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Friday, May 30, 2008

Fish Tacos with Corn Salsa and Lemon Dill Remoulade Sauce


So what do you do when you're out for the day with your husband and four kids (ages 13, 11, 8 and 5), and it's getting late and the kids are hungry and verging on really cranky? Do you go to the nicest restaurant you can find? The one filled with people that are out to have a quiet dinner with drinks, and then linger over dessert and coffee?

No.

You find the restaurants that cater to parents out with their kids. Not my favorite places for sure, but what can you do? I won't torture those above mentioned quiet diners with my loud and rambunctious (not to mention hungry) herd.

This is how we ended up at TGI Friday's last weekend. The kids were happy, so who was I to complain? They have the standard kid's menu stuff--mini pizza, mac and cheese, spaghetti, etc. Kids were taken care of, but what were my husband and I going to get? I figured we'd end up with a burger or sandwich, but we both chose the fish tacos. They were actually pretty good! Really good, in fact. They consist of panko covered tilapia, corn salsa, lemon dill remoulade, and lettuce, wrapped in a flour tortilla.

My husband and I decided we could make them better, and more importantly, fresher at home. So I set out to find the recipes for the corn salsa and remoulade sauce. The fish was easy enough. Any white fish, sprinkled with taco seasoning (that I'll also include the recipe for) and dipped in egg and panko, then fried to a crispy golden brown.

The Lemon Dill Remoulade Sauce can be found here. I ended up adding a couple more tablespoons of mayo to the sauce, along with a pinch of sugar to mellow out the very tangy lemon. And I left out the capers. No offense to all of you caper lovers, but little balls of briney yuckiness have no place in my heart. Ick. The sauce is so good, and really mellows out while you make the rest of the taco stuff, so make this first and stick it in the fridge while you wait.

The corn salsa is very fresh tasting and a nice, sweet contrast to the tangy lemon dill sauce. You can find the recipe for that here. I didn't change anything in this recipe. Adjust the heat by leaving in or taking out the seeds and ribs of the jalapeno.

Before...



and after. Corn salsa goodness!

The taco seasoning is so much better homemade. I don't buy it anymore because who knows what preservatives they put in those envelopes? And I'll bet you most likely have all of these spices at home already. I like to quadruple this recipe so I have some made up to store away.

The fish we used was some Striper that we had in the freezer, but you could use any white fish. Just cut it in strips about 4 inches long, sprinkle both sides with taco seasoning, dip them in a bowl with two beaten eggs, and then dredge them in panko bread crumbs. Heat some oil, about 3 inches worth, in a pan to about 350° on a thermometer. Drop a few pieces at a time into the oil, and fry until they come to the surface, 2-3 minutes. The thinner pieces took about 2, and the thicker ones were 3 minutes. Drain on brown paper or paper towels. And make sure you let the oil come back up to 350° between batches. You don't want to fry in cooler oil, or it all seeps into the food instead of searing the outside.
Dip the fish strips in beaten egg after sprinkling with taco seasoning.


Then dip each piece in panko, both sides.



To make your tortillas warm and pliable, dip them in cool water for a few seconds, then put them in a warm skillet for a few seconds on each side--just until the water evaporates, which happens quickly. Put them on a flat surface, and in the center, put a piece or two of fish, some corn salsa, lettuce and some remoulade.

Dip the tortillas in cool water for a few seconds.



Heat each one in a warm pan until the water evaporates--few seconds on each side.


At Friday's, they were served taco-style, with the tortilla just folded around the fillings, which as you know, is messy. We did them burrito-style, which is your fillings in the center, fold in the two sides, then roll the side nearest you over and around to seal it up. Place it seam side down in the same pan for a few seconds to seal it up. It works perfectly, and it's way less messy.

Place your taco fillings in the center of the tortilla.
No, that's not brown lettuce. :P It's a red leaf lettuce from a salad blend.




Fold in the sides, and roll up the tortilla , away from you.


