Thursday, April 26, 2012

Simple fish tacos with leftover mahi mahi

Cooking for one is not as ideal as cooking for 2 or 3. For one, you should share your delicious meals with someone so they can be impressed with your culinary skills. Another is at the end of the night, after you've slaved away in the kitchen, you end up with a lot of leftovers. I'm always impressed with people who are able to be creative with their leftovers the very next night without having to taste "old." I ended up having 2 fillets leftover from my citrus-glazed mahi mahi (see post here) so I did a quick search and found a recipe for fish tacos. To tie my citrus-glazed mahi mahi to the Mexican theme, I made my own salsa fresco with some lemon juice and made a cabbage-salad side dish with the rest of the lemon juice to make a citrus dressing. This is an important thing to remember about leftover-cooking: use previous flavors of your leftovers and add fresh ingredients with slightly different flavorings to take away the refrigerated taste from any meat. I also added some spiced sour cream as another note with my taco. Dairy can help balance the lemon zing of the salsa. 

Try this recipe out with your leftover (or fresh) fish. Try using lean and flaky fish like tilapia, snapper, cod, catfish or here, mahi mahi. 

for the salsa:

  • 5-6 medium sized roma tomatoes (these small tomatoes have a lot of flavor and sweetness without being too watery like large tomatoes)
  • 1/2 onion (yellow or red)
  • cilantro
  • fresh or canned corn
  • 2 lemons plus zest
for the fish tacos:
  • small corn tortillas 
  • shredded queso blanco cheese
  • 1/2 head cabbage shredded
  • sour cream
Dice the tomatoes and onion and combine in a bowl. Zest about 1/2 tsp of lemon and juice the rest into the bowl. Add some cilanto and a little bit of olive oil to the mix. I also added corn for some sweetness. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let the salsa sit for a few after mixing very well. The longer you  let it sit, the more time the juice breaks down the ingredients and releasing the freshness from the tomatoes and the cilantro while sweetening the onion. 

Crisp up the corn tortillas by brushing some canola oil and heating them in the oven at 350 degrees. Heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut up the fish fillets into pieces and heat up the leftover fish in a pan over med high heat until you crisp them up. This will hopefully cook out the leftover taste while waking up the orange flavor in the meat.  Add a squirt of lemon juice too. 

Shred up your cabbage and squirt a bit of lemon juice and season with salt. Shred up the queso fresco cheese as well. Queso fresco is a salty and mild cheese originating in Spain, very popular in Mexico. It can be found in the artisan cheese section and not very expensive. The texture is very soft, not too creamy but more crumbly. Try to find this cheese because it's more mild than say pepper jack or other Mexican cheeses. You won't regret it!

Time to put it together: smear some sour cream on the tortilla and pile your fish pieces on top. The sour cream holds everything in. Add your salsa and cabbage salad on top and a dollop extra of sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika for a smokey taste (optional). Dinner is served and under 20 minutes without any expensive ingredients. All you need is the California ocean breeze!


Post a Comment