Day 2: Tacos

An obscure topic but an interesting one, at least if you like them. In fact when I challenged my Alton Brown alter-ego in researching the taco, I learned fast that the true origin is very much a mystery. One with many versions and preferences.

Some myths date the taco back to the Aztec era, others talk of mineworkers and grand journeys that the taco took to get to America. While knowing the origin and its journey may be an interesting fact to bring up (i.e. that awkward moment with your CEO over the holiday buffet table) I would suggest against it. No matter where they came from, for me, I’m just glad they are here. Instead what I am going to share are the taco tips I think you might find valuable.

For example, did you know that National Taco Day is October 4, yes this is real. Or that Takeru Kobayashi holds the record for eating 106 tacos in 10 minutes. According to 63% of people prefer soft tacos over hard shell. I do not pick sides on this issue. And my favorite, the best tacos in America ranked, see all 50!

Last but not least because this is a personal blog, let me share my personal favorite, tacos de pescado (fish tacos). They have become my go-to dish when we go out to mexican restaurants and according to my family I make a mean fish taco. Even Charli will eat it! I’ve listed the recipe below but it’s super easy and can be thrown together in a pinch.

Blackened Fish Tacos

  • Tilapia Filets (I use the frozen ones that come in the bag in the frozen foods section)
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Citrus Juice
  • 0.5 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Corn (steamable freezer bag)
  • 2 cups Rice
  • 1- 16 oz can black beans
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Salsa of Choice
  • Optional items if on hand: Cilantro, lemon, mango, tomatoes, cheese, onion, jalapeno peppers

The longest item is the rice, so get that going right away. Once you have covered it and have it simmering on low, rinse your black beans and dry with a paper towel, then season to taste (optional) and set aside. Pop your frozen corn in the microwave and begin your fish. Turn the skillet on high. While the skillet is heating mix all dry spices. Spray the fish with nonstick spray on one side, then generously sprinkle the dry mixture on all fish filets and squeeze citrus juice over the top. When the pan is hot enough (go here to for directions on how to tell if your pan is hot enough) use oil or non-stick spray to coat your pan. Then add your fish spice-side down and coat the second side with the remaining spice mix and citrus juice. Do not mess with the fish. Cook it for 4-5 minutes, when you try to flip it if you waited it shouldn’t stick, then turn over and do the same on the flip side. Your fish will be opaque all the way through. Remove from heat and sprinkle with red pepper flakes to taste. With your pan still hot, throw your corn tortillas in the skillet to warm for 30-45 seconds on each side. Once they are complete,  toss your corn and rice with some citrus juice, cilantro, s/p, and butter then gather the remaining ingredients, assemble as desired and enjoy!

Tip: Be sure not to cook your fish with red pepper flakes on the heat. The heat will cook the crushed red pepper and if there isn’t enough liquid it will create a smoke effect that makes for coughing and gagging. Learn from me on this one. Not fun!

Well that’s our favorite taco, at least from my kitchen. Sorry if I left out anything, I’m usually not a recipe-follower. I’m always looking for new ideas and innovations to conjure up in the kitchen. Maybe we will have to venture out and about for a new taco tasting soon, until then… it was nice “taco-ing” to you. 🙂



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