Purcell Mountain Farms are two that I know of)
1 cup warm water
1/4 tsp salt
Put corn flour and salt in a bowl, add warm water and mix with your hands until it forms a dough. If it feels dry and grainy add a little more water a little at a time. Take the dough and form it into 10-12 small balls. Cover them with wet paper towels or a wet towel while you form them. Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat. While the skillet is heating up, roll each dough ball (one at a time) between two pieces of plastic wrap with a rolling pin (or a tortilla press if you have one) until they are about 5-6 inches across. If they start to get cracks at the edges, add a little more water to the remaining balls before rolling out. Fry each tortilla in the skillet for 1 minute on each side. Once you lay them in the pan, don’t touch them until it’s time to flip (they’ll stick at first but let go when they’re ready to flip). If you are making a lot of tortillas and only have one skillet, this will take awhile. Use a second skillet if you have one – it will speed up the process tremendously.
To serve, spread some cilantro cream on a tortilla, top with slaw and fish. Add optional salsa if you like! Makes 3-4 servings (3-4 tacos each).