I must confess that when I saw the recipe for panko-crusted fish tacos on A Cup of Jo, I hardly read it, just gave it a brief glance and vaguely thought that it sounded good. I tend to read blogs over breakfast, though, so in my defence, I wouldn't have been in the mood for fish tacos at that time of day.
I remembered them a few days later, when I was in Whole Foods looking for dinner inspiration. I was in the seafood department, admiring the lobster tails and wondering whether I'd ever have the nerve to cook lobster, and noticed some rather good looking cod*. I remembered that I'd decided to cook more white fish this summer**, and then I remembered the panko-crusted fish tacos.
I'm going to make those, I instantly vowed, and before you know it I was buying a small piece of cod.
I went off-recipe, of course. Why use a perfectly good recipe when I can just make it up as I go along? I knew we had some kale at home that needed to be used***, and I was pretty certain a lime and an avocado were floating around somewhere also. We pretty much always have tortillas in the freezer. Asian-inspired fish tacos would be easy.
Easy is the perfect word to describe these. They can be made really quickly, they don't use many ingredients, and if you are missing anything, substitutions are easy. It turned out our avocado was beyond hope, so I chucked it and whipped up some lime mayo instead to add something creamy. If you're not a kale fan, some spinach or a bit of dressed lettuce or cabbage would work just fine. If you can't find a lime, use a lemon. You could even go full circle and use the original inspiration recipe if you want (because that also looks incredibly good).
It should be noted that these ones are delicious, by the way. I feel a bit lame saying that about my own cooking, but I have external validation: H1 ate these one night, then ate fish tacos the following night also, while out for dinner with some friends. He said mine were better than the restaurant's. So there you go.
Have you ever found a new favourite by totally disregarding the original inspiration recipe? And what is it?
*Inasmuch as cod can ever be good looking.
**We ate a lot of white fish in London, but for some reason we don't in New York. Time to change that.
***Apparently this is a perpetual state for us.