Hello ALFS Readers!
This post is brought to you by me (Aunt Lala) and my boyfriend, J. We live in the West Loop with our sweet pup Hugo, and like Courtney, we have a mutual love of (or obsession with) food. Aside from trying all the fantastic restaurants Chicago has to offer, cooking is probably our favorite activity to do together. So it’s a treat to be able to share our kitchen with you! Now onto the good stuff…
We found ourselves with a completely free Saturday evening a couple months ago. It was one of those nights where going out into the icy tundra that is Chicago in January was unfathomable, yet being young and living in the city, some sort of activity seemed necessary. So J and I did what we normally do in these types of situations: we opened up a bottle of wine and we cooked. We came up with the amazing fish taco dinner that I’m about to share with you, and then we ate. We ate hard and we ate good. At one point during the meal, I swear we just looked at each other…happily munching on the cool, crunchy slaw and the hot, tender fish, all engulfed in the loving hug from a warm tortilla….and I knew we both were thinking it: “We are SO good at cooking!!!!” It was definitely our best work yet.
Now I did name these “Date Night” fish tacos for a reason – it’s meant to be a fun activity between you and your honey! Or a friend, or sister, or the mailman…really anyone you can snatch off the street to make these with you. Trust me, they’re that good. And while this recipe is absolutely doable by yourself, frying the fish does work better with two sets of hands – one to stay with the skillet and man the fish, the other to prep the taco garnishes and get things ready to eat. It’s all about teamwork!
- 1 to 1.5 lbs. of firm white fish - cod or haddock work well
- 1 lime
- Hot Sauce
- 2 TBS butter
- Vegetable Oil (enough to fill a large skillet up about ½ an inch)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 TBS salt
- 2 Tsp. chili powder
- 1 Tsp. peppr
- 1 bag Cole Slaw mix
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1 TBS Dijon mustard
- 1 TBS sugar
- 2 TBS red wine vinegar
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3 Tsp adobo sauce (this is to taste…we like our cole slaw with a little kick!)
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Corn Tortillas
- Extra lime wedges
- Sour cream
- Prep the fish: Rinse fish filet under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut up into 2-inch pieces and place in large zip-lock bag. Pour enough buttermilk over the fish to cover. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the bag, and give it a couple large dashes of hot sauce. Seal bag and place in the fridge.
- Place several sheets of newspaper or paper towel on your counter, and put 2 cooling racks on top of them – this is for when the fish is done frying.
- Make your Cole Slaw: whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Pour in the cole slaw mix and toss until combined. Cover and place in the fridge.
- After about an hour, take the fish out of the fridge. Combine flour, chili powder, salt and pepper in a shallow baking dish. Piece by piece, dredge your fish in the flour mixture so it’s coated nice and thick. Place dredged pieces on a baking sheet, so they’re all ready to be fried.
- Put the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and wait until a thermometer reads about 315 degrees. When the oil is ready, you can start frying. Place your fish pieces in the oil and leave alone for 5 minutes, or until they start getting golden on the bottom. Once this is done, flip them over with your slotted spatula (or tongs) for another 5 minutes. You are looking for a golden brown color, and they should be firm to the touch.
- As the fish pieces are finished cooking, place them on the cooling racks so the access oil can drip onto the newspaper or paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.
- Once this is done, you’re ready to assemble the tacos! If you’d like, warm the tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds. Place a couple pieces of fish in each tortilla and top with a heaping pile of slaw. Squeeze lime wedges over this and sprinkle with cilantro.
- *Note: A steel, slotted spatula works best for flipping the fish when it’s frying. If you don’t have one, tongs are ok.
- *Note: sometimes, pieces of the batter will fall off the fish – it’s inevitable and not a big deal. You’re not running a 5-star restaurant after all Just make sure you remove the batter pieces from the pan or they’ll burn and create a burnt flavor in the oil.
Go ahead, you can say it: You are SO good at cooking!!!!!!!
LaLa & J