Beer Battered Fish Tacos



Here I am again, with yet another recipe inspired by The Defined Dish. You can check out her healthier version of this recipe here.

Fish or shrimp are by far my favorite rendition of a taco. My go to at any taco establishment is usually seafood related – Tempura Shrimp Tacos at Fuzzy’s, Fish & Chips taco at Velvet Taco, and the Baja Shrimp Taco at Rusty Taco. Hashtag YUM!

Alex with The Defined Dish never fails me, so when I saw her post her recipe I knew I had to try. All hail my non-paleo, non-healthy version of her Paleo Battered Fish Tacos, below!

RECIPE

Prep Time  25 minutes

Cook Time  30  minutes

Serves 5 people 

Ingredients

Fish & Shrimp
  • 4 tbsp Avocado oil (vegetable oil is fine, too.)
  • 1 lb skinned Cod, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 1 lb cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail off
Batter
  • 1 cup beer (I used Heineken)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
Slaw
  • 4 tbsp mayo
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp hot sauce (I use Valentina)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups shredded purple cabbage
For Serving
  • 12 tortillas
  • Pico de gallo
  • Cilantro

Instructions

  1. Start by making the batter for frying the fish and shrimp. In a large mixing bowl, combine the beer, flour, baking soda, salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper. Whisk well and set aside for a bit to let it thicken. (The batter should be similar to pancake batter – not runny, but not thick.)
  2. For the slaw, in a separate bowl combine the mayo, lime juice, garlic cloves, hot sauce and salt. Set aside – we will add the cabbage to the mixture later.
  3. To cook the fish, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Take about 1/2 of the fish and place in the bowl containing the batter. Gently toss to coat. Using tongs or a fork, one by one, carefully place each strip of coated fish into the hot oil. Try not to overcrowd the pan – none of the fish should be touching. Fry until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on a place on a paper towel lined plate or cutting board, and dust with a little salt and pepper. Repeat this step until all of the fish has been cooked.
  4. Heat the tortillas one at a time on a dry or very lightly oiled skillet over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds per side.
  5. Now, add the cabbage to the slaw mixture.
  6. Assemble by adding slaw, then fish, then pico de gallo and fresh cilantro to each tortilla.

Tips

  1. Don’t have any pico de gallo on hand? You just need one tomato, 1/2 red or white onion, 1 jalapeno, a squeeze of lime juice, a bit of fresh cilantro, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Remove seeds from tomato and jalapeno, and finely chop them along with the onion. Add to a small mixing bowl, along with cliantro, lime juice and seasonings. Gently stir to combine.

Cajun Chicken Pasta



There is one reason, and one reason only for going to Chili’s: Cajun. Chicken. Pasta.

I’ve been obsessed with this pasta for as long as I can remember, which is far enough back to know that my uncultured mouth couldn’t handle the heat and would ask for the seasoning on the side.

There are certain recipes I try not to recreate, because it makes my dining out experiences less than exciting. This was one I had steered clear of for a while, but I finally decided to go for it. Sorry Chili’s, I won’t be needing you for a while!

