Carla Snyder’s new book keeps things simple in the kitchen
When I heard that Carla Snyder had a new “One Pan” book, I begged her for a recipe. I love the concept of making a whole meal in one pan–less cleanup equals more time for nookie. With One Pan, Whole Family, Carla uses the concept to make meals that can feed the brood. But that doesn’t mean they can’t also be used to spark a little romance. Recipes like her Asian Style Fish Tacos are rich with ingredients that may please the taste buds of a crowd but they also feed the flames of passion with ingredients like avocado, honey, garlic and, of course, fish.
Asian Style Fish Tacos for a weeknight aphrodisiac
I love this recipe not only because she skips artery clogging (and libido-killing) frying in favor of saute. And, as Carla comments, “It’s faster and easier to get done on a busy weeknight. I’m really into the toppings on tacos and this warm slaw with Asian flavors is one of my favorites. Rice vinegar, soy, honey and sesame oil season bagged slaw to a T and the zippy lime mayo and avocado add richness and depth to what might be my favorite dinner in the book. I’ve kept it simple here but feel free to add pickled red onions, jalapenos and sliced bell peppers to jazz it up if you have the time.”
Carla’s Pickled Onions
She even shared her tip for pickling onions:
Combine 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large microwave safe measuring cup or bowl and microwave until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture if hot, about 2 minutes. Immediately add 1 small thinly sliced red onion and push it under the liquid. Let sit for 10 minutes, then use as you’d like. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1/4 cup [10 g] cilantro
- 2 green onions
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 limes
- 1- lb [455 g] tilapia snapper, catfish or other white fish
- 1/2 tsp salt plus more for sprinkling
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 tsp Asian sesame oil
- 1/3 cup [80 g] mayonnaise
- 8- oz [230 g] packaged cole slaw mix
- 8 to 10 corn tortillas warmed
- Roasted peanuts as an accompaniment
On a large cutting board, peel, pit and slice the avocado and transfer it to a small plate. Chop the cilantro and slice the green onions and transfer them to a medium bowl.
Mince the garlic, halve 1 lime and quarter the other.
Cut the fish into pieces about 4-in long and salt and pepper them.
Combine the vinegar, 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, soy, honey and sesame oil in a small bowl.
Combine the mayonnaise and the juice of 1/2 lime in another small bowl.
Heat a 12-in [30.5 cm] skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
When the oil shimmers, add the seasoned fish to the pan in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the fish for 3 minutes, turn it over and cook the other side for another 3 minutes.
Transfer the fish to a plate and keep warm while cooking the remaining fish in the same manner.
Add the garlic to the hot pan and saute for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add the vinegar mixture to the pan and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly add the coleslaw mix, stirring to combine it well.
Immediately transfer the warmed slaw to the bowl with the cilantro and green onion, mixing well.
Taste and squeeze in the remaining halved lime and a sprinkle of salt and pepper if it needs it.
Warm the tortillas, covered with microwave-safe wrap in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Serve the slaw, avocado, fish, tortillas, quartered limes, lime mayo and peanuts at the table for the family to assemble their own tacos any way they like them.
Notes: I like beer with tacos and just about any beer you want to drink will be terrific with the fish. Why not try something local you’ve never tried before? Any IPA will work beautifully.
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