Perhaps William Shakespeare is a somewhat quirky one to quote (sort of quote), but there you have it. This is my deep question for you today. Let’s discuss tacos, shall we? Let’s talk about tortillas, lettuce, cheese, sauce, meat, beans, fish…. ah, the infinite variety of ingredients making up one delicious mouthful of pure bliss. So, is it obvious I love food, yet?
Interestingly enough many of my friends are not prepared for my love of food when dining with me. This should come as no small surprise however, considering I am The Healthy Dish and The Poor Chef. I’m sure you notice a pattern in this, maybe even a pattern of, dare I say it, food? Alas, I digress – back to tacos.
Dining with a friend recently, the conversation turned to food, which makes perfect sense. To me, this is the natural order of things. Food is not just for eating, it is also for discussing. Welcome to my world. Pull up a chair. Eat. Enjoy. It’s a simple world, but oh so elegant in its simplicity.
At this dinner, the conversation turned to tacos. To some, a taco consists of only beef, in one form or another. However, it is not others’ worlds that we are discussing here, it is my world; a world of unlimited ingredients. Why limit a taco to beef, when there is fish? Why limit a taco to refried beans, when there are black beans? Why limit a taco to iceberg lettuce, when there is green leaf lettuce at the ready? Why limit at all? Break free from taco limitations, my friends, and explore the vast list of ingredients to be had, yours for the taking, if you would but open your eyes to see them all.
As my friend and I entered into a lively debate of tacos, we found ourselves in a peculiar situation; we did not agree on taco fundamentals. “Beef,” says my friend, emphatically. “Fish,” I said, with equal passion. We carried on this way for many a minute, without reaching an agreement on the core ingredient. The solution? A taco cook-off; my favorite ingredient versus hers.
While the result may have ended in a less than pleasing manner for my friend (and her beef tacos), I have to admit I felt a certain satisfaction. Fish tacos won the taco cook-off, hands down! Even my oh-so-skeptical friend is now a fish taco lover, in the style of Shakespeare’s day exclaiming: “How use doth breed a habit in a man”, correctly quoting Shakespeare.
This leads us directly to my exhortation to my readers; break free from taco habit! Might I suggest a particular recipe? Try it and you, too, might become a taco adventurer. Go on, I doth dare thee.
Charles Mattocks’ Favorite Fish Taco Recipe
1 lb. white fish (catfish, tilapia, etc.)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup mojo sauce
1 cup salsa verde
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 cup cooked corn kernels (fresh or canned and drained)
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup lemon juice
Four 10-inch whole wheat tortillas
¼ cup olive 0il
1 package yellow rice with black beans, cooked according to package directions
Slices of lemon and lime for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 360* F. Place the fish in a shallow pan and sprinkle it lightly with a little salt and pepper. Pour the mojo sauce over the fish and sit to marinate for at least 30 minutes and no longer than an hour. (Marinating longer will actually cook the fish, so be careful.) While the fish is marinating, combine the Salsa Verde, Mango, Corn, Lime Juice and Lemon Juice in a medium-sized bowl. Cover and set aside to let the flavors blend. Wrap the Tortillas in aluminum foil and place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until warm. When the fish is finished marinating, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fish, discarding the marinade, and brown it lightly on each side. Lower the temperature to medium-low and cook until the fish begins to flake when poked with a fork, 3-5 minutes. Place the Tortillas on individual plates or on a serving platter and cover each with torn pieces of Lettuce. Divide the fish equally and put it on top of the Lettuce. Roll up the wrap tightly, securing if necessary with toothpicks. Serve with Rice and Beans and the Salsa as side dishes. Garnish the Tacos with Lemon and Lime Slices, if desired.