I’ve been sitting on this post for days. Once again the world is in turmoil and the words won’t come. #BlackLivesMatter. #BlueLivesMatter. #AllLivesMatter. It’s noise that distracts us from what’s really happening is our country: we’re killing each other and people are turning a blind eye. We must refuse to stand by and be ok with the violence that grips our cities and leaves mothers worried that their black children won’t come home. Yes, people of color aren’t the only victims of murder and senseless violence, but if you stay silent on the real issues of racism facing our country, you’re part of the problem. Don’t rant on Facebook or take to Twitter to spout 140-character diatribes. Have real conversations with the people in your lives and show compassion to those who are different than you. Have the hard conversations that leave you raw and wondering how in the hell it can get better. It’s the only way to step forward into a world where murder and violence and fear have no place.
So fish tacos, huh? From the real problems of our society to a very personal #firstworldproblem: I’ve grown tired of the taco joint in our neighborhood. For more than a year, I adored it. I went every chance I could, ate their $2 happy hour tacos, gorged myself on guacamole and piping hot chips. But as the months rolled on, the tacos all tasted…exactly the same. Fairly spicy meat situation. Habanero salsa. Creamy slaw. Fruit pico. Fish or chicken or beef, it didn’t matter. The flavor profile, while delicious, had gotten stale. “I could make this myself.” So I did. While debating menus for a Friday dinner in with a friend, it hit us. Let’s be our own taco joint, and these fish tacos hit it out of the park.
While perfect fish tacos are fried, a grilled version is much easier to pull off on short notice. I’m a real sucker for fruit in my salsa, so this pineapple pico de gallo was perfection. And what’s a fish taco without a creamy cabbage slaw? The components do take a few minutes to make, but none require any more skill than chopping and stirring. These tacos were made for a Friday night with friends, munching on guacamole and sipping margaritas while you cook the fish and mix everything together. It sounds like my idea of a perfect night.
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- 1 cup diced pineapple
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice of 1 lime
- 4 cups shredded cabbage (from about 1 small head)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- Pinch of sugar
- 2 pounds cod (or other firm, white fish)
- Salt and pepper
- Corn tortillas, sliced avocado, cilantro, etc
- Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Taste and season with salt as desired. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Add the shredded cabbage to a colander and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Let sit for 15 minutes then, using your hands, wring as much water from the cabbage as you can. Add to a large bowl with the green onions and jalapeno. Toss to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, garlic, lime juice, sugar, and a pinch of kosher salt. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and mix well. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired.
- Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Pat the fish dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the fish is flaky and cooked through. Let rest for a few minutes then slice or shred as desired.
- Serve with tortillas, the pico de gallo, the slaw, avocado, and any additional toppings you like.