It would appear that my eyesight is on the way out. I’d been warned that it would happen after I turned 40, but pompously I dismissed such negative jibber jabber until the other day when I read a crossword clue out loud to my family. “What’s a Mexican shack, four letters, T then A then something then O”?
Mr VS looked at me incredulously. Miss F was perplexed. Not put off, I continued. “You would know, Mr VS, after all that backpacking you did in central America. Is there a fancy name for a Mexican shack?”
But then of course I looked harder at the clue and had to concede that possibly, just maybe, it was asking me the name of a Mexican SNACK. Which made much more sense and caused large amounts of merriment for my nearest and dearests. Miss F patted me comfortingly and reassured me, “it IS very small writing, mama.”
Personally, I think they and their condescending ways can an all go to hell and buggered if I’m ever going to risk the ribbing of serving them tacos ever again. Which is a shame, considering how delicious these fish ones are. They’re easy too – the only hassle being crumbing the nugget-sized bits of fish. But hey, that’s why we have children and their nimble fingers. Line them up at the counter – each in charge of part of the process and you’ll be done in no time. Just make sure you cook these on the night before you plan to mop the floor.
This is a perfect meal to serve friends and family – you can make the coleslaw a few hours ahead, and the fish can be crumbed and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
500g firm white fish fillets (cheaper fish like ling or even flake will do – obviously if you have more money, barramundi is delicious!)
1/4 cup plain flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs (they give much more crunch, but if you can’t find them regular breadcrumbs will do)
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp cumin powder
1/4 white cabbage (about 4 cups), thinly shredded
1 large carrot, peeled, grated
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise then sliced into half moons (scrape the seeds out first if you can be bothered)
3/4 cup Greek yoghurt (about a 200g tub)
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup each coriander & parsley (add these after you’ve served the kids if green flecks will cause too much grief).
1 large (or 2 small) avocadoes
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 small tomato, finely diced
Juice of 1 lime
To serve: tortillas, pickled jalapenos
For the fish:
Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and spray with oil spray.
Slice the fish fillets into evenly sized pieces (about chicken nugget size is good)
Grab three bowls. Pop the flour into one, whisk the egg into another and mix the panko, herbs and spices in the third.
Drop the fish into the flour. Shake off any excess and dip into the egg (coat thoroughly), then drop into the breadcrumb mixture and press on a nice even coating. Place onto your oven tray.
Spray with oil spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and cooked through.
For the coleslaw:
Mix the vegies in a salad bowl. Whisk together the yoghurt, juice and oil and pour over. Toss the herbs in now or leave them on the side for adults to mix in once the kids have been served.
For the guacamole:
Mash the avocado in a bowl and mix in the other ingredients.
Prepare the tortillas according to packet directions. Smear over some guacamole; add some coleslaw and fish pieces. Adults might like some jalapenos. Enjoy!
Feeds 2 adults & 3 kids