Monday, April 16, 2012

The Food List Challenge: Fish Tacos

If you've spent any time on Facebook recently you may have noticed a new iteration of what I'm calling the "list app": The Food List Challenge. Basically, it's a list of 100 foods and you check off which ones you've eaten to prove that you're a real "foodie."

Going into the "Challenge," I knew I was at a disadvantage. I'll eat just about any type of fruit, vegetable, bread, cheese, or dessert that you throw at me. Organs, insects, and other oddities aren't my cup of tea though, and the list features quite a few. All in all, I came out with a score of 27 out of 100.

What was surprising to me, though, wasn't all the weird things like crickets and kangaroo. It was how many "normal," readily available foods I haven't eaten. And so, in the past week I have added two new foods to my list: heirloom tomatoes (more on that later) and fish tacos.

I'm not sure why I've never tried fish tacos before. Lord knows they're everywhere these days. But I finally did, and I was pretty happy with the results. This recipe relies pretty heavily on the George Foreman Grill, but you could use a real grill or modify the cooking methods.

Simple Fish Tacos
Serves 1
Basic ingredients, minus the spices.

Cooking spray
1 small ear of corn
1 fish fillet (I used perch)
Lemon juice
Chili powder
1-2 tortillas (I had spinach tortillas so that's what I used)
Taco toppings (I used salsa verde, chopped spinach, and plain yogurt)


1.  Preheat the Foreman Grill. Husk and remove the silk from the ear of corn. Spray with cooking spray (or brush with oil) and season with salt and pepper.

2.  Place the corn on the grill. Cook at least 3-4 minutes, turning frequently, until done. (I left mine on the grill for probably close to 7 or 8 minutes, waiting for it to develop some nice grill lines, but it never did. Still tasty though.) Remove the corn from the grill and set aside.

Corn before grilling.
After grilling. You won't get grill marks, but if you turn it
frequently, you will get crisp, tasty cooked corn.

3.  Dry the fish fillet with paper towels. Rub with lemon juice and then season with salt, pepper, and chili powder, or other spices as desired. Spray the grill surfaces with cooking spray and add the fish.

Fish before grilling. I forgot to snap a picture of it afterwards.

4.  While the fish is cooking, prep the taco toppings. Chop spinach, lettuce, or other vegetables. When the corn is cool enough to handle, use a small knife to cut the kernels off the cob.

I got really good at removing corn from the cob when
I had braces back in middle school. Also pictured:
coarsely chopped spinach.

5.  When the fish is done (timing will depend on the size of your fillet), remove it from the grill and flake it with a fork.

6.  Place a frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Add the tortillas one at a time, and heat for about ten seconds on each side.

Warm tortillas are the only way to go here.

7.  Top each tortilla with corn, fish, and whatever other toppings you want. I found that the lime in the salsa verde worked really well with the fish for my tacos. I also used some plain nonfat yogurt in place of sour cream--it's similar in taste and texture, and I almost always have some on hand (you can also use it on baked potatoes and in a lot of other sour cream situations).

So, my first experience with fish tacos was pretty ok. I made two tacos out of one pretty small fillet, so there wasn't much fish in each one. I think I'd use more next time or only make one taco, and season the fish more. Also, I love spinach tortillas, but the spinach taste was a little overpowering. I'd use plain or wheat tortillas if possible.

Watermelon and cantaloupe.

Overall, it was an easy meal and one that I'd definitely make again. Paired with a nice bowl of fruit, it was the perfect dinner for the summery weather we've been having.

Have you taken the Food List Challenge? What's your score?

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