The Feathered Nest

The softer side of MaisonBisson

Fish Tacos With Avocados, Mandarin Oranges, and Red Cabbage November 12, 2007

TowerGirl @ 11:34 pm
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Fish Tacos.

Oh decadence! Veterans Day provided not only a chance for reflection but also a rare day free from the classroom. So what to do with this open period of time? The answer was easy, dinner party.

I have wanted to have my colleagues Roxanna and John over, but time is always an issue. I phoned them up and they accepted. Now the fun began — menu planning.

While vacationing with my parents in Vegas last summer we went out to marvelous food chain, The Cheesecake Factory. I had their sumptuous fish tacos and have been dying to recreate them. I knew my guests were fish friendly so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

Filched Fish Tacos
Serves 4

Shopping List

  • 3 ripe haas avocados
  • lime juice or whole limes
  • 4 decent sized tilapia fillets
  • 1 15 ounce can of Mandarin oranges
  • fat free sour cream
  • half-and-half
  • 1 pkg of 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 bag of mixed Asian greens
  • 1 small head of red cabbage

From the Pantry

  • Kosher salt
  • olive oil

Creamy Avocado Sauce for Fish Tacos.Fish Tacos.Fish Tacos.

What stood out most in the dish was its lively combination of flavors: delicate whitefish, a tangy, creamy avocado sauce, crisp Asian greens, Mandarin oranges, and crisp red cabbage. The combination was a taste delight.

Of course, restaurants are often loathe to share their recipes and trying to figure it out for yourself is an adventure, so here’s what I did. First, I brushed a little extra virgin olive oil on a baking dish. I placed four tilapia fillets on the baking dish and gave them a liberal dose of kosher salt. I stuck the pan in a 375-degree oven for 25 minutes.

Then I took three ripe haas avocados, sliced them open, removed the pits, and scooped their insides into my trusty food processor. To that I added about a third of a cup of limejuice, three tablespoons of fat-free sour cream, salt to taste, and about half a cup of half-and-half. I blended it until smooth and creamy. Depending on the size of the avocados you may want to add more half-and-half and/or limejuice. It should be rather thick but easy to spread.

While waiting for my fish to finish up I organized everything I needed to make the tacos. I shredded up a small head of red cabbage and I took from the fridge a bag of mixed Asian greens, and the flour tortillas. From the pantry I removed a can of Mandarin orange segments, open and drained them, and placed them in a small bowl.

Fish Tacos.When the fish was finished I let it cool for about five minutes then I flaked it with a fork. To assemble the tacos I warmed the tortillas on a large skillet, then I spread each tortilla with some of the avocado cream sauce, the I put down a small handful of the greens, a small two or three heaping tablespoons of the fish, another dollop of the avocado cream sauce, and then a smattering of the cabbage and five or six Mandarin orange pieces. I fold these in half and set a wooden spoon on them for a few minutes to keep the fold.

I served the tacos with saffron rice, black beans, (purchased in the Mexican section of my local grocery store) and, of course, a big pitcher of margaritas.


Cocktail Manifesto October 7, 2007

Cocktail Manifesto.

We’re huge fans of The New Joy of Cooking by Marion Rombauer Becker, Irma S. Rombauer, and Ethan Becker. Hardly a meal goes through our kitchen that isn’t shaped in some part by the recipes and general information in its pages. A recent discovery was Joy’s description and defense of cocktail parties.

So, when a book as serious and valuable as The New Joy of Cooking raises alarms about the declining future of cocktail parties, we listen. Cocktail parties are important, they’re an American invention that should be honored. So, host or attend a cocktail party today and raise your glass in hopes that everyone may someday have the freedom to toast in peace.