Taco Tuesday is a great way to get the whole family involved in preparing dinner. Even the little ones can participate by building their own tacos, and we all know that taking part in mealtime creation can lead to a healthier relationship with food. We love this fish taco recipe that features a zip of flavor from quick pickled red onions. Pickling the onions for just a few minutes in a marinade of vinegar, sugar and salt takes much of the pungent spice out while giving them a pop of tangy flavor.
Fish Tacos (For 4)
Courtesy of Anne K. Fishel, Ph.D., author of Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids
Photo by Joanne Smith/Headshots Photography
"Created by my son Joe, this is a delicious use of pickles in a dish. He ate a version of these from a food truck on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. Re-creating a dish at home that you've tasted at a restaurant (or food truck) is another kind of food play."
2 tablespoons white or champagne wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
½ red onion, finely diced
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
Cayenne pepper to taste
¼ cup canola oil
1 pound cod fillets or other firm white fish
1 (8-count) small package soft corn tortillas
Mix the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Pour the mixture over the sliced red onions and let sit for at least one hour. This creates a very quick pickling process.
Halve the cherry tomatoes and combine them in a bowl with the finely diced red onions, the juice of two limes, salt, and pepper. (If you're feeling adventurous, add a small chopped jalapeño pepper, with seeds and ribs removed.)
Scoop out the avocado and mash it with a fork in a small bowl. Add the mayonnaise to the avocado, and mix until creamy. Season with 1 teaspoon lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the flour, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper in a shallow baking dish or high-rimmed plate. Slice the cod into 3-inch-long chunks. Dredge the fish in the flour mixture. Be sure to remove any clumps of flour that adhere to the fish, since these will just burn in the pan.
Heat the canola oil in a frying pan over a high heat. (Don't be afraid of cranking up your stove to the highest flame and watching the oil smoke.) Place the cod into the pan, making sure not to overcrowd it, which will bring down the temperature in the pan. Fry for 2 minutes on each side. Any more will dry out the fish and make it rubbery.
Just before serving, heat the tortillas in a dry saucepan over low heat.
Now it's time to assemble the tacos. Spread the avocado cream in a thin layer on each tortilla shell. You'll need two tacos per person. Place a piece of cod on the avocado spread. Top the fish with the cherry tomato salsa and pickled onions.
Anne K. Fishel, Ph.D., author of Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids, is the director of the Family and Couples Therapy Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate clinical professor of psychology at the Harvard Medical School. As cofounder of The Family Dinner Project, she has been interviewed by Good Housekeeping, NPR, The New York Times, and other national media. Dr. Fishel writes the popular blog "Digital Family" for Psychology Today. A mother of two young adult sons, she lives near Boston with her husband. For more information please visit AMACOM.com and http://thefamilydinnerproject.org, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.
Excerpted with permission from Home for Dinner: Mixing Food, Fun and Conversation for a Happier Family and Healthier Kids by Anne K. Fishel, Ph.D. (AMACOM; January 2015; $16; Paperback; ISBN: 978-0814433706)