As you break away from the habit of following recipes to the T, I should point out that recipes are not all bad. In fact, they are great. Note that the subheader of this blog is "step away from the recipe book" and not "burn the recipe book." Recipes are a great way to get inspired. I like to think of them as a series of suggestions; a note from someone as to what works for them. Not the law code of Hammurabi. Stop worrying about if it looks right. Don't be afraid to improvise. Everyone has different tastes and the food you make should reflect that.
Here is one of my recipe-based improvisations; the poor college kid's version of fish tacos. I had some frozen tilapia that I needed to use up, and decided to try something new with it. Most of the ingredients in the recipe for fish tacos that I had seen were not available to me at the time, so I just used what I had and utilized the recipe's method for cooking the fish.
I started out by putting salt, pepper, a little bit of garlic powder on both sides of the fish filets. I then put them in a bowl and covered them in olive oil, lemon juice, and hot sauce (I like Louisiana Hot Sauce,) making sure that both sides were covered. Remember the proportions of these completely depend on your taste. I like it tear-inducingly spicy, so I go heavy on the hot sauce. I let the fish marinade in the mixture for 5-10 minutes and then put them on the grill.
The filets are ready to flip when they are no longer sticking to the surface of the grill. The fish is done when it is completely opaque and flaky all over. After pulling the filets off, I put them in a bowl and flaked them with a fork.
From this point on, it was as simple as assembling a taco. The filling depends on what you like. Cheese and beans are not great with the fish in this case. I think guacamole, on the other hand, is a must in fish tacos. I made a simple guac with avocados, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt. Here are the fillings I used:
I warmed up the tortillas in a frying pan so that they were soft and pliable. I am also a huge fan of Tortilla Land uncooked tortillas. You simply cook them in the frying pan right before you use them and they are at least 5 times better than any other tortillas you can buy at the grocery store.
Happy Taco Tuesday a day early!
(The Mickey Mouse-like plate formation was totally unintentional)