Everyday Food (April 2008)
The photo accompanying Everyday Food's recipe for Fish Tacos is -- as you can see below with the recipe -- gorgeous. The contrast of the radish salad with the salsa verde, piled on fresh tilapia in lightly toasted corn tortillas, makes for a very impressive dish.
As it turns out, this is a dish that is looks a lot better than it tastes.
The recipe itself is wonderfully simple: Throw together a radish salad, food-process a salsa verde, broil tilapia while toasting tortillas, and assemble.
Of those four components, we found the radish salad was the most successful. It's light and tasty. And the mild tang of the radishes plays off perfectly with the zip of the onions and the chile -- it's a perfect accompaniment to the white fish.
Each of the other three steps, though, has its own pratfalls.
The salsa verde recipe was simply bland. We added significantly more lime juice than was called for, which helped brighten the flavors a bit.
The tilapia, while tasty, also lacked strong flavor. If we were making this again, we would add much more spice than the 1/2 teaspoon of coriander that is suggested.
Lastly, the corn tortillas -- toasted over a gas flame -- were tough, coarse and inflexible. We switched to flour tortillas mid-meal. (Also, although the recipe does call for corn tortillas, the tacos in the photo from Everyday Food seem to have flour tortillas. So who knows?)
On the plus side, this recipe is an excellent blueprint for light, fresh fish tacos. We're eager to try making fish tacos again. We'll just make some changes next time around.
Fish Tacos with Salsa Verde and Radish Salad
Everyday Food (April 2008)
* 1 bunch fresh cilantro (roots and thick stems removed)
* 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 1/2 bunch radishes (about 4 ounces), trimmed, halved, and thinly sliced
* 3 scallions, thinly sliced
* 1/2 jalapeno chile (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat), minced
* 1 1/2 pounds skinless tilapia fillets (about 4)
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 12 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
1. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. In a blender, combine cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons oil, and 2 tablespoons water; season with salt and pepper. Blend until pureed. Set salsa aside.
2. In a small bowl, mix together remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, remaining tablespoon oil, radishes, scallions, and jalapeno; season with salt and pepper. Set radish salad aside.
3. Place tilapia on a rimmed baking sheet; season with coriander, salt, and pepper. Broil until opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes; break up into chunks.
4. Meanwhile, using tongs, hold tortillas over a gas flame until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds per side (or wrap stacked tortillas in damp paper towels, and microwave on high until warm and soft, about 1 minute). To assemble, fill tortillas with fish and radish salad; top with salsa verde and fold.