We are digging the flavors of the SouthWest – rice, beans, cumin, peppers, avocados, corn, red onion….They holler summer to me and are right now hollering my name.
Mind you, I have very little idea how people actually eat in the SouthWest, but I have these ideas shaped by the mysterious forces of The Media Age. These ideas make flavor sense to me and make me happy AND are easily achieved in my little kitchen, AND my son likes them AND they lend themselves to individual assembly and in my family of diverse eaters, that is really, really important, so there you have it.
The Northeastern factor is fresh fish from our salty sea. I have figured out how to quickly season and pan-fry chunks of fish to add to our little buffet. Leandro piles it into tacos with loads of cheese, my mother and I onto tostadas with beans and corn, and my dad on his crazy-ass diet skips the fish altogether and piles on the vegetables. Everyone can eat with their fingers and everyone is happy.
The Fish for Fish Tacos
1 lb fresh cod fillets, in 1” cubes
2-3 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 Cup plain breadcrumbs
1 Tbs Adobo powder
1 Tbs Old Bay Seasoning
¼ tsp (2 generous pinches) cayenne pepper
2-3 Tbs neutral oil for frying
Cover cod with lime juice, mixing well, and set aside.
On a dinner plate stir together breadcrumbs, Adobo, Old Bay, and cayenne pepper. Add fish cubes and stir to coat (you can also do this by shaking ingredients in a sealable plastic bag).
In a large frying pan, heat oil at medium high until very liquid and a fish cube dipped in sizzles. You will fry the fish in batches, so have tongs or another handy turning implement and a plate lined with paper towels at the ready.
Add fish cubes to pan, and lower heat to medium, and cook on each side for one minute, turning quickly and gently. If it seems to be browning too fast, turn them after 30 seconds. When done, transfer to paper towel and start another batch.
Serve in tacos or on tostadas, with black beans, rice, avocado, corn, red onion, and whatever else you like. A squeeze of lime is a nice bright touch.