Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos

Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos (With an Avocado Spread, Tomato and Red Onion Salad, Roasted Bell Peppers, and Slaw) –

I made these for “Taco Tuesday” this week. I hadn’t planned it that way, but it worked out perfectly! I air fried the tilapia with a blackening seasoning. To go with the fish, I made a slaw, a tomato/red onion “salad”, roasted bell peppers, and a smashed avocado spread. For the taco shells, I bought Old El Paso soft taco bowls! (By the way, greatest invention ever to avoid spilling the taco guts.)

This another one of those recipes you can so easily adapt to your preferences. For example, you could try shrimp or chicken instead of fish. You could make a salsa or pico de gallo instead of the tomato/red onion salad. Use sour cream instead making an avocado spread. Use plain diced avocado. The possibilities are endless, but you probably already know this if you are any sort of taco or fajita lover!

I eyeballed all the amounts, so I’ve put some estimates, but just make sure to adjust based on your taste and how much you intend to make. I made 8 tacos, not completely filled.

I seasoned the tilapia (.72 lb) first. We have probably 3 different blackening seasonings, so I just used the first one I found. It happened to be the one pictured below that Jake and I bought on a trip to PA one holiday season to visit my brother and sister-in-law. I rubbed both sides until lightly/moderately coated. I laid the filets in the air fryer and set it aside while I prepared the other ingredients.

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I then prepared the avocado spread. I scooped out the flesh of one avocado into a small bowl. I then scooped about 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, seasoned with salt, pepper, and 1/2 tsp lime juice, and then mashed it all together really well. I was originally going to make whipped avocado, but I didn’t feel like “whipping” out the blender (See what I did there? Haha.) I topped with some cracked black pepper and paprika for looks. 😊

Next, I prepared the tomato and red onion salad. I diced a few campari tomatoes I had on hand (they’re small) and sliced about 1/4 of a small red onion thinly. I tossed the tomatoes and onion with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, a 1/8 tsp cumin, and a 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar.

On to the slaw. I bought a pre-made coleslaw mix. It’s not seasoned with anything, but the cabbage and carrots are already cut up, which is so convenient! I used about 1 cup of the mix. For the dressing, I mixed up 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp cumin, and two minced garlic cloves. I mixed this rapidly to get the mixture a little creamy (due to the olive oil). I imagine you could throw this into the blender, too, to get it a little creamy. Once the dressing was done, I tossed with the coleslaw.

I prepared the bell peppers. At our local grocery stores they sell “stoplight” peppers. They are called that because each package contains one red, one yellow, and one green bell pepper. I sliced up about a quarter of each pepper into 1/2″ strips. I baked in the oven with olive, salt, and pepper until tender.

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I left air frying the fish for last so that it was freshly cooked when we were ready to eat. I hate when fish finishes early and I’m forced to reheat or keep warm and then it’s overcooked! I purposely broke up the filets so we could put smaller pieces into our tacos.

I served everything a la carte style so we could make our own tacos. This would be a fun dish for the kids with their favorite types of toppings – just be sure to make extra because they will gobble it up!

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Sincerely,
Fu’d

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A Versatile Red Onion Marmalade

We went to BJ’s Wholesale Club Labor Day weekend to pick up a rack of ribs for smoking. While we were there, I decided to pick up some red onion to add to a quinoa salad. Of course, we were forced to buy the 3 lb bag of red onions, when all I really needed was one. So, we used a few red onions here and there the past few weeks, but we still had quite a bit left. I originally thought I would make pickled red onions with the left overs because I love anything pickled. But as I was searching Pinterest, I came across a red onion marmalade recipe. (Here’s the link to the recipe.) I decided to make this because it looked more versatile – I could potentially use the marmalade to complement more types of dishes.

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At first, I thought it look very much like caramelized onion, but it truly is more like a marmalade – much sweeter and stickier than caramelized onion. That threw me off at first; I thought maybe I used too much brown sugar or butter, but it’s meant to be that way. In the end, I think I may have still reduced the sugar and butter by just a little bit or added more red onion to suit my taste buds.

Overall, this was really simple and I followed the recipe pretty closely. I sliced the onion, melted the butter, mixed in the onion, and then mixed in the brown sugar.

 

I left the stove on medium/low heat just so the mixture was constantly on a “low bubble”.  It took about 30 minutes for me to cook this down until the onions were tender and dark and the mixture was super sticky (not a lot left to reduce down). I then added the red wine vinegar a little bit at a time, cooked it down, then added more, etc. until the red wine vinegar was used up. This took about another 10 minutes.

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Approximately 5 minutes into cooking
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Near the end of cooking

We had some steak in the refrigerator that needed to be eaten that night, so Jake fired up the grill and we enjoyed the marmalade as a topping. Jake really liked it, I think particularly because he has a sweet tooth. I have to admit, it did pair nicely with the savory steak. On the side, we had air fried kale and mushrooms. I also made roasted potatoes with garlic and green onion.

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I think this might also go really well with the traditional piece of toast or can even be used as part of a marinade, incorporated into salad dressing, or used as a puff pastry appetizer topping! Yum!

I hope to see some comments about successful marmalades you’ve made and what you like to eat them with!

Sincerely,
Fu’d