RECIPE

Prep Time  15 minutes

Cook Time  40  minutes

Serves 4 people 

Ingredients

Pasta
  • 16 oz Penne Pasta
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil, divided
  • 2 Boneless, Skinles Chicken Breasts, tenderized
  • 6 Tbsp Butter (About 3/4 Stick)
  • 1/2 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 4-6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Lemon, Juiced
  • 1/4 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • 1-2 tbsp flour
Cajun Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika (regular is fine, too)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Thyme
  • 1/2 tsp Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Parsley Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne (More or less, depending on your spice preference.)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 tbsp flour (for seasoning chicken)
For Serving
  • 2 Roma Tomatos, Diced
  • 1 Stalk Green Onion, Chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well, saving about 1/4 cup pasta water for later.
  2. In a medium small mixing bowl, whisk to gether ingredients for cajun seasoning. Separate seasoning into halves, pouring one half in a Gallon Ziploc bag. In the Ziploc bag, add two tbsp flour to the seasoning mixture. Shake well to combine. Baste tenderized chicken breasts with 1 tbsp Olive Oil, and add to the Ziploc bag with the seasoning. Shake until the chicken is evenly coated.
  3. In a large skillet, heat remaining Olive Oil over medium-high heat. Place each chicken breast in the pan, and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature has reached 165 degrees. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Melt your butter in the skillet, scraping up any brown bits. (Pro-Tip: If you have a significant amount of brown bits in the pan after cooking the chicken, add a splash of white wine or lemon juice – the acidity will pull it right off!)
  5. Add diced onion to the pan, and cook until translucent – about 3 minutes.
  6. Next, add in minced garlic and cook until fragrant – about 45 seconds.
  7. Reduce heat to Medium, and gradually whisk in lemon juice and heavy cream. Cook for 2-3 minutes, whisking slowly until the ingredients are incorporated.
  8. Fold in Parmesan and remaining seasoning and cook for another 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly. If the mixture is too thick, add more heavy cream as needed; if too think, add flour one tablespoon at a time until desired thickness is achieved.
  9. Stir in pasta and reserved pasta water and toss to combine.
  10. Serve sliced chicken breast over a bed of pasta, topped with diced tomato, sliced green onion and a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan.

Tips

  1. All of the seasonings combined are equal to 2 tbsp cajun seasoning.
  2. The best way I have found to tenderize my chicken breasts is to lay them out on a cutting board, cover them with a piece of plastic wrap, and pound until the breasts are thinned out evenly. Tenderizing isn’t absolutely necessary, but since we are frying the breasts in this recipe it will aid in making sure the chicken cooks evenly.
  3. If you don’t already have one, you I highly recommend that you invest in a sauce whisk! They are the best for mixing sauces – so much better than the traditional whisk! I believe mine is from Pampered Chef, but I can’t find it on their website. This one from Williams Sonoma looks like a great alternative, or you can find them on Amazon by searching “sauce whisk” or “spiral whisk”.

Seafood Stuffed Salmon


Around my house, I jokingly refer to this as “Marry Me Salmon”. Michael likes to give me a hard time by saying I trapped him with my cooking – which was totally unintentional. However, I will say if it was any one meal in particular that hooked him, this was probably it.

Even if you’re not just smitten with the amazing new woman in your life (haha), this is sure to be a crowd pleaser for any seafood lover.

You can make this with one whole cut of salmon, or with individual sized salmon fillets. I’ve done it both ways, and either way you slice it – pun totally intended – it’s sensational.

Seriously how does this not make your mouth water!?

RECIPE

Prep Time  20 Minutes

Prep Time  20 Minutes

Serves  4 People

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Fresh Salmon
  • 1 package Cream Cheese (8 oz), softened
  • Generous amount of spinach
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 can lump crab meat (6 oz)
  • 8-10 cooked jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped.
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Old Bay Seasoning
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Cracked Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Over medium heat, drizzle olive oil in a skillet. Cook garlic until fragrant – about 30 seconds. Add in spinach and sauté, stirring constantly, until tender – about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, cooked spinach, about 2/3 of the crab meat, and 2/3 of the cooked shrimp. Season the mixture with Old Bay, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt, Pepper and Cayenne (if desired).
  4. For the salmon, make a pocket in the fillet by gently cutting a horizontal slit in the salmon flesh, leaving about one inch on each end connected. Do not cut all the way through to the other side – this is a pocket, not a hole!
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place salmon on top, skin side down. Generously season the salmon flesh with all seasonings listed above.
  6. Using a spoon, scoop cream cheese mixture into the pocket of the salmon. The pocket should be pretty full – don’t be stingy with the stuffing!
  7. In the same pan you cooked the spinach, melt butter over medium heat. Add in bread crumbs and mix well until it becomes paste like in consistency. Once butter is melted, this should only take a few seconds.
  8. Spread buttered breadcrumbs on top of the salmon filet – this will create a crust like consistency for the top of the salmon.
  9. Lightly sprinkle remaining cheese, crab meat and shrimp over the top of the stuffed salmon.
  10. Bake at 400º for 20-25 minutes.

Tips

  • For the lump crab meat – you can definitely use fresh lump crab meat from your local fish market or deli. They didn’t have any when I went, and I found the canned version to be just as good. Just make sure you drain any excess water or oil if using the canned meat.