Place each one seam-side down in the warm pan to seal the edge shut.




So, the moral of the story is...well, there is no moral, is there? These were delicious, and we're definitely going to make them again. I suppose you could saute the fish in a pan instead if frying it (which I'll most likely do next time), but my knight in shining armor, my husband, said he'd fry them for me. I hate deep frying--it makes me nervous.

The kids had fun at Friday's, and it's fun for them to go out for dinner once in a while. As far as family places go, it was pretty good. Nice server, everyone enjoyed their food, and the kids got to have cups of dirt for dessert--with gummy worms, even! hehe.

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40 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

Glad that the whole family enjoyed T.G.I. Friday's :0) Wow, that corn salsa sounds so refreshing!

noble pig said...

How yummy is that! Completely awesome. My kids would love em'.

Ruth Elkin said...

I did beef tacos for dinner tonight.... I'm sorry I didn't see this first and make fish tacos! They look so yummy!

Pam said...

I LOVE fish tacos and that looks so tasty. The corn salsa sounds really good too.

Pam

Sarah said...

Elle,

Oh my. Honestly, I have to say. After making that roundup, I got a little burnt out from the whole blogging world. It was enjoyable, of course, but SO time consuming. However, after my few day break, reading all about your fish taco experience has rejuvenated me and given me something new to make in the future! Also, I plan on making your Lime Raspberry Pound Cake as a gift for a parent in my classroom...any specific recommendations?
:)

Shaye said...

Gee thanks, L! Now I have drool on my chin. ;)

I love love LOVE fish tacos, and yours look absolutely delish. They're now on next week's menu.

I've never dipped my tortillas in water or sealed them on a pan before. You are just chock full of helpful hints!!

Ben said...

Wow Elle, that corn salad deserves an award. And thanks for not taking your kids to the restaurant I was dining in, that was very nice of you :-p

Nan said...

Quick, healthy, and colorful! There's nothing missing from this meal...mmmm.

Tiffany said...

gasp! I love fish tacos, and these could so easily be converted to a special diet! Yum yum yum :)

Grace said...

ah, i love going out to eat and getting inspired. tgi friday's ain't got nothin' on you, lady! although it's all clearly fabulous, i'm most smitten with the corn salsa. what can i say, colorful (not to mention scrumptious) food just makes me happy. :)

giz said...

You're right Elle - yours look so much better than TGI Fridays.

You would go to a restaurant with 4tired kids - you are a brave woman!!!

AMY VIG said...

These sound absolutely delicious! As it starts to warm up and get summery, I bet you could even grill the fish and tortillas to keep all the cooking heat outside.

So excited about the homemade taco seasoning. Those packets have always made me a little nervous too.

diva said...

fish,lemon and dill!!! perfection!

Erika said...

Elle, your picture of the before ingredients is beautiful! The fish tacos look great too!

Lori said...

Oooh, I love fish tacos but have never made them at home before. I think it's really that lemon or lime tang that does it for me! :)

cookinpanda said...

This is such a wonderful combination of flavors. The fish tacos look so fresh. (And are far more exciting than anything from TGIFs!)

Elle said...

Veggirgirl--thank you! It is very refreshing.

Cathy--Thanks!

Ruth--there's a lot to be said fir beef tacos, too. yum!

Pam--thank you!

Sarah--what a sweet comment! I'm glad to have been able to give you some inspiration. :)

Shaye--I don't know where Billy came up with doing the tortillas that way, but it works so well!

Ben--you're so welcome. hahaha!!

Nan--thank you so much!

Tiffany--I hope these can convert well for you!

Grace--the corn salsa...I don't usually like things like that, but it really works. It's the perfect contrast to the tangy remoulade.

Giz--it's funny. Even though I think my kids are acting up and being loud, people come up to us all the time, and say they can't believe how well behaved my kids are. And I look behind me to see if they're talking to some other parents! hahaha!!!

