This unusually warm winter has done some funny things to us all.
I, for instance, have been thinking that it is time to start the seeds for Savvy Garden 2012 for weeks now. Weeks. Now it really is about time, but last month, in mid-February? Not so much.
Dan has been having trouble deciding which bike to ride to work — the one geared up for winter that he expects to be eaten up by the road salt, or the commuter bike that makes for a better ride but that he babies and wants to protect. So far, the commuter has only gone out once. It may be warm on many days, but the salt from the cold and icy days just won’t go away.
It is even messing with the wildlife’s heads. Bats typically aren’t active until late spring or early summer. But just last week, as we sat on the couch reading after dinner, Max stood up and started staring at the ceiling, a low growl beginning in his throat. Moments later, a bat swooped down over our heads and flew into the dining room. The dog started barking as we chased it out the front door. At least this time, the bat did not fly into my hair (I’m still trying to forget that ever happened) and I did not uselessly whimper and hide the entire time.
And the warm weather has me craving fish tacos, a decidedly summer treat. Lightly fried fish, topped with sauteed vegetables, guacamole and a little homemade lime mayonnaise. A meal reminiscent of days on the beach and dinners eaten on the back deck. Preferably without any bats.
These tacos go well with a carrot cilantro salad.
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cups corn kernels
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, chopped2 tilapia filets (about 1/2 pound)
- 1/3 cup beer
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6-inch flour tortillas
- Lime mayonnaise (recipe follows)
- Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the corn, onion and peppers and saute until tender and browned and beginning to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Whisk the beer, 1 tablespoon of oil, flour and salt together to create a batter. It should be the consistency of thin pancake batter. If it is too thick, add more beer, a tablespoon at a time, until the consistency is right.
- Heat the remaining oil over medium high in a large skillet. You can use the same skillet you used for the vegetables. Line a plate with a layer of paper towel.
- Slice the tilapia into bite-sized pieces. Drag a piece of fish through the batter, coating both sides, then place it in the hot oil. You can probably fit 5 pieces of so into the skillet-- just don't overcrowd it. When it the fish is browned and crispy, which will take 2-5 minutes, use a thin spatula to flip it to cook the other side. When all sides are browned and crispy, remove from the pan and place on the paper towel. Repeat with the remaining fish.
- Fill the tortillas with the fish and vegetables, and serve with lime mayonnaise and guacamole.
Make Ahead and Storage
To save time, you can cook the vegetables up to 2 days in advance.
Tips on making your own mayonnaise can be found in this Brain Food 101 post.
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- In a food processor, lightly blend the egg, mustard, sugar, cumin, salt, chili powder and 1/4 cup oil just until mixed.
- With the processor running on low, slowly stream in 1/2 cup oil, then slowly add the lime juice.
- Slowly stream in the remaining oil and continue processing until creamy.
Make Ahead and Storage
To store, cover and refrigerate for up to three days.