January 28, 2010 by Flora Dawn
I have always been a huge fan of Emeril Lagasse, however, I don’t use many of his recipes anymore. I have quite a few of his cookbooks, but honestly the ones that get the most use are his children’s cookbooks. These recipes are easy with few ingredients and not too spicy. Emeril’s traditional recipes are a bit bold for my family, so I usually have to hold back on some of the seasoning, but that is probably a regional thing. We don’t really “kick it up a notch” in Northwest. We do love food in this part of the country, jut not necessarily spicy food.
If you are looking for some new, fast meal ideas you might want to take a look at Emeril’s latest book, 20-40-60 Fresh Food Fast. It stays true to his style of cooking fresh, flavorful food, but it only contains simple, practical recipes; recipes that will be ready in 20, 40, or 60 minutes and that is how the cookbook is broken down. Sure, we eat gluten free at our house, so not every recipe is going to work for my family, but I think it’s nice that professional chefs are realizing that the average home cook may not want to run around collecting special ingredients and then spend several hours cooking dinner. In real life we have about 20 or 40 minutes, maybe 60 minutes on a slow day, to get dinner on the table. So, thank you Emeril for making a cookbook for the real home chef, a person who may be short on time but still wants a great home-cooked meal.
I have had fish tacos at restaurants along the coast and they are great. Only once did I try to make them at home, and although they were good, they were complicated and not really worth all the effort. I saw this recipe in the 20-40-60 cookbook and I had to try it for lunch. Other than using corn tortillas instead of flour, I followed the recipe exactly. When I make it again though I am going to reduce the oil in the Black Bean Salsa from 1/4 cup to 3 tablespoons, and so I noted this change below. If you have never had fish tacos, they might sound odd at first, but they are really good.
Fish Tacos With Black Bean Salsa
- one 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup + 3 Tb olive oil, divided
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 Tb fresh squeezed lime juice
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 pounds skinless firm white fish fillets (such as snapper) trimmed and cut into pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 8 corn tortillas
- 3 cups shredded lettuce
- 4 lime wedges
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- In a medium bowl, combine the beans, 3 Tb olive oil, jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
- Season the fish with salt and pepper. Dredge quickly in the cornmeal and shake to remove excess. Set aside.
- Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in saute pan (I use a large cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat. Add half the fish fillets, and saute until just cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towel lined dish to drain. Repeat with remaining fish.
- Heat tortillas for 30 seconds per side in a saute pan (I think non-stick or cast iron works best). Transfer to a plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.
- To assemble the tacos, place 2 tortillas on each plate, and divide the shredded lettuce among them. Spoon the black bean salsa onto the lettuce, and place fish fillets on top. Top with sour cream and and squeeze the lime wedges over top. Serve immediately.