Amy--grilling them is a great idea! I'll have to try that soon. And that taco seasoning is delicious--I like knowing what's in there, and controlling the salt, too.

Diva--thank you!

Erika--thanks so much!

Lori--we've been experimenting with a few different fish taco recipes, and this one is our favorite. And they're really easy to make, too.

Panda--score one for Friday's for coming up with the combo. But to make it better and fresher at home is so much fun! (and cheaper.)

Vicarious Foodie said...

Yum! That corn salsa looks like the perfect complement! Great summer dish.

toontz said...

This is definitely going to be bookmarked, Elle!
It sounds absolutely wonderful!

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

That salsa looks so fresh and summery and colourful and delicious and I could go on I'm sure LOL. I too, have a fear of deep-frying stuff (the kitchen always gets filled with oily smoke and I get splattered with boiling hot oil! Not fun!)

HoneyB said...

Hi Elle, awesome looking tacos! I love your photos!

I made your Almond Joy muffin's this morning and posted about them. You can check it out at http://shelbymaelawstories.blogspot.com/2008/06/sometimes-you-feel-like-nut.html

Deborah said...

Practically all we have close by are chain restaurants, so I'm very familiar with TGIFridays! Actually, the last couple times we've been, I commented that I could probably make my meal better at home. And these sound fantastic!

Garrett said...

Oh, delicious! I love corn salsa - yours turned out looking very yummy. I'm sure these were 10x better than what you got at TGIF.

Kevin said...

Those fish tacos look so good! I like the corn salsa in them.

BMoreSweet said...

Before I had them, I thought "fish" and "tacos" was the most disgusting-sounding thing EVER. Then I tried them and OH MY LORD. I am a total fish taco addict. My husband still can't wrap his mind around em though... Best I ever had, improbably, were at The Venetian (?really? seriously?) in las Vegas. Going to California in a few days and I am jonesin' for some Pacific-fresh fish tacos.

Meanwhile...light a candle for me, Elle, because I'm facing my first Daring Bakers challenge this month and OY! I am so NERVOUS!!!!

Great job on the opera cake. I love opera cake much more than I love opera.

Lisa said...

Looks delicious! I love fish tacos. For take out, I get them from Baha Fresh but these look much better!

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

This sounds so good, I've always wanted to make something like this - mexican! wait till we get our own place, corn salsa here I come!

renae du jour said...

That corn salsa sound wonderful. We don't usually make fish tacos, but I'm going to have to remember them... it's nice to change things up every once in a while.

Lore said...

Fish and chicken tacos are my faves. You had me at the dill remoulade sauce :)...yummy!

kittie said...

Mmmmmm - I think this is my first visit to your blog - and this dish definitely ticks all my boxes!

the delish said...

Oh, wow - fish tacos are my fav! Those look way awesome. But I've never made them... hmm, thanks for the inspiration! (and the tummy growl!)

LyB said...

That is definitely something we would enjoy around here! So colorful, it looks really delicious. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

canarygirl said...

Ok, that's IT, Elle. I'm coming over! Gawd daaaaaayum those look good! :D

Cris said...

Oh my kids love Friday's too... we were there for my son's 10th birthday last month (yes, we have TGIF in Brazil) and well, to tell you the truth, we love the food there, it's so good to have some real American and tex-mex food sometimes. I love your recipe, first time I had fish tacos we were living in the US and it tasted sooo good! :-)

Lauren @ Parsnips Aplenty said...

I love fish tacos! And what great light you got on the raw ingredients for the corn salsa.

Elle said...

Thanks so much, everyone!

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

OMG Elle! They look amazing, so very very mouthwatering,

Megan said...

The lemon sauce looks fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing...

Megan

Rachelle said...

Oooh Elle! My FAVORITE are fish tacos. I am going to bookmark this one. Maybe I can get everyone in my family to try them. :)

AndreaQ said...

These look awesome!

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