What’s For Dinner?
Willie Rae's Fish Tacos
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
From the Menu of . . . Willie Rae's
25 N. Park Square, Marietta
Q: My husband and I used to live in Marietta and now live in Lyon, France, the gastronomy capital of the world. But we really miss the fish tacos from Willie Rae's restaurant on the Marietta Square!
- Kari Masson, Lyon, France
A: "We took a Southern California recipe and put a little Lowcountry twist on it with the seasonings that we use, which made it more of a Louisiana fish taco, " said Willie Rae's chef-owner Ben Lyman. True to his restaurant's claim of "creative Cajun and Southwestern cuisine, " the tacos are loaded with such spicy flavors as cilantro, jalapeno, poblano and cayenne. The fish are coated in cornmeal for added Southern style.
Hands on time: 20 minutes Total time: 20 minutes Serves: 4
Oil for frying
3/4 cup self-rising yellow cornmeal mix
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup water
1 pound fresh tilapia, cut into 8 strips
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
Cilantro Jalapeno Tartar Sauce (recipe below)
1/6 head green cabbage, shaved or very finely sliced (2-3 cups, divided use)
Tomatillo Salsa (recipe below)
Lime wedges for garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
CILANTRO JALAPENO TARTAR SAUCE
Hands on: 8 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
You'll have enough tartar sauce to top each taco with a full tablespoon, but you'll probably find that 1 or 2 teaspoons per taco is plenty --- this sauce is packed with tangy flavor.
1/2 cup mayonnaise (such as Hellmann's)
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon capers
1 teaspoon chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno peppers, chopped
Zest of 1/2 lime
1 1/2 cups
Hands on: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes
You can crank up the heat in this salsa by switching to a hotter chile pepper, such as serrano, or by adding a dash of cayenne. Leftovers can be served with tortilla chips.
1/2 pound (about 6) tomatillos, husked, stemmed and thoroughly rinsed, cut into quarters
1/4 small red onion
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 poblano pepper, stem and seeds removed
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
To assemble the tacos, warm the tortillas in a dry pan or directly over the flame of a gas stove; do not let burn. In the center of each tortilla, place a dollop of Cilantro Jalapeno Tartar Sauce (about 2 teaspoons) and about 1/4 cup shaved cabbage. Top with 2 pieces of fried fish and 1 tablespoon Tomatillo Salsa. Garnish with a squirt of lime juice and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.
To make tartar sauce:
In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, cilantro, mustard, capers, onion, jalapeno and lime zest. Adjust flavors to taste. Chill for 30 minutes.
Per serving: 102 calories (percent of calories from fat, 96), trace protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, 12 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 5 milligrams cholesterol, 87 milligrams sodium.
To make salsa:
Place the tomatillos, red onion, cilantro, poblano and lime juice in a food processor or blender; pulse to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Per serving: 6 calories (percent of calories from fat, 17), trace protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium.