• Cooking with JoJo: Lure guests with simple and delicious fish tacos

    By Joey Morasse -

    If you have never tried fish tacos, you are in for a treat. Using any inexpensive white fish pan seared to a golden brown or in this case, blackened using an intensely flavored adobo paste topped with fresh cilantro, caramelized onions, lime crema and a squeeze of lime on homemade corn tortillas, this recipe blows the traditional taco out of the water.

    What you’ll need for the fresh corn tortillas:

    • 2 cups masa harina, found in almost any store.

    • 1 ½ cups water.

    • Pinch of salt.

    In a small bowl, mix all ingredients by hand, making sure the mixture is not too wet or dry. If too wet, add a small amount of masa, if too wet, a sprinkle of water. It should pull away from the bowl just as if you were making bread dough. 

    If you’re like me and do not have a tortilla press, don’t worry. Take a medium to large Ziploc bag and cut the zipper off and cut up the sides for a makeshift press. Roll a golf ball-sized portion of mix and place it on one side of the plastic. Fold over the other side and using a small pot or pan, evenly press to form the tortilla. 

    In a hot, preferably cast-iron pan with no oil, cook for about 30 seconds per side.

    For the fish, in this case, tilapia, pat dry and coat each side with adobo paste. This paste can be found in your local store and has intense and delicious flavors from a combination of garlic, cumin, paprika, chili powder and blended with oil to make a paste. It is amazing on any meat baked, grilled or smoked. 

    In a hot skillet with ¼ cup olive or coconut oil, sear each side for one minute to form a crust, remove from the pan and roughly chop. Now it is time to assemble.

    Added items:

    • ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro.

    • ¼ to ½ cup caramelized onions.

    • 1 lime cut into wedges.

    • 2 fresh jalapenos, sliced long ways, seeds removed.

    • ½ cup fresh crema blended with juice of ½ lime to drizzle.

    On a warm tortilla, place the fish evenly and top with onions, cilantro, pepper slices and a generous drizzle of lime crema and a squeeze of lime juice. Traditionally, these are served with shredded cabbage, but I found sweet caramelized onions provided a great backdrop that blended well with the bolder flavored lime and cilantro. 

    This simple and quick take on tacos with surely have your guests hooked. 

    Enjoy.

    Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.

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