Lo-Fi Fish Tacos

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.

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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.

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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)

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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)

Directions:
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!

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Miso Broccoli Sweet Potato Bowl

 About the Music: We are back in action ladies and gents, and we are here to stay, probably.  You might think we would want to come back with a playlist that’s all about the party, maybe some disco cuts and classic funk grooves.  But, dear reader, it is the winter time here in Boulder Colorado and its cold and dark.  The music we chose for this playlist fits that vibe in that it says I’m dark and emotional but not totally emo. You like to write in your journal but you’re not necessarily on a pure Zoloft diet. There is an ethereal theme that runs through the playlist held together by wispy male vocals, guitar leads, melodic piano stabs and an electronic drum beat.  We start you off in the indie range with a couple great bands that have come out with new material in the last year and then move into a more electronic middle section, great for sipping your favorite bevy and holding your girl/guy by the fire.  Just as you are slipping into a wintery slumber we pick you back up again and move into the last section filled with great guitar rifts and a generally uplifting vibe, finishing with Broken Bells new single Holding on for Life that is guaranteed to have you tapping your feet while you take down this miso bowl.

Serves: 4
Total Cook Time: 45 min

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Ingredients for Bowl:
1.5 cups dries rice (we used jasmine because we are boring)
2 sweet potatoes
1-2 heads broccoli
1 tsp sesame seeds
any other veggies you find interesting
coarse or kosher salt
1-2 tbsp olive oil

Ingredients for Miso Dressing:
2 tbsp minces fresh ginger
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

This is my standard disclaimer that we did not come up with this recipe because, well, we simply aren’t creative enough to come up with such a delightful feast of perfection.  The best we could do was provide the music, so deal with it.  If you want the original recipe find it your god damn self. Nah, jk, here it is.

Directions: Go ahead and hit play on this Jim James song and let the ethereal male vocals wash through you.  This song is basically a lullaby, but don’t fall asleep we have shit to do.  Preheat your oven to 400 and get your rice cooking in whatever method you prefer.

Peel your sweet potatoes and cut them into one inch cubes and then cut your broccoli into bite size florets. Coat a roasting pan with a thin bit of olive oil and lay the sweet potatoes down so they aren’t on top of each other, but rather are… tessellating. Sprinkle with salt ‘n peppa and roast for 20 minutes.  After a cool 20 spot take them out flip them over and add the pieces of broccoli. Again with the salt and pepper and back into the oven for another 10-20 or until broccoli begins to char and potatoes are soft.

You may be asking yourself, “what the F am I supposed to do with myself for 40 minutes while this is roasting?” Well, aside from just sitting in awe of the sheer greatness and fortitude of this playlist, you still have to make the miso dressing.  Let’s make that happen.

Toast your sesame seeds in a skillet just to get that out of the way because that’s boring an uninteresting. Pay attention because this gets complicated. Put all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend that shit right on up. Other than that all you have to do is make sure your picture frames don’t fall of the wall due to the bass from this James Blake song and you should be good to go. If you finish early just go ahead and pour yourself a tasty bevarage, I’m thinking a gin and tonic-with a lime of course-and kick back for the remainder of this playlist.

When everything is done scoop yourself a bit of rice then put the broccoli and and potatoes on top.  Add the dressing and the sesame seeds and boom, you got yourself a miso bowl.  But for real, this dressing is so good you are going to want to put it on everything.

Godspeed

Indie Roasted Chickpeas & Carrots feat. Harissa

About the Music: Listen, I love the funk as much as the next guy.  But sometimes you just do something a little more… alternative.  So for this fall dish we decided to put away the dancing shoes and get out the acoustic guitar. Hold on to your hearts ladies and gentlemen, because shit is about to get emotional.  We’ve got notoriously light hearted singer songwriter Elliott Smith in here for you. Some Blitzen Trapper, also from Oregon.  Jeff Mangum and Neutral Milk Hotel sing longingly about a topic that isn’t Jeeeeeesssuuuuussss Chrriiiiiiiiiiiiiist and The Shins take us into the second half of our mix with a track about god knows what. Lastly, we round off this playlist with Norah Jones and The Little Willies’ cover of Jolene, a timeless classic to close out this half hour of sheer emotion. Reaching for the Kleenex already? Don’t worry, we’re one step ahead of you there.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 35 min

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Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
8-10 carrots
1 cup chickpeas (canned is quicker, dried is better)
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp harissa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chopped parsley

First of all this recipe was made first, and probably better by Claire Thomas over at The Kitchy Kitchen so give her some props. Yea, I follow Kitchy Kitchen, wanna fight about it? I will say however that she does not have emotional alt rock playing while her carrots are roasting, so I got that going for me. Or maybe she does… the point is that you will never know.

Directions: I’m not really sure why we chose indie rock for this recipe but just go with it.  We think it works.  This recipe is easy and painless, giving you plenty of time to brood over the barista that forgot to put almond milk in your double machiato at your local used books and ironic leggings store.

Go ahead press play and preheat your oven to 425.

Peel your carrots and cut them into whatever shape most pleases you, I’m not into labels. If you are using canned chickpeas rinse them with cold water in a colander then lay them onto a paper towel and dry them off completely.

Grab a bowl, inside this bowl you will be mixing together some things.  These things include but are not limited to the harissa, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix that all up and then add the carrots and chickpeas making sure to coat all up in that ‘ish.

Put the aforementioned carrot mixture on a rimmed baking dish and spread it out so nothing is touching.  Slide it on in to the oven for 15.  Kick it. Perhaps In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is at full volume and you are literally on your knees weeping in the corner. Embrace it.

Flip the carrots. You’re going to say that flipping carrots and chickpeas is relatively challenging.  It’s damn near impossible. I don’t know just shake it up a little and throw it back in the oven for another 15, it should be good to go.

Take it out of the oven sprinkle some of your chopped parsley on there. We had this dish with our spicy peanut chicken recipe. Was dank.

Enjoy