Fish Tacos with a Chardonnay Parmesan Sauce

I used tortillas to make tacos in this recipe, does that mean that there is a Mexican influence in this dish? Living in Texas for 10 years, I never really got into Mexican food. Frankly, I don’t prefer it. When my friends and I would end the night out, we would always go to Kerbey Lane. They would always get queso to start with and ugh, I didn’t like it/I didn’t eat any of it. However, I do like guacamole and salsa. Anyway, when we would go to Trudy’s, I always ordered the club sandwich while everyone else would order tacos, burritos, and enchiladas.

What I’m saying is that, I found a new appreciation for tortillas. When I was interning at Oceana, one of the appetizers that I had to plate was fish tacos. It was topped with a lime-mayo sauce and served with pickled jalapeño peppers in a pink dipping sauce. I don’t like mayo so I made my own sauce.

[100% organic, wild hake]

For the Fish

  • 4 cups AP flour
  • 2 TBS ground coriander
  • 2 TBS cayenne pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ lb hake fillets or any other white fish

Cut fish fillets into thin strips and set aside.

In a ziplock bag, pour in the flour, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper. Shake it to mix well. Beat eggs in a bowl and set aside.

Work in batches, take a handful of sliced fish and drop them into the beaten eggs. Coat egg wash on each individual fish piece. Strain and give them a little shake before putting them into the ziplock bag. Close ziplock bag and shake to coat fish pieces. Take out of bag and place on a wire wrack with a sheet tray under it.

Freeze breaded fish until ready to use.

For the Sauce

  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1 TBS AP flour
  • ½ cup chardonnay
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper

In a small saucepan, melt the butter then add in the flour. Mix to combine well and cook for 1 minute to get rid of the raw flour taste. Whisk in the cream and wine. Cook until slightly thickened and add in the parmesan cheese, mix well to combine, and season with salt and pepper. Add a dash of cayenne pepper. Cool for 5 minutes and then place in a squeeze bottle.

Shake the bottle before using.

For the Tacos

  • White corn tortillas
  • 2 cups mesclun salad, packed

Scrunch up mesclun salad and slice thinly, set aside. Heat up tortillas according to package instructions.

For the Finish

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves (optional)
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt & pepper

In a deep fryer, heat oil to 350°F. Work in batches, fry fish pieces until golden brown. When fish are ready, let it cool for 2 minutes over a wire rack and season with salt & pepper.

TO ASSEMBLE

Take a pinch of the chopped salad and place in the center of the tortilla. Place fish pieces on top of salad, top with cilantro leaves, and drizzle sauce over the top. Serve immediately.

*I forgot to put the cilantro leaves on, under the sauce. Oops!

**Inspired from Oceana.

Anything can be made into a tiny serving: bite size!

Mixed Greens with Shaved Watermelon Radish & Ponzu Vinaigrette

Posting every Sunday didn’t work… I’m so busy with moving now. I can’t wait until the end of July 3. I will be done with school and all I’ll have left on my plate is graduation, early birthday party, and a 5-day holiday.

I love watermelon radishes. I find them so pretty to look at. At Oceana, we shave them with other baby vegetables. I found these radishes at the Union Square market but for some reason, my radishes didn’t really have a green exterior.

[100% organic]

For the Salad

  • Mixed greens
  • Watermelon radishes, thinly shaved

For the Vinaigrette

  • 2 TBS rice vinegar
  • ⅓ cup ponzu
  • ½ cup EVOO
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 TBS sesame oil
  • Salt & pepper

In a bowl, whisk rice vinegar with ponzu until combined then slowly add in the oils until fully emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle onto salad and toss.

Beets with Edamame Purée, Tomato Fondue & Frisée in Miso Vinaigrette

Soon I’ll be in the entremetier position at school and we each have to come up with a vegetarian dish. I usually get my spikes of creativity during grocery shopping without a shopping list! This creation bombarded my thought process while I was at Whole Foods on Sunday.

It took me three plates to come up with the right layering of the vegetables.

[100% organic]

For the Beets

  • 1½ lbs red and golden beets
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2 TBS EVOO

Preheat oven to 400°F. In two separate rectangular baking pans, place beets into them, separately by color, and season generously with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Wrap up the beets and place them in the hot oven for 45-60 minutes, until soft.

Remove the beets, set aside to cool, then peel them. Cut them into small squares, separately, then set aside.

For the Edamame Purée

  • ½ lb shelled edamame
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Salt

In a pot of boiling hot salted water, blanch edamame for 2 minutes. Cool in iced water and drain. Purée in a food processor with olive oil. I don’t like the edamame purée to be too smooth; I still like to keep some texture in it.

