Cracker, what?

A few weeks back, I received a large box of assorted crackers from Westminster Cracker Company. I was psyched to get them since I love crackers (especially oyster crackers!) but I wasn’t sure what to do with them. I thought about just throwing them into a soup or stew, but that didn’t seem to exciting to me. So, I figured why not try to use oyster crackers as a coating on baked fish? Since I don’t know much about fish, I wasn’t sure what type I should try the coating with. My first thought was cod, but that seemed kind of boring. Plus, Wegmans had some large bags of frozen tilapia, so that’s what ultimately aided in my decision. Paired with some french fries, it was my own fun spin on fish ‘n chips!

This past Monday marked the official beginning of our Philly marathon training. So, we ran the Firecracker 4 miler on Monday, another 4 miles on Wednesday, 5 on Saturday, and then we tackled 8 on Sunday. Since I’ve been battling shin splints on and off since November (I’m going to get rid of them this time!), I’ve been nervous to increase my mileage. I’ve decided that this time, though, unlike all of the others, I’m going to try to keep my pace significantly slower. I think the combination of the faster pace plus the increased mileage is what has caused me trouble in the past. Fingers crossed!

In addition to the running, this week I also had a solid yoga class on Saturday, and went swimming on Sunday! I really wish there was a gym nearby that had a pool, I really miss it sometimes. I’m tempted every now and then to look up masters programs and check them out, but I’m yet to bite the bullet on that. Maybe one day. Perhaps it was my time in the pool on Sunday that inspired me to make the oyster cracker baked tilapia and fries for dinner that night. Or it was just because we had a giant bag of frozen fish in the freezer. Either way.

Once the fish were thawed, the recipe took a total of 20 minutes (including cooking time). I cheated a little and just had frozen french fries, but that’s because last week at Wegmans the fiancé bought a giant bag of them. Might as well use them up! Now that we still have quite a few filets left, I’m thinking fish tacos are definitely in order. But next time you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner, and you have a bunch of crackers (any kind will do) on hand, you should consider this!

Cracker Crusted Tilapia
– Serves 2 –

4 small tilapia filets
2 cups crushed crackers of your choice (I used Westminster Oyster Crackers)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beatten

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Meanwhile, beat two eggs in a shallow bowl, and crush crackers over a large plate, mixing in the cheese. Take each filet, dip it in the egg mixture, and then place it on the plate. Flipping it from side to side and pressing, make sure the filets are coated with the cracker crumbs. Place each filet on a well greased baking sheet.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the fish begins to flake.

A Little Fishy

True story: I have never had fish tacos. I have no idea how I’ve managed to skip over that, considering the amount of tacos, burritos, etc., that I eat. Yet somehow, in my 24 years I’ve yet to have a fish taco. Well, that all changed on Sunday night, when I decided to attempt to make my very own baja fish tacos. Oh yeah – you didn’t think I wasn’t going to beer batter and deep-fry those bad-boys, did you?

Like breakfast food, I’m typically not a big seafood fan either. Aside from a good piece of salmon, the occasional tuna steak or tuna sandwich, maybe a crab cake and of course sushi, I really don’t eat fish (I actually can’t stand shrimp or lobster). And as for the aforementioned foods, I eat each of them probably about once a year (with the exception of sushi which is maybe 3 times). But, deep frying things tends to hide their flavor, at least a bit, so I’ll always eat a piece of fried fish. It’s true that they say everything tastes better fried. I challenge you to find a food that tastes better not fried!

Anyway, it’s pretty straight forward and easy. Of course the whole hot bubbling oil thing freaks me out, but I was able to get past it, by standing far away from the stove. Plus this time I was smart enough to put it in a big pot, instead of in a shallow skillet – that helped a lot. It was a nice end to a productive weekend.

Baja Style Fish Tacos
– Makes about 8 tacos –

1/2 pound fish (I used cod, but you could use haddock, flounder, or fluke)
8 corn or flour tortillas
6 Tbsp flour
6 Tbsp beer (any kind will do)
1 cup canola oil (for frying)
1/2 cup shredded cabbage (I used a coleslaw mix)
1/4 cup diced tomatoes and jalapeno mixture (I used Rotel)
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (Chobani, of course)
Dash of your favorite hot sauce
Squeeze of a lime

1. In a bowl, combine flour and beer – it’ll be kind of like a pancake mixture.
2. Cut fish into small cubes, and drop into flour and beer mixture. Stir to combine and fully coat fish.
3. In a separate bowl, combine Greek yogurt, hot sauce, and lime. Make sure to mix well to fully incorporate.
4. In a deep skillet, heat oil. Once heated, carefully drop pieces of fish into oil. Cook on first side about 6-8 minutes till golden brown. Flip onto the other side and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes.
5. While fish is cooking, assemble tortillas with  yogurt mixture first, followed by cabbage, then tomato mixture. Once fish is complete, place 2-3 pieces on each tortilla.