Lately at Athlete Food we have tossed around a dirty five-letter word we rarely use: Tired. Rebeccah and Laurel are training hard and racing often. This weekend Laurel drove three hours from Santa Monica to Pasa Robles, placed third in the Wildflower Triathlon, then drove back. On Sunday, Rebeccah rode 85 hilly miles, then ran a 10K.
As for me, I have three kids under six and a husband who works for a startup. Around the dinner hour, I am usually outnumbered three-to-one. Make that four-to-one if you count the dog, who is tall enough to vacuum food off the counters.
So when Rebeccah emailed asking for an unfussy dinner idea, I knew she was requesting a dish that doesn't require precise chopping, a labor-intensive sauce or standing over a hot, spattering pan. She wanted a recipe that can be salvaged from a variety of cooking sins--under-seasoning or overcooking--by adding more hot sauce later.
These fish tacos are just such a dish. Remember to keep it low-maintenance--I have served these with just lime, salsa and tortilla chips and no one complained.
Good Enough Fish Tacos
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: Two adults and two kids
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 pounds grouper or snapper filets
Freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup of cilantro leaves (I don't even chop them. See "tired," above.)
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup small tomatoes, halved
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1 lime, cut into wedges
Whole grain tortilla chips
Hot sauce (I like Cholula)
10 corn tortillas
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Stir together cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika and sea salt. Put the fish on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the spices over the fish. Add a grind or two of black pepper. (I leave part of the fish pepper-free since my kids don't like it.)
- Drizzle the olive oil over the fish. Rub it all over the top, bottom and sides, spreading the spices as you do.
- On the table: Set out bowls of the cilantro, avocado, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage (if you're using it), lime, salsa, chips and the hot sauce.
- Cook the fish until it flakes apart with a fork, 12-to-20 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the filets.
- Stack three paper towels and drizzle them with water until damp. Sprinkle a little water on each tortilla and stack them. Wrap the stack of tortillas in the paper towels and microwave until warm, 30 seconds.
- Break the fish into one- or two-inch pieces, transfer to serving dish and enjoy.