Wednesday, May 11, 2011

15 Minute Blackened Fish Tacos

Everyone needs a few recipes on hand that you can throw together in the blink of an eye.  This is one of those recipes that comes together in 15 minutes (yippie!).  When I was throwing out dinner options tonight (and I was secretly hoping for the boys to pick soup because it's been cold and rainy all day), my four year old jumped on the fish tacos option.  I guess what I'm saying is that if fish tacos was a kid's first choice, they really are a crowd-pleaser.  We all (should) know that adding more fish to our diet is a good thing for our health and this is an easy and appealing way to add a serving.  This recipe uses tilapia, which I've heard called "the gateway fish."  It's mild flavored, economical and doesn't have a fishy taste.  Other good options besides tilapia would be cod, red snapper or catfish.  Oh, and "Blackened" just refers to the cooking style--rubbed with Cajun style seasonings and cooked in a really hot skillet to form a crispy crust!

Blackened Fish Tacos
serves 4 
1-1 1/4 pounds tilapia fillets (about 4)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground paprika
1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
     (*also, you can substitute Cajun or Blackening Seasoning for the above spices)
2 tablespoons olive oil

corn tortillas (about 8-12--double layer them for best plate to mouth handling)
bagged coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup sweet onion (such as a Vidalia), finely chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon lime juice
lime wedges
(diced avocado would be nice too, I just didn't have any)

Directions: In a small bowl, stir together cilantro and diced onion.  Set aside.  In another small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, sour cream and lime juice.  Set aside.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium high heat.  Stir together salt and spices and season tilapia fillets generously with spice mixture.  When the skillet is good and hot, place the fish fillets in a single layer in the skillet.  Cook, untouched, for about 4 minutes or until edges of fish are opaque.  Also, there should be a crispy looking crust formed on the bottom side.  Flip over and cook additional 2-4 minutes or until the second side is browned, and fish flakes easily with a fork.  Remove from heat.  Break into large chunks. Squeeze a lime wedge or two over top of the fish

To serve, double layer the corn tortillas.  Spread a thin layer of the sour cream mixture on tortillas.  Top with chunks of fish, a handful of coleslaw mix and sprinkle with cilantro-onion mixture.  Serve with additional lime wedges, as desired.  ¡OlĂ©!

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