This is Kristen Redd of the infamously idle FancyFunk blog—aka, big sis to Tyler of Sandwich Funk and his inspiration of all things that are good—and I’m here to enlighten you with a tasty little number that will have its consumers begging for more… water.
*disclaimer: FancyFunk and its subsidiaries are not responsible for any discomforting trips to the bathroom that may result from consuming this meal.
So you’ve just returned from a long day of work, and perhaps an exhausting round of Spikeball, and you’re f-ing starving for some grub. Your cash flow is low, so dining out is not in the mix, and the idea of going to the grocery store is enough to make you want to want smoke your entire supply of indica and go into hibernation. ‘What do I have in my pantry that doesn’t consist of packaged nonsense that I have to throw an egg on top of?’ you ask yourself.
The answer, my friends, is all the ingredients to this low-prep, quick-cook, highly adaptable recipe. I’ve used just about any form of life that comes out of the sea, whatever unused spices and herbs happen to be crying for attention, and a wide variety of toppings that my ravenous taste buds may be demanding at the given moment. Here is one possible version of the afore-mentioned mash-up, but feel free to substitute just about anything with whatever you have on hand.
About the music: I know what you are thinking. Fish tacos and lo-fi rock ‘n roll don’t really seem like an intuitive pairing. Well, that’s why you are reading this post and we created it, so deal with it! We have paired 10 tracks with this fish dish guaranteed to keep your
fingers head bangin’. Jack White and the gang start you off easy with ‘Level’ and from there things really start to pick up. 40 minutes of grungy filtered vocals, wailing guitar and doods that probably smell like a homeless person, but hey, they make awesome music. While we did not necessarily stick to one genre with this playlist, I think you will find a common theme running through the whole experience. Half nostalgia for some olds hits, half keen interest in some songs you have never heard, and half fish taco, this playlist is 150% about to rock. Now let’s cook some Mexican sandwiches.
For the tacos:
• 2-4 Tbsp. olive oil
• 1 (or 4) garlic cloves, minced
• ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
• 1.5 lbs. tilapia (I usually stock in the freezer, but if using shrimp instead, be sure to remove the poop-chute)
• possibly some thinly sliced onions or bell pepper if you’re into that sort of thing
• 3 Tbsp. high quality tequila
• 1-2 tsp. dried chipotle powder
• 1 tsp. ground cumin
• sea salt
• corn or flour tortillas (quantity varies depending on the size and number of boys you are feeding)
For the black beans:
• 1 can unflavored black beans (do not drain!)
• 1+ Tbsp. olive oil
• ¼ small yellow onion, chopped
• 1-3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
• 2 tsp.+ red pepper flakes
Ideas for toppings:
• fresh chopped cilantro
• diced tomatoes
• fresh greens (I’m talking about the salad variety here)
• mango and/or pineapple salso
• sour cream (try whipping it up with some cumin, lime, salt & cilantro)
• cheese (only as last resort)
Before I begin I must state the obvious—thaw your fish ahead of time, and if you’re like my brother and don’t think ahead of time, speed the process in a sink of hot water. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees so you’re not left at the end with a deliciously piping hot taco stuffing and cold, stale tortillas you’ve had in the back of your fridge for god knows how many weeks. Designate your minions to chop, dice, and measure out all your ingredients so you can focus on the more important tasks at hand.
Start with the beans, since these can sit and sizzle and marinate in their own calienté glory for as long as you’d like. Heat the oil on medium-high in a small pot. Add the chopped onion and garlic and stick your nose in it for a minute or two to enjoy that heady scent. Toss in the beans, cumin and red pepper flakes and mix it all up like Falcon Punch at an evening with Denver Disco. Once your concoction is bubbling, reduce the heat to low and forget about it for a little while.
Meanwhile, your friends, guests, siblings and significant others will have laid out a nicely organized array of foods for your next mission. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat (unless you’re a communist and don’t enjoy a nicely browned exterior to your fish). Once again, enjoy the aroma of cooking garlic, but not for too long, as this pan is HOT! Add the cumin, pepper flakes, and whatever spices you’re using and blend them together in the small sea of oil.
Ask a minion to put the tortillas in the oven and stand watch so they don’t burn and take them out before they turn into a giant crunchy chip.
Season your Tilapia with some salt and chipotle, and take satisfaction in the sizzling and smoking bursts emanating from the pan as you toss them in (careful… they spit). Note: if using onion/pepper slices, you may want to sauté separately, but if not, throw those in first, scooting them to the sides before adding your seafood of choice. Toss back… I mean IN… the tequila, and give it a good swish-around.
Flip the filets after a couple of minutes, reduce heat to medium and cook a couple more. At this point, those puppies should start to crumble and fall apart like Tyler giving a speech at a wedding—this is your cue to use that spatula to assist the process until the consistency is something you want to see on your tortilla.
Well, that’s about it folks. Arrange your foodstuffs in any order you see fit with any toppings that speak to you, and remember, if you overdo it on the hot pepper, your mouth won’t be the only body part burning in the wake of consumption!