Where do I start? I am of Indian descent, but the early years of my life were spent between the U.S. and India. It is why I can seriously say that to love up a plate of chicken fried steak and gravy is equally as easy as wolfing down a masala dosa or two in a second's breath. I started Blessings just over a year ago, because of my love of food, working and playing with it and being blessed with a family who actually and quite joyously "experiments" on my experimentation. For years I'd recorded my kitchen haps and and mishaps in a a now dogeared cooking journal. With the insurgence of the foodblog and those infestly populating the WWW, it was these that had me traveling on hours' end, reading my way through many kitchens and lives. And so I decided( kind of)," hey, why not?!" Thus and therefore several years later, I have arrived!
I read Shoba Narayan's Monsoon Diary about three years ago, the author being from Madras, should say Chennai, spoke stories of her childhood, running around trees and eating her Nalla-ma's soft idlis. I loved how the narration took me on visual gastronomic and quite drool tour of her parents' kitchen, more likely her hometown. I was motivated.
But let's not stop there. The team that I live with, are the real deal, and by this I refer to that hero of mine for 18 years, Jacob (JZ as he's known to my audience), and the two wonderful children that we are gifted with.They are the cheerleaders that carry me forward, even when dinner table tests result in epic fail. Their oohs! ahhs! and woohoos! take me to the next level, (which sometimes means just getting up in the morning) and gain me the confidence to make, write, phototake and the like. Oh, I shouldn't forget those lovely Food Network chefs who've expanded my definition of la cuisine gastronomique, or, actually taught me that such phrases exist. Yes, people, I've learned that mindless TV watching clearly has its benefits.
What do I like to cook the most? Favorite foods, and by that I mean mine and my family's. Absolutely love Kerala fish curry, not forgetting to mention crazy good pizza!
All of us are endowed with a passion and something we are naturally good at. Cultivate, nurture the enthusiasm and fire that it brings in its wake . Practice, try and keep on, being the best at what you do. Emulate masters. For me, that would be Giada, Bobby Flay and my mother-in-law. Finally, don't forget to smile and be thankful for the talent that's been appointed to you, blessings abound when you do!
Now onto our point of conversation for today. It is a subject that has become a favorite of mine surely but slowly through the past four or five years. Presently living in the Southwest part of the U.S., we come across countless places that serve up this flavorful hand- to- mouth eat. It is the fish taco. Fish + tortilla + tongue singing add ons that make the whole hand to mouth experience quite nirvana-ish. This popular eat most probably originated from the coastal regions of Mexico and has gained super notoriety on recent, here and beyond. Most eat out versions are lovely but employ with it a batter fried fish, which limits my intake to not more than two- and we all know that's not a good thing. Though, I've, on occasion, had the grilled prototypes and I must say they are the healthful, maybe even tastier versions of the former .
So what do I have for you this day? Warmed corn tortillas filled with fish, not fried, not grilled- but baked! Yes, oven cooked fish in soft taco shells and an utterly magnificent tart-hot-sweet cruncher to go with. May I also introduce the purple cabbage slaw?
Leftovers for these are even better the next. Though, in all honesty, meal situations here have not rendered many a leftover conclusion.
2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 1/2 pounds tilapia or any firm white flesh fish, skinless without bones, cut into 3-4 inch pieces
2 tbsp oil
18-20 corn or flour tortillas (6 inch)
red cabbage slaw (ideally this should be made first)
Line a baking tray with foil, you might need two. Put the dry ingredients(cayenne to ginger powder) onto foil. Smear on oil and spread throughout the breadth of the pan. Mix well. Add fish pieces and coat both sides of each piece with spice mixture. Set aside for thirty minutes. Meanwhile make your cabbage slaw.
Bake at 410° F for 15-20 minutes,turning tray halfway through. Towards the last 5 minutes, on a separate bake tray, wrap stacks of four tortiilas in foil, and heat in the oven. If they do not become soft, leave in oven after turning off heat for additional 3-5 minutes. Make sure not to overheat.
Red cabbage slaw~
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 c mayonnaise
1 tsp black pepper
2 scallions, chopped fine
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/2 small head red cabbage, sliced thinly
juice of 1/2 lime
Whisk the sugar and salt with vinegar until dissolved.
Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for half an hour before serving.
Best way to eat this? Wedge a few slices of baked fish inside warm tortilla, a squeeze of lime and a fair heaping of the coleslaw. To blissfulness and beyond!
So, now I bid adieu to my lovely hostess, thank you for granting me this rather prolonged visit . To her equally fantastic audience, thanks for listening and joyful cooking all!
So did you guys enjoy her post? I sincerely hope you did, as much as I did interacting with her on email and doing this post myself. She sent me all the pics and asked me to delete any if I would love to. They look so beautiful, that I didn't want to. So you see, I placed the cauliflower next to the recipe portion and what should I do with the flower below? Let me dedicate it to all of you... for the blissful weekend ahead... Enjoy yourselves, everybody!!! :)