bits and pieces

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mahi Mahi Tacos with TexMex Walnut Crunch and Zesty Slaw

Fresh cucumbers and zesty walnut crunch
Nothing says slightly-still-cool summer evenings like fast and fresh fish tacos. Fish tacos are without a doubt my fast and lazy go-to dinner on a weeknight. Chances of me having fish in my fridge or freezer are around a 100%-1000% certainty.

I haven't waxed poetic on the awesomeness of fish in awhile, so allow me to do so. Fish is tasty. Fish is good for you. Fish is brain food. Fish is healthy. Fish is (can be) more sustainable than meat. Fish can be local. Fish can be affordable. Fish is good. Eat fish.

Mahi mahi is a firm and relatively distinct tasting fish. It's not as bland as a sole or a snapper, but it's not as assertive as... oh I don't know.. smoked salmon. It's a firm fish and generally does very well in tacos. Anyone who has spent time in Hawaii is probably familiar with Mahi. If mahi isn't your thanggg - NO PROBLEM. You can make this with snapper (or rockfish), cod, or heck - if you're feeling affluent, why not some ahi tuna?

Now you may be saying 'Heck, I'm with you on the fish - but walnuts?!' Yep. Walnuts. They are neither texmex nor something one traditionally pairs with fish, but these work. The walnut crunch is/was originally my go to vegetarian taco filling. Note: IT IS A DELICIOUS VEGETARIAN TACO FILLING. As this summer has progressed and I have gotten busier and busier (whodathunk 3 jobs was a lot of jobs?) I have been eating more and more tacos.. somehwhere along the way my veggie tacos merged with my fish tacos and there you have it. A protein packed punch of texture and yum.

So there you have it. Make thee some tacos. Enamour your significant other, woo your friends, impress your cat. This is a 20 minute meal, that is pretty flipping healthy. It's delicious enough to want 2, but too filling and healthy to do or worry about anything silly and stuff yourself to the gills.

2 mahi mahi fillets
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
pinch of paprika

1/3 cucumber, sliced

1 cup walnuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp taco seasoning

1 cup of broccoli slaw/coleslaw mix
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cumin

a number of tortillas to encase your delicious tacos 

other things you will need:
a bbq to cook your mahi mahi or a frying pan to pan sear it in
1 bowl to make your slaw in
1 small pot to blanch and sautee your walnuts in
1 knife and 1 cutting board for choppin'

  1. Season your mahi mahi with the cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Set aside for 10 minutes or so. 
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and blanch your walnuts for 3 minutes or so. Drain. 
  3. In that same small pot, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and taco seasoning and sautee for 2-3 minutes until coated and crispy. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  4. In a small bowl, mix the honey, vinegar and cumin together. Add the broccoli slaw and toss to combine. Set aside. 
  5. Add a few tbsp of oil to a frying pan and heat until shimmering. Place your mahi mahi in the pan and sear for 3 minutes. Flip gently and sear for another 4-5 minutes or until fish is about ready to flake. Note - if you are using mahi mahi, it's a fish that will stand up to a BBQ so go forth and grill away! 
  6. Is your fish cooked? Great! Slaw ready? CRUNCH. Walnuts zesty? Yessiree Bob! Make them tacos, top 'em with cucumber, and then eat them tacos. And consider sharing. 

Sauteed walnuts - not the prettiest nut in the taco, but boy, they are tasty. 

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