Friday, August 19, 2011

My fear of Propane Tanks is Perpetuated.... and Fish Tacos with Grilled Corn and Red Cabbage Slaw



This summer I've learned you can grill pretty much anything.  Grilling fruit was a first for me when I made grilled peaches topped with cinnamon and honey for a light dessert.  I've read about others grilling pizza, although I have yet to try that one.  Grilled corn, nothing new to most of you, is an almost weekly favorite in our house.  I still want to get some fresh pineapple and throw that on the grill one of these days.




My confidence in using the grill has taken a turn for the worse, though.  The other night, I decided I needed to learn how to turn the thing on (if you remember from a previous post, I have a slight fear of propane tanks).  I usually leave the grilling to Jamie - he's so good at it, so why would I want to interfere?  But at any rate, I asked him to show me how to get it going, just in case I needed to know in an emergency.  What sort of emergency would require me to know how to use the grill, though, I have no idea, unless someone threatens me at gunpoint to make them a flame-broiled hamburger?  Unlikely, since our lives don't have that much drama!

So anyway, I turned on the gas (just like he said with 4 turns!), then turned the dial for - is it a burner? - whatever the thing is that gets the flame or gas moving.  I don't know.  And then pressed the ignition button.  And.......  nothing.  Over and over again.  Still more nothing.  Something I did apparently made the safety valve catch so that the grill wasn't allowing any gas through.  I'm not sure I'm willing to take the blame for this little malfunction, because really, how can there be a wrong way to open the gas valve?  

Now, if I had been doing this by myself, I would have started to feel a little panicky at this point.  This is that moment where I fear that so much gas has been allowed to escape from the tank that by the time it does finally catch and light, that it's going to explode.  But in the end, we just had to wait a half hour or so for it to reset itself before it would light, while our stomachs growled thinking about the chicken leg quarters waiting to be grilled to juicy perfection.



In addition to our love for grilling, we also love fish tacos!  Depending on how you make them, they are a heart-healthy dinner that's also pretty inexpensive since you don't need a lot of meat.  We've made them with all kinds of fish, including salmon seasoned with chili and lime and topped with avocado, which was amazing, and we almost always make some kind of slaw to top them off with.

White fish like tilapia and cod and catfish can get a little boring if you go too light on the seasoning, so season it up!  On a recent fish taco night, I was staring at a couple of filets of cod, wondering what to do with them.  To make it a little more interesting, I prepared the fish two ways.  One filet got a generous sprinkling of Jamaican jerk seasoning from the cupboard.  And the other filet got a nice crispy coating of Panko bread crumbs.  Baked in the oven until cooked through and flaky, it couldn't have been easier to prepare.

While the fish was cooking, I rummaged around for something to top the fish with.  We had some corn on the cob, and a lonely little quarter of a head of red cabbage leftover from something, which was begging to be used up, and a little fresh basil.  I knew I wanted to grill the corn and slice it off the cob to put on the fish, so I thought, why not grill the cabbage too?  I cut it into a few big chunks, drizzled with some olive oil and sprinkled it with salt and pepper, and onto the grill it went!




The result was oh-so-good!  Grilling the cabbage gave it a much richer flavor and texture than eating it raw, and the corn, cabbage, tomatoes and basil in the slaw came together in such a summery, flavorful "salad" that it was perfect on our fish tacos.

Fish Tacos with Grilled Corn and Red Cabbage Slaw

for the fish:
  • 2 filets of white fish, such as cod, catfish or tilapia
  • 2 teaspoons Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 small whole-wheat tortillas
for the slaw:
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, cut into 3-4 large chunks
  • 2 ears corn
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
  • salt and pepper
  • lime juice
  • cayenne pepper
  • olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with foil.
Season both of the fish filets with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle one with the Jamaican jerk seasoning.  Take the second filet and dust it with the flour.  Dip it in the beaten egg, then coat in bread crumbs.

Bake the fish on the foil lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, heat the grill to medium high.  Drizzle the cabbage with a little olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Grill the cabbage and the corn (still in the husk) until nicely charred, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove the corn husk and silk and slice the corn off the cob and place in a bowl.  Dice the cabbage and add to the bowl.  Add the cherry tomatoes and basil.  Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper (go easy, you can add more later if you want).  Add a squeeze of lime juice.  Toss it all together, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Build your tacos with a little of each kind of fish and a scoop of the slaw.  Makes 8 tacos.