Monday, March 22, 2010

Pan-Fried Fish Tacos and Lentil Rice

Bad news first - I didn't take any pictures of this dinner.

Good news, though - it was pretty good!

My friend Kris has shared her recipe for her Famous Blackened Fish Tacos. It's not grill season around here so somehow I came up with the idea of pan-frying the fish in a little olive oil instead. Cod fillets were on sale and I got about 2 pounds at $4.99/lb (we ate about 2/3 of it and froze the rest). I used a sharp knife on my fish cutting board to cut pieces about 5 or 6 inches long and an inch wide and tall. Then I sprinkled on a modified version of Kris's spice rub. I ran out of cayenne pepper at 1 teaspoon, I was out of garlic powder entirely, I didn't feel like grinding coriander seed, and I left out most of the salt (just because).

Kris's spice rub:
- 1 tsp course salt
- 1 TBSP smoked paprika
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp course ground black pepper
- 1/2 TBSP garlic powder
- 1 TBSP onion powder
- 1/2 TBSP ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander seed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil

I restocked my paprika, cayenne, and garlic powder this weekend so next time I'll be able to do it right!

With a gloved hand I rubbed the spices onto the fish and arranged them in the hot olive oil in the frying pan (on medium high). I only used about 1/4 cup oil in the pan and fried the fish for about 8 minutes, turning it over halfway through. It fell apart into flakes in the pan which, while bad for presentation, at least reassured me that it was cooked!

Our fish tacos consisted of a warmed flour tortilla (the 6" size, pretty small) with fish, diced avocado, diced tomato for everybody but me, lettuce from a bag salad mix along with a couple of the shredded carrot pieces that came along, and a little creamy poppy seed salad dressing. What?! Yes - it was a nice, sweet addition and really made the tacos. If the fish was up to the usual level of spice I don't think it would have worked, but in this instance it really worked!

On the side I made brown rice. I sauteed a little chopped green onion in just the littlest bit of butter, then added two cups of water and one cup of short grain brown rice. Because I had it handy in the cabinet, I threw a handful of dry lentils (and a little extra water to compensate) and a pinch of salt, stirring it together before putting the lid on and cooking it as usual for brown rice. That is, bring it to a boil and turn down to low and ignore it for over half an hour. I think I'll be looking into other methods because this left my husband scrubbing the pot for a while.

Anyway, as a meal it came together rather well and we had enough leftover fish for lunch the next day too, although we did change it up by putting the rice into the tortilla also. If that's not living on the edge I don't know what is!


  1. Sounds delicious. Why didn't I get the cooking gene?

  2. That does sound good. The ideas of fish tacos ook me out, but I should just bite the bullet and make these.