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THE VALUE OF SIMPLICITY: Pan-fried Fish Taco

Just because you’re broke or short on time doesn’t mean your kitchen has to be boring. Ever. From this philosophy was born one of our favorite dishes, this lightly fried and absolutely decadent fish taco.

I am a firm believer that just because my wallet’s a little thin (or maybe I’m just super tacaño, it varies by month) does not mean that I have to eat rice and eggs. Just cause we’re a little broke doesn’t mean we have to be boring, ever. It’s actually a nice challenge, or at least that’s what my stubborn ass tells myself, to make the most extravagant looking meal for the cheapest possible price tag. And that’s exactly what this taco is all about, letting your broke self eat like the king or queen that you are. The fish is deceptively dapper, because in actuality it’s about the same price as the cheapest cut of beef, even more so if you don’t mind hiking it to Barrio Chino for that kilo of merluza instead of giving in and going to the Coto around the way.

To make about a dozen generous fish tacos you will need the following:

  • 1 kilo of merluza
  • 2 peaches
  • 2 avocados
  • Oil
  • Optional cream sauce: one cup of natural yogurt, 1/3 cup mayonnaise, 2/3 cup milk, a few squirts of lemon juice, paprika, cumin and oregano to taste

If you’ve ever pan fried fish you are probably aware of a slew of expletives. When executed to perfection you get that wonderful crispy brown flake on the outside. But more often than not the fish sticks to the bottom of the pan and you are left flipping everything around until you have what looks more like an unappetizing fish stir fry. The trick is heat. First, let your fish sit out at room temperature for about 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure that if it’s not dry already that you pat it with some paper towels.

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Second, heat up your pan. I use a heavy grill over the stove top, in general, a heavy pan is recommended over a thin one. Heat up your pan and do not add the oil until the pan is very hot, you can check the heat by flicking a droplet of water on the pan, if it quickly sizzles it’s ready. Add the oil (it should just coat the pan, this isn’t a deep fry), and throw on the fish immediately, cooking for about 6 minutes over high heat. Fight everything within you that wants to play around with the fish and leave it undisturbed. This is a good rule of thumb for all grilling, the perfect grilled meat, whether it be pork, beef or fish, is best when only flipped once. Reduce heat to medium, flip over and cook for another 4 minutes. You can add some additional oil when you flip if your pan is looking a little dry.

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Slice up the avocado and peach while you are waiting, warm up your tortillas and bask in the glory of the most decadently simple taco of your life together.

This recipe was originally published to the Buenos Aires based blog, MYBEAUTIFULAIR, which we love and encourage every to read and follow and love also. 

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