Tuesday Dinner: Citrus Fish Tacos

Ceviche is impossible to mess up, yet I rarely order it when out. I love fish, particularly raw fish, but I have such distrust for how fish is handled and prepared in restaurant settings that salmonella and food poisoning just does not seem worth the risk.

The American food system is such a mess. We have overfished shrimp, tuna and other breeds of fish, that retailers and restaurateurs alike will buy their shellfish from abroad, importing diseased garbage from Asia, while intentionally mislabeling tuna, snapper and salmon. We have made our fish situation worse than factory-farmed chicken, beef and pork. And that is saying something.

This is the danger you encounter when you order, or try to make ceviche at home the proper (Peruvian) way by marinating the raw fish in acidic citrus so that the chemical reaction “cooks” the fish. Unless you live near the docks where the fish comes off the boat, or have a damn good source, I would be leery of using the ceviche method.

It’s a shame, because that is exactly what I wanted to do with my cod fillet this evening. After squeezing three lemons, four limes, one ruby red grapefruit and two navel oranges, I had plenty of citrus juice. My problem was that even though my cod from Wegmans was labeled as “Wild Caught Atlantic Cod,” I have no reason to trust Wegmans’ supplier that it was not the more inferior (and potentially radioactive) Pacific cod, farm-raised, or not cod at all (Oceana finds that hake — bottom-feeding, nutritionally-deficient fish — is often sold as cod).

In an effort to not poison The Wife or I, the fish went in a hot skillet for 2 to 3 minutes until everything was sufficiently cooked and heated through.

An oyster is an oyster. You know what that is and you take the small risk that you’ll get a bad one every so often. But with processed fish, I hate to be this guy, but safety first.

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WHAT WORKED: Fresh citrus just floods the kitchen with a great smell and it goes great as a summer flavor profile.

WHAT DIDN’T: Stupid food chain.

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EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy.

BEST FOR: A weeknight dinner or light and casual weekend dinner.

SERVE WITH: Shredded cabbage, good salsa and some lime wedges.

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Citrus Fish Tacos
  • The juice from the following fresh citrus fruits: 4 limes, 3 lemons, 2 to 3 oranges, 1 ruby red grapefruit (optional)
  • 1 to 1 1/4 lb. cod fillet
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, shredded cheese, sour cream, and other taco garnishes for serving

Set the fish fillet in a 7x10 baking dish and add the fruit juice. Let stand for 20 minutes exactly (any longer will "overcook" the fish in acid and cause the fillet to fall apart).

In the meantime, warm tortillas over high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Flip to soften and store in a tortilla warmer or covered in foil to keep warm.

Transfer the fish to the pan and cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Turn with a spatula and cook 30 seconds. Using a spatula, break the fillet apart into flaky pieces. Cook 30 to 60 more seconds, then transfer to a serving bowl. Serve warm with tortillas and garnishes.

By Jared Paventi

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http://blogaldente.com/2015/06/tuesday-dinner-citrus-fish-tacos/

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