For the Tomato Fondue

  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Boil the tomatoes for 15 seconds in boiling water to remove the skin. Place in cold water with ice to stop the cooking process. Remove the skin with a pairing knife, cut the tomato in quarters and remove the seeds. Finely chop and set aside.

In a pan on medium-low heat, sweat shallots with 2 TBS olive oil. Then add in finely chopped tomatoes, smashed garlic, and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper and turn heat to low and cook until there is no more moisture, with a lid.

Remove garlic and thyme sprigs from tomato fondue and set aside.

For the Miso Dressing

  • 2 TBS chives, finely chopped
  • ½ cup EVOO
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBS miso paste
  • 3 TBS rice vinegar
  • 1 TBS honey
  • Juice of half lemon
  • Salt & freshly group pepper

In a large bowl, place the minced shallots, garlic, mustard, miso paste, rice vinegar, honey, and juice of half a lemon. Whisk them well until fully incorporated. In a steady stream, add in the EVOO while constantly whisking until fully emulsified. Then fold in the chopped chives.

For the Finnish

  • Frisée
  • Chives, finely chopped
  • Salt

Dress the red beets, golden beets, and frisée separately in bowls. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

On a cold plate, place a ring mold in the center. Firmly pack the red beets first, then the golden beets, scoop a generous amount of edamame purée, and lastly, fill the mold with tomato fondue. Top the mold with dressed frisée and spoon some miso vinaigrette around the plate. Garnish with chopped chives.

Fingerling Potatoes & Green Bean Salad in Miso Dressing

I love eating fingerling potatoes; they go great in salads and they’re so cute! I really liked this salad dressing and I’m finding more ways to use miso paste.

[100% organic]

For the Miso Dressing

  • 2 TBS chives, finely chopped
  • ½ cup EVOO
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 2 TBS miso paste
  • 3 TBS rice vinegar
  • 1 TBS honey
  • Juice of half lemon
  • Salt & freshly group pepper

In a large bowl, place the minced shallots, garlic, mustard, miso paste, rice vinegar, honey, and juice of half a lemon. Whisk them well until fully incorporated. In a steady stream, add in the EVOO while constantly whisking until fully emulsified. Then fold in the chopped chives.

For the Salad

  • ¼ lb green beans
  • ¼ lb fingerling potatoes
  • 2 cups salad leaves

Cut off the ends of the green beans and cut them in half. In a pot of salted boiling water, blanch the green beans and then place in an ice bath. Boil the potatoes until soft in the middle, about 15-20 minutes. Peel the skin and chop into thin slices. Toss the salad ingredients with a few tablespoons of the dressing and serve.

Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Timbale with Apple & Vinaigrette

I adapted this school recipe to serve 6 people. Yesterday at Whole Foods Market (Arcadia, CA), they didn’t have heads of frisée! WHY???? WHY!!!?!?! So I bought two different microgreens. I forgot how messy this dish gets when plating… you’ll have beet juice everywhere.

[100% organic]

For the Beets

  • 1½ lbs beets (5 beets)
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2 TBS EVOO

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with foil and generously salt the bottom layer. Place the beets on top of the salt layer. Season well and add 2 TBS of olive oil. Wrap up the beets and place them in the hot oven for 45-60 minutes, until done.

Remove the beets, set aside to cool, then peel them. Cut them into small squares when cool.

For the Vinaigrette

  • ½ cup EVOO
  • 4 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • ½ bunch fresh tarragon
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper

Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, shallots, and season. Do not over mix the olive oil or else it will become bitter. Add the tarragon leaves. Lightly dress the beets with the vinaigrette and set aside. Save some vinaigrette for herb salad and apple dice.

For the Finish

  • 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, chopped into small squares (rub with lemon to slow oxidation)
  • 6 oz. goat cheese
  • EVOO, as needed
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped roughly
  • ¼ cup chives, cut into 1-inch length
  • 1 head frisée, dark greens removed

Bring goat cheese to room temperature. With a wooden spoon, work the goat cheese to soften and season with salt and pepper. Add drops of EVOO as needed so that the cheese is spreadable.

TO ASSEMBLE

Using a ring mold, put beets 75% of the way up the ring mold. Top with the goat cheese spread. Remove ring mold.

In a separate bowl, mix together the herbs and frisée. Season with salt and pepper, then add some vinaigrette to lightly coat. Also, toss the apple dice with remaining vinaigrette. Place a small portion of the herb salad on top of the goat cheese and spoon some diced apples around the timbale with remaining vinaigrette.

*Adapted from the French Culinary Institute.

**Much thanks to my brother, cousins, and aunt for being my line cooks and sous chefs in the kitchen.