Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Occupy Your Kitchen: Tilapia Taco Tuesday!


Tilapia tacos you say? On Tuesday?

Yes, dear reader, it's time for another edition of Occupy Your Kitchen.

Facebook is a place where many different ideas can come together, in a melting pot of reasoned, sober discussion:

  • The upward of 10,000 word diatribe between warring factions arguing the intrinsic value of gold over paper currency (get out your bingo pads for words like "Keynes", "von Mises", "currency", "Ron Paul", "socialist" and so on; bonus points, make it a drinking game!).
  • The always enjoyable gun debate, politics debate, religion debate, you-name-it-debate...
  • Adrian Lamo, sniveling attention-seeking nark or... I don't know, something else?
  • The endless "kangaroo" versus "vodka martini" debate.

You know, call the drink whatever makes you feel happy. It's a giant chilled shot of vodka is what it is. That's all we really care about at the end of the day at Chowbacca!

Stick a feather in your cap, call it macaroni. (Note, we do not recommend this as feathers can carry salmonella and influenza.)

The other day one Deth Veggie, Otopico and myself we debating the proper guacamole (can you believe this very blog has had the audacity of accusing this noble condiment of being passé?).

Chiles or no chiles? Cilantro or no cilantro? Bananas? Corn? Tomatoes?? (Never, ever tomatoes.)

Back and forth we went. Sly and ever sharpening invective was hurled at more and more shrill volume in volleys across the cyber-chasm. Bystanders were ridiculed or curtly dismissed. Eventually it devolved into yet another "kangaroo v. vodka martini" circus.

My position is that a guacamole should have some peppers - but you can leave them out. It's your kitchen. Do whatever makes you happy. Put M&Ms in your guacamole for all we care.

All kidding aside, the most stripped down guacamole consists of these elements: avocado, onion, cilantro, salt, pepper, lime. End of story.

But I do like to add a jalapeño, or even a serrano if I'm feeling scandalous.

So, for the sake of not offending anyone's tender sensibilities, I'll call what I made tonight a "mango avocado salsa".

Can't we all get along?


Mango Avocado Salsa:
  • 1 small very ripe mango, diced.
  • 1 ripe Haas or similar avocado, diced.
  • 1 minced shallot.
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped.
  • Trimmings from a red bell pepper (see slaw recipe below).
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced.
  • 3-4 sprigs of cilantro, chopped, plus 1 sprig for garnish.
  • Juice of 1/2 lime.
  • Salt and pepper.
Who's got "Push It" stuck in their heads now? I'm so sorry. I suffer along. Ah. Push it. Push it good.

Mix everything and let it macerate together for at least a half an hour before using. Even better over your eggs the next morning.

Red Cabbage Health Slaw:
  • 1 small red cabbage, chiffonade.
  • 1 red bell pepper trimmed and julienned. Save the trimmings for your salsa.
  • 1 table spoon of dried dill.
  • 2 good glugs of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 1 good glug of Lev's Original Green Tea Kombucha Vinegar.
  • Salt and pepper (push it!).
Mix it and let it macerate for about half an hour as well. Plenty of time to fry up some fish.

Fried Tilapia:
  • 1 whole tilapia filet, cut into 1/2" cubes.
  • 2-3 tablespoons of flour.
  • Salt'n'Pepa (push it real good).
Seal the fish bits, flour, salt and pepper in a re-sealable container (tupperware, plastic take-out soup container, etc) and shake it like a Polaroid picture (bam, ear wormed again!).

Will somebody stop me? (Oh, oh, oh stop me, stop me if you think that you've heard this one before... nothing's changed, I still love you oh I still love you only slightly only slightly less than I used to my love. [Cue Johnny Marr solo...])

Heat a large skillet or frying pan with about a half inch of oil or lard to about 380ºF. Drop fish bits in one piece at a time from a low height into the oil and cover or use a splatter guard (you don't see many of those these days, sadly).

Fry for about 3-4 minutes on the first side, then another 2-3 minutes on the other and remove with a brass spider (a kitchen must-have!) or metal slotted spoon.

The rest is self-explainitory. We like a garnish of more cilantro and some queso cotija.




And here to take us out musically is Elliott Smith, who would have turned 44 yesterday, August 5th.

I miss you, mister misery.