Last night, as I walked home from the gym I could feel in the air that the skies were about to open. The sky quickly changed from a shimmery pale grey to a deep grey that almost appeared black, it was as if a blanket was placed over the earth. Wind whipped through the trees so fiercely, that it looked as if they were dancing. All around me people were rushing home, we all knew it was about to pour and just as I reached the door of my apartment the rain came down.
I love summer rains. They remind me of tropical island vacations and lying on the beach and then running for cover at the nearest taco shack where you sit under a thatched roof eating fish tacos until the storm passes and the sun shines again. It seems only fitting that last night was fish taco night in our apartment (the summer of the taco continues!).
I have made many tacos in my life, but I had never made a fish taco before (a first for everything!). I also realized that I am rather silly to have waited so long to make them because the homemade version is unbelievably good and it comes together rather quickly (a plus when you get home late!). I made a rather delicious tarter sauce that was sweet from the peppadew peppers and spicy from the cayenne I added to it. It paired perfectly with the crispy fried fish. The only other accompaniment needed was a few slices of creamy avocado, a little bit of cilantro, and a squeeze of lime.
Fish Tacos with Peppadew Tartar Sauce
Recipe adopted from Tasting Table
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt or sour cream
3 peppadew peppers (or 3 tablespoons roasted red peppers) and 1 teaspoon pepper juice
2 teaspoons chives or 1 scallion thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ pound tilapia or other mild white fish, each fillet sliced into 3 inch long pieces (I got about 10 pieces out it!)
2 tablespoons cornmeal
¼ cup panko
1 teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup oil
Cilantro and avocado for serving
Make the tartar sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together the mayo, yogurt (or sour cream), peppadew peppers, chives (or scallions), cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cover the bowl and refrigerate.
Make the tacos: In a medium bowl stir together the panko, cornmeal, cayenne, salt, and pepper. In another medium bowl squeeze half of the lime. Dip each piece of fish into the lime juice and them dip the fish into the panko mixture, pressing the mixture firmly onto both sides of the fish. Place dredged fish pieces on a plate.
In a medium non stick skillet set over medium heat, add the oil. Once the oil is hot after about 1 – 1 ½ minutes, add half the fish pieces. Reduce the heat to medium and fry on both sides until golden brown about 4 - 5 minutes total. Use a spatula or tongs, transfer the fish to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside. Repeat with the remaining pieces.
On a warmed tortilla spread some tartar sauce. Top the tartar sauce covered tortilla with 1-2 pieces of fish (depending on the size of the piece of fish. Add sliced avocado, a few cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime.