Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Taco Tuesday!

Made from fish I caught while testing #expertgear.
Last month I posted about two underutilized pieces of fish; the cheeks and the collar. I offered up quite a bit of info on how to cook the later so today I am going to concentrate on the former; fish cheeks. If you missed my post you can read it here.

One of the reasons I didn’t delve into much detail on how you can prepare fish cheeks is because most of the time you will only get a pair of them, as the limit on trophy striper is one. When the season opens up you can catch two fish, but those are usually smaller. That still isn’t very much meat and not near enough to make a full meal for the family. But if you are lucky enough to take your whole family out for the trip, or perhaps are on a boat where the other members don’t want the heads, then you are in business. I just happened to have both of those things occur on our trip last week. (If you missed that post check it out here.) I came home with seven large striper heads which meant 14 pieces of cheek meat and an overabundance (if there is such a thing) of collars. I will follow up with another post in the future on how I am going to prepare those collars. Until then keep taking your kids outdoors... (while we make fish tacos!)

1lb – 2lb Striped bass cheeks (you can substitute fillets if you can’t get cheeks)
2 limes
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 cup plain greek yogurt
Salt and pepper
Bag of coleslaw mix (minus the dressing)
Package soft flour tortillas
Cheese (optional)

Well-seasoned cast iron skillet
Citrus zester

Blackened seasoned striper cheeks.
Place cheeks on a plate or platter and season liberally with blackened seafood seasoning. (I prefer to use J.O. Spice’s blackened seasoning which can be purchased here.) Set aside. 
Cilantro-line yogurt sauce and freshly chopped cilantro.
In the meantime turn your burner on medium and place your cast iron skillet on the stove. Place your cup of greek yogurt in a dish and begin to shred the zest of half a lime into it, stirring after you are done. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into the yogurt as well. Stir. Chop up about a half of the cilantro and place half of that into the yogurt. Reserve the rest as a garnish. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can also add some blackened seasoning to the yogurt if desired. Set the yogurt aside to be used as a topping on the tacos. 
Cast Iron goodness.
By now your skillet should be nice and hot, take a tablespoon of butter and throw it into the skillet and coat the pan.
Striper cheeks in butter in cast iron skillet.
Now lay in some cheeks being careful to not overcrowd the pan. Sear the cheeks for a few minutes on each side (the time will depend on how thick the cheeks are). As they cook slice up the remaining lime into wedges to use on the tacos. Open the bag of coleslaw and use shredded cabbage and carrots as a topping as well. 
Fish cheek tacos!
Cook the remaining cheeks in the skillet, heat up your tortillas and dig in! 

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