- It’s Lent and grocery stores are featuring fish.
- The 2010 Dietary Guidelines suggest that we eat more seafood.
- Many restaurants feature great tasting fish tacos, so they make a great way to introduce your family to fish.
Our Fish Tacos recipe is quick and easy. The sauce base is ranch dressing, which you may have on hand. The greens are chopped cabbage, which provides more nutrients than lettuce. Also, you can use various types of fish.
One lower cost fish species to use in the recipe is Swai. It’s a white-flesh fish with a sweet mild, taste and light flaky texture. It can be broiled, grilled, or coated with bread crumbs and fried. Swai is a river-farmed catfish that is raised in Southeast Asia and the Mississippi Delta.
- 1/2 cup light ranch-style dressing
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped fine (optional)
- 4 cups coleslaw mix or broccoli slaw
- 10 6-inch corn tortilla
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 pound firm white fish (tilapia, swai, domestic mahi-mahi, or halibut), cut in 1-inch pieces or in 10 strips
- 1 tomato, chopped (optional)
- Stir together the dressing, lime juice, chili powder, pepper, and jalapeño (if desired). Pour over coleslaw mix and stir to mix well. Cover and place in refrigerator until serving time.
- Warm the corn tortillas according to package directions.
- Heat the oil in a small non-stick skillet over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. While the oil heats, spread the cornmeal on a plate. Pat the fish pieces in the cornmeal to coat on all sides. Fry the fish in hot oil until the cornmeal is lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Top each tortilla with some of the fish and some of the coleslaw mix. Fold in half and serve with the chopped tomato, if desired.
Grocery stores recognize Lent by putting various kinds of fish on sale. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times a week. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
I have been experimenting with cooking and grilling fish, trying to come up with something easy that has good flavor without adding breading and fat. I am trying to avoid the calories in breading, and I hate to pay the extra for someone else to add a little sauce.
Here’s a simple and tasty way to cook fish fillets:
- Turn on the oven; preheat to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking pan with foil (easy clean-up); lay the fillets in the pan.
- Drizzle with olive or canola oil, lemon or lime juice, salt/pepper or other seasonings of your choice.
- Bake about 20 minutes—the fish will flake when it is done. (It is okay to start with frozen fish, it just takes a little longer.)
Try our Pan Fried Tilapia with Orange Sauce or and or Tuna Melt Sandwiches.
-pointers by Peggy
WOW, one of the grocery stores is advertising 17+ different fish deals in their ad this week…someone must be thinking Lent. To sort it all out, I converted the prices into price per pound and then put them in order from the least to the most expensive per pound.
My fish list told this story:
- Buying in bulk saves money.
- Breaded fish usually costs less—that’s because you are paying for breading and fat instead of fish.
- If you want the convenience of someone packaging your fish into serving sizes, cooking it, or stuffing it you pay more—sometimes a lot more!
- Canned tuna is not the least expensive fish.
Most fish are low in fat and cholesterol and a good source of protein, which makes them a good choice for a healthy diet. Oil-rich fish, such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring and sardines, are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to our diet and reduce the risk of heart attacks.
So what am I going to buy? I don’t need the extra calories and fat that comes with the breaded fish, but I can’t use 10 pounds of Pollock either. I will probably buy a couple of packages of the imitation crab meat which is Pollock that has been processed and flavored. I’ll use it to make a sandwich filling or add it to pasta salad. Since the shrimp price is good for that size shrimp, I’ll buy a pound to keep on hand for a super fast, no work appetizer. Although it is not advertised, I bet I can get a pound of Pollock for under $2.50/pound which I will bake in the oven with some seasonings and bread crumbs. I am going to keep looking for a good price for salmon.
-Pointers from Peggy
What is cheaper? The slaw mix or the entire head of cabbage and shredding it yourself?
This was a question I encountered recently when I was planning to make fish tacos. (If you have access to fresh fish, this is a way to prepare the fish without drowning it in grease by breading and deep fat frying!). I discovered I could pay $ .22 per cup for the prepackaged cabbage slaw, or just $ .11 per cup if I shredded it myself – half the price! That’s pretty impressive. But whether you use the slaw mix or the whole head, either is an inexpensive source of nutrient rich vegetable.
-pointers by Peggy