Fish Tacos with Sweet and Spicy Carrot Slaw

Here it is, as promised!

This one’s really easy, yet the results are pleasingly complex in flavor.

For the tacos
~1 lb. fish fillet of your choice – we used red drum
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, sliced thinly, plus juice
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 corn tortillas
1 tsp bacon fat
extra lemon wedges, for garnish

For the slaw
1 carrot, peeled and grated
3 small sweet peppers (like small bell peppers, Cubanelles, and/or Dulcetta, which I used here)
1 Tbsp hot sauce (I used this, which was sweet and spicy itself and added to the complexity)
pinch of brown sugar
2 Tbsp cream

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place a large piece of aluminum foil a shallow baking tin, and gently lay the fish fillet atop it. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, turning fish twice to make sure it is evenly covered in both. Sprinkle red pepper flakes, dill, salt, and pepper on fish. Place lemon slices under and on top of the fillet. Wrap foil around the fish to make a tent, leaving the ends open a bit. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. When done, its flesh should no longer be pink, but rather solid white and flaky. For about a pound, which I cooked here, it took 20 minutes to achieve the perfect doneness and texture.

2. While the fish is baking, fry your tortillas in melted bacon fat over medium high heat in a large skillet. Flip them with a spatula so that both sides are evenly cooked. If using a large skillet, you should be able to do at least two at a time. Don’t allow them to become crispy, just softened and lightly browned. As each tortilla is done, set it aside on a plate between paper towels to drain the grease and retain heat.

3. After the tortillas are all cooked, drain any excess grease from the pan, leaving just a little, gleaming layer for flavoring the slaw. Add the carrots and peppers and toss over medium high heat for just a couple of minutes, until their colors intensify. Reduce heat to low and add hot sauce and brown sugar; still thoroughly. Finally, add the cream and stir again. The slaw should now have a nice, thickened consistency, and smell sweet, spicy, and fragrant. Remove pan from heat. For me, all of these elements were done at the same time, so it was easy to prepare the tacos while the separate ingredients were still warm; this is what you should be shooting for with this dish.

4. Once the fish is done, remove it from the oven. Unwrap the foil and, using your fingers or a fork, shred the flesh into bite-sized pieces.

5. Place the tortillas on your serving plates. Scoop up the pieces of warm fish, carefully avoiding any lemon slices, and place them on the tacos. Top with freshly mixed slaw and serve immediately with lemon wedges for garnish.

Serves 2.

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4 thoughts on “Fish Tacos with Sweet and Spicy Carrot Slaw

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