Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wild Alaskan Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Spicy Cilantro-Pepita Pesto


Way too long ago I received a fun letter from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute  (check out their website for great recipes too!) inviting me to participate in the Alaska Fish Taco Campaign. I jumped on board immediately partly because I was born & raised in Alaska. I am proud to admit that I am a fish snob. I really can taste the difference in Wild Alaskan Seafood. It just tastes like it's fresher, cleaner, and I like supporting the work of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute that promotes seafood that is "wild, natural, & sustainable." Lots has happened in my life over the last couple months so I was not as involved as I could have been with this project. One blogger participating will win a trip to Alaska! While of course that would be nice, at least I got around to experimenting and coming up with these fish taco babies! I love a good fish taco and of course I love fried fish but I don't love the calories. The cool thing about this version is it gives you the texture and taste of beer battered deep fried fish but without the extra calories! Enjoy!

For these tacos you could use any type of wild Alaskan whitefish. I decided to use wild Alaskan cod because I like the mild flavor of it when it mixes with all the other flavors in the tacos.



It was about $7.50 for 8oz. of this Wild Alaskan Cod from Whole Foods.

I used local Utah beer the Hyve Honey Ale 
I found these French Meadow Bakery-Fat Flush Tortillas at Whole Foods, so good!


Spicy Cilantro-Pepita Pesto
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 TBS diced jalapenos, depending on desired heat (I used the Mezetta brand of jarred tamed jalapenos)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pumpkin seeds
  • 2 TBS water
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and white pepper to taste



Directions:
  1. Chop garlic and let sit for awhile. Meanwhile prepare other ingredients. 
  2. Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Save the olive oil for last and drizzle in. You want the pesto to be blended yet not smooth. It is best with a little texture. Serve at room temperature. 



  • Beer Battered Fish Tacos with Spicy Cilantro-Pepita Pesto 
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup beer 
  • 8 ounces Wild Alaskan Cod, cut crosswise into 1-inch wide strips
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 4  sprouted grain whole grain tortillas, warmed
  • Toppings: Avocado, tomato, cotija cheese, green cabbage (shredded in a food processor), low-fat sour cream, spicy cilantro-pepita pesto. 



  1. Combine flour, cumin, salt and cayenne in a medium bowl. Whisk in beer to create a batter.
  2. Coat cod pieces in the batter. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Letting excess batter drip back into the bowl, add the fish to the pan; cook until crispy and golden, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Serve the fish with tortillas, pesto, and toppings. Just evenly distribute toppings, fish, & pesto between 4 tortillas. (You might  be able to get 6 tacos out of this recipe!)



I wish more people would realize how much better wild Alaskan seafood tastes and how much better it is for the environment. I love the idea of having more fish taco tuesdays as a way to get more fish into my diet. The only problem I have with fish is the way the fish smell lingers in my house for days after! Anyone have any tips or ideas on how to not let that happen??? 

It's show week and I'm SO EXCITED! I'll do a post about the show tomorrow! It's my last show with the company which is bittersweet but it's such a fun show to perform so that makes it a great note to end on. I also have another OXO product giveaway to do soon!




Au Revoir,

BETSY

*Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute sent me 2 $25 gift cards to help with the cost of the ingredients for this post. However, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pesto Love: Raw Carrot-Pistachio & Parsley, Lemon, Walnut Pesto Recipes

 These past two months have gone by so fast and were filled with a lot of days of sadness & stress combined with the the joy & stress of adding a new furry friend to our family. Having this new dog has in a funny (and surprisingly) way made me get more done and be more clean around the house. My husband and I wake up around 6:30 AM to take Bandit on a short walk. Then my husband comes home to let him out at lunch and as soon as I get home from work, we are off on another walk/run/trip to the park, to throw some balls. I look forward to some day having a backyard for Bandit to play in but for now we are making the best of what we have.

 I haven't been on the blog much as you can see but as always I've still been cooking away! One of my favorite foods is pesto. The traditional basil pesto, is made a lot during the summer at our house. We have it on pasta, eggs, bruschetta, and sometimes just right off of a spoonful! Pesto is an Italian word that means to pound or to crush, as it was traditionally made with a mortar & pestle.  I think it's quite fun to try all the different ways you can throw some basics together to make different types of pesto! I've made pesto with jalapenos & arugula,  kale & walnut, garlic pesto, sun dried tomatoes......all so tasty! That's why I was excited to see the March issue of Whole Living Magazine included these two recipes:



Carrot-Pistachio Pesto 
with Bulgar and Chickpeas
(from Whole Living Magazine)


Ingredients 
1/2 cup cracked bulgur
3/4 cup boiling water
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
(15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried fruit, such as currants, golden raisins, or chopped apricots
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped (1 cup)
1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic (about 1 small clove)
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon wedge


  • Directions
    1. Place bulgur in a heatproof bowl and add boiling water. Season with a pinch of salt and cover with a plate until water is absorbed and bulgur is tender, about 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in chickpeas, scallion, dried fruit, and mint.
    2. Meanwhile, pulse carrots, garlic, and pistachios in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Drizzle in oil and process until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. Stir pesto into bulgur mixture. Squeeze with lemon and adjust seasoning, if necessary.






This salad tastes great the next day for lunch!


     I made a full meal out this salad by pairing it with an ATCC (avocado, tomato, reduced-fat cream cheese, pepper, pinch of truffle salt) sandwich!


Parsley, Lemon, and Walnut Pesto 
on Roasted Sweet Potatoes
(From Whole Living Magazine)


Ingredients


  • 4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic (about 1 small clove)
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, toasted
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast, turning once, until golden and tender, 23 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, pulse parsley, garlic, walnuts, zest, and lemon juice in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Drizzle remaining 6 tablespoons oil and process until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Top roasted sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons pesto. I went ahead and put all of the pesto on the potatoes and tossed to mix together. 

We had our sweet potatoes as a side dish served with a veggie burger with Swiss cheese & avocado.

Au Revoir,

BETSY


 

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