Ok, so I think I’ve been in some kind of time warp continuum. This post was supposed to be up for Cinco de Mayo…and yes, it’s pretty much the end of May, in fact yes I know it's Memorial Day, I completely missed it, but at least “Veinticinco” (25) sounds similar to Cinco de Mayo. Well, maybe not but that’s about as good an excuse as I can give. Thanks to Lauren, at least one of us is on task for our cooking adventure, “way to go girlfriend!”
So maybe we can start a new trend and instead of burgers on the grill for Memorial day why not fry up some fish and make tacos? Whether you have these catfish tacos for Cinco de Mayo, or frankly any day for that matter they are worth the effort. If you have all the ingredients prepped in advanced they come together in a snap. And honestly, if you have a margarita or two with them, it really doesn’t matter if it’s Cinco de Mayo or not.-s
Here are some thoughts from Lauren, take it away!
Chicago can get a little crazy and hectic when a holiday rolls around. It’s a city where everyone is Irish when they turn the river green on St.Patty’s day, grown adults roam the streets in costume on Halloween, and everyone is definitely excited about Cinco de Mayo. You either embrace the madness and join the crowd or avoid it like the plague, recreating the festivities from the quiet of your own home. This year I went for the latter and had a meal of fish tacos, chips, guac, and margaritas. I couldn’t find catfish, so I used tilapia. I’ve never anything before and I was pleased to find that it wasn’t intimidating at all! The fish is thin and cooks quickly so you don’t have to worry about constantly checking the temperature of the oil (a great relief since despite having about 4 thermometers none of them seem to read temperature the same!). The slaw was incredible, but I felt like the tacos still needed something extra toppings-wise so I added some pico de gallo. I have to admit I made some shortcut on this meal with both the pico de gallo and guacamole coming from Whole Foods. I feel no shame in saying that Whole Foods makes really, really good quacamole, so if I’m not up for making my own I will happily snatch up a container of theirs. Overall, a great dinner that was quite manageable on a weeknight. Thumbs up!- Lauren
Catfish Tacos with Chipotle Slaw
1 tsp. minced chipotle in adobo sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp. honey
2 tsp fresh lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1 green onion, white and tender green parts, thinly sliced
1 large egg
2 tsp hot sauce
1 cup panko bread crumbs, plus more if needed
¼ cup all-purpose flour
8 to 10 oz. catfish fillets (other fish to fry are cod, tilapia, or even salmon cut into wide strips)
½ cup vegetable oil
Four or five flour tortillas
In a large bowl, combine the chipotle, mayonnaise, honey, lime juice, ¼ tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper and stir well to mix. Add both cabbages and the green onion and toss and stir to combine and coat the vegetables well with the chipotle mayonnaise. Set aside.
In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together the egg with a splash of water, a pinch of salt, and the hot sauce. Pour the panko and flour onto two separate large plates. Pat the fillets dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.
Dredge the fish in the flour and knock off the excess. Dip the fish into the egg and coat completely and then coat it thoroughly with the panko. Place the fillets on a platter as they are breaded.
Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. When the oil shimmers and is very hot, slip the breaded fish into the pan and brown it on one side, about 3 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, another 3 minutes. Transfer the fish to paper towels to drain.
Pour off the oil in the pan (pouring it into a metal can in the sink works well) and return the pan to the heat. Dump the slaw mixture into the pan and toss it for about 1 minutes to warm it up. Don’t cook it so long that it completely wilts. You want it to have a little crunch. Return the slaw to the bowl so that it doesn’t overcook.
Warm the tortillas wrapped in microwavable plastic wrap until soft and pliable, 20 to 30 seconds. Lay the fish down the center of the tortillas and top it with slaw.
Recipe from One Pan, Two Plates by Carla Snyder