My husband has done mucho business travel lately and eaten roughly a metric ton of restaurant food. To hear him tell it, he’s good and tired of eating out. “It’s the same thing all the time! Bread, meat, brown stuff, heavy, low on the veggies! I want some home cooking!” Leaving aside the fact that I would love to throw in the towel and go out to dinner to celebrate his being home, I get it. You just plain feel BETTER and HEALTHIER when you eat food made at home on a regular basis.
I do get it. When you are eating at home, you have three distinct advantages: 1) Quality Control. You decide the quality and origins of your ingredients. 2) Portion Control. You are far more likely to eat a more reasonably sized portion at home. 3) Yoga pants. As in, you can wear them while you’re cooking AND while you’re eating. And bonus: No need to brush your hair! Is it just me or is that the perfect accompaniment to dinner?
…And still? My husband loves me.
And he LOVES my food! He is especially fond of the dish I’m sharing today: Baked Ranch Fish Tacos. Does it sound a little familiar? It uses the Baked Ranch Fish Nuggets I shared with you last week as the main building block. What you get is crunchy, Ranch-flavoured, oven-baked fish nuggets piled on top of Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salsa, topped with Pickled Red Onions, and drizzled with Smoked Paprika Chipotle Sauce.
These fish tacos are the perfect blend of textures -crunchy, creamy, snappy, and chewy- AND the perfect blend of flavours -salty, savoury, spicy, tangy, sweet- all in one hand held package. The big kids can’t get enough of them, and even the little kids love them, too, minus the scary, frightening, man-eating vegetables…
It’s not just a pretty and tasty package, though… This meal takes me a whopping 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish. This is assuming I have a bottle of Smoked Paprika Chipotle Sauce and a jar of Pickled Red Onions in the refrigerator, which I almost always do. If I don’t, the pickled red onions take about five minutes of hands on time and an hour of rest time, OR I can use purchased pickled onions OR skip them and put fresh, chopped red onion on the tacos. We prefer the pickled ones, though! The smoked paprika chipotle sauce clocks in at a five to ten minute project, too. What I’m saying is these are not complicated, difficult, or otherwise prohibitive to make. Besides all of this, they’re easy on the pocketbook, too!
- While the Baked Ranch Fish Nuggets are baking in the oven, mix up your Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salsa and lightly char your corn tortillas then wrap the tortillas in a clean towel. This will keep them warm and pliable while the fish nuggets finish baking.
- Serve this dish buffet style (with the dishes lined up on the counter) or family style (with dishes passed around the table) so that diners can assemble their own tacos. This makes the meal more interactive and fun, and keeps the tacos fresher than if you had assembled them yourself prior to serving.
Links to Recipes Used for Baked Ranch Fish Tacos
- Baked Ranch Fish Nuggets
- Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salsa
- Pickled Red Onions
- Smoked Paprika Chipotle Sauce
- 1 batch Baked Ranch Fish Nuggets
- 1 batch Sweet Corn and Black Bean Salsa
- Pickled Red Onions homemade, or purchased
- Smoked Paprika and Chipotle Sauce or purchase chipotle sandwich spread
- halved cherry tomatoes or seeded, chopped tomatoes
- fresh corn tortillas
- romaine or leaf lettuce, torn into long strips or leaves
- While the Baked Ranch Fish Nuggets bake, gently char the corn tortillas directly over the burner to give them a little colour and deeper flavour. Stack and wrap them in a clean towel as they come off of the burner to help keep them warm and pliable. Serve all of the ingredients buffet or family style and let diners assemble their own tacos immediately before eating.