Friday, June 29, 2007

A Trimphant Return

I’m back to cooking. I have been on an extended vacation from the kitchen, ever since the knifing incident. We have now made up, my knife and I, back to being close friends. Well, on my part, anyway. He (it’s a he) remains cold and aloof. Yet I persist...

An update on my recovery – it turns out fingers are not at all like lizard tails. They do not grow back. I have a flat top, a plateau on the side of my finger that never filled in, never came back after I sliced it off (eww). It takes some staring to see the mark but it’s there, in all its hardcore-cook glory.

This comeback started with a paragraph. Something that resembles foie gras? I was committed to making it from the title. Grilled avocados are not something I have tried, or even heard of before (although Rachael is daring enough to deep-fry them - am jealous of her boldness).

Upon grilling, the avocados turned into a warm, firm custard with a seared crust. The tacos were light and citrusy, melted and firm at the same time - a fitting re-introduction to the kitchen.

Comeback Fish Tacos
White fish fillets (I used tilapia, but I think any firm fish would do)
Olive oil
Three limes
One ripe avocado, thickly sliced
Cilantro, chopped
Corn tortillas
Grated cheese, jack or cheddar
Hot sauce of choice

- Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, squirt with juice of one lime per two fillets, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss avocado slices with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
- Grill the avocado and the fish on white hot grill pan, or better yet, an actual grill.
- Cook both on one side till the fish releases easily from the grill, about 4 minutes). Turn over and grill on the other side, another 2 minutes or so, until the fish is opaque and flakes readily.
- This is totally cool - warm corn tortillas directly on the flame or electric element, flipping the tortilla once it starts to bubble and turn brown on the edges. This should only take about 30 seconds. Californians, please feel free to correct me.
- Pull fish and avocado off the grill, squirt with juice of the second lime.
- Assemble the tacos – fish, avocado slice, chopped cilantro, squirt of hot sauce, and cheese, if you would like, on top of tortilla (two if you want to be all authentic like). Serve with wedge of lime.

P.S. I do find it amazing that I made, photographed, and ate fish tacos all in about a half hour. Cooking time short, recovery time not - my house smelled like fish for two days. When oh when will I have a grown up exhaust hood. The one I have now is really working the placebo effect – it roars and struggles but accomplishes nothing at all.


Alicia said...

OMG, I love fish tacos. I'm so dumb, though, I've always wondered about those grill pans. Can you get one that will work on a flat-top stove or do they only work on gas?

Anna said...

Hi Lissa. I think they should work on any stove top. Grill pans are typically heavy enough that they distribute heat evenly, no matter what the heating element is below. Beware of the haze fish stink though. It's a downer.

JC said...

I love teh fish taco. It's hard to find good ones around here, though. I remember the first time I had one I was shocked that the one I received had fried fish. I prefer grilled for a FT.

One time I cooked a piece of salmon on an indoor grill in my efficiency apartment. Really bad idea. The stench was almost toxic.

Jerry said...

Oh sounds delicious. Grilled avocado now that is interesting. Always looking for a good taco recipe.

Hillary (of Chew on That) said...

I've never had fish tacos but these look glorious! And the grilled avocado - nice touch! I should have made these on my birthday, as you posted the recipe on my birthday! :)

Anna said...

Jerry - Grilled avocados really were a fantastic surprise. Very good.

Hillary - Happy (belated) birthday! IhHighly recommend fish tacos.