In Cooking from Every Angle, we hear from our fearless leaders: Food52 co-founders Amanda & Merrill.
Today: Amanda shares her recipe for low-maintenance fish tacos -- no frying required.
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I came late to tacos, which I long associated with too many bowls and a marathon of chopping. And while I could eat a fish taco every day, the purist in me never wanted to make them at home. My god, you’d have to deep fry. For a taco.
I also came late to the realization that I can do what I want in life. And in this life, I’m not going to fry the fish for my fish tacos, dammit! I’m also not going to chop much for them, nor am I going to be suckered into dirtying a bunch of bowls. And now we have delicious fish tacos every few weeks.
Roasted fish is the key to zen fish tacos. By roasting, you can control the speed of cooking and keep the fish moist. Lost crunch from the frying can be made up for with pickled red onion (I usually make a huge batch and then use the leftovers for lunches and any other excuse I can find). The onions get a bowl, as does the avocado, which turns out to be conveniently soft and sliceable by 7-year-olds. Cilantro sprigs and lime -- I put them in a pile right on the countertop for serving -- and Cholula hot sauce on the table make up the rest of it.
If I make the onions ahead of time (using this magical recipe), I can have fish tacos ready in 15 minutes. While the fish, rubbed with cumin and ground ancho chile powder, roasts, I clean the cilantro and toast the corn tortillas in a dry pan. My kids slice the avocado and my husband pours lemonade and opens beers. You can guess who gets what.
1 red onion 1 tablespoon salt 2 tablespoons sugar 1 part water 2 parts cider vinegar
For the fish tacos:
3/4 pound pollack or hake or other good white fish Kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/4 teaspoon ground ancho chile or chipotle 1 tablespoon olive oil Pickled onions 1 avocado, cut into 1/8-inch slices, lengthwise 1 bunch cilantro, washed and dried 2 limes, each cut into 6 wedges 12 corn tortillas Hot sauce of your choice (we like Cholula)
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.