Yesterday I really wanted tacos. Today, I’m eating tacos. Follow your dreams.Unknown
“People are lonely,” Sam Sifton writes. “They want to be part of something, even when they can’t identify that longing as need. They show up. Feed them. It doesn’t get more complicated than that.”
I’ve been writing about how Sunday Dinners rejuventate family, fun, togetherness and food and drink since I started this blog. Now more than ever do we need our familial community—whether it be virtual or in person—to share of ourselves and be one with those you love.
It was refreshing to see Sam Sifton’s new book, See You on Sunday, featured recently. As the food editor for The New York Times, he knows a thing or two about food and about gathering and he conveys his love and adventure with food daily in his columns. It’s one column that gets dropped to my inbox daily which I read religiously as if it were the holy grail for food inspiration. I don’t always cook the recipes, though his stories make any recipe come to life—so much so that you’re want to try it immediately and report back to your best friend with a photo.
See You on Sunday shares tried and true and actually easy and “normal” dinners that all families would love to enjoy at the kitchen table. From Birds to Big Meats and Big Pots to Pizza, Desserts and Taco Night, there are 14 chapters in his delicious book with something for everyone. And as I have come to know with family and friends over the years, it truly is about the gathering, the sharing, the conversation and the friendship over a meal that makes the world go ’round.
There’s just something about a homemade, casual, taste-infused meal like tacos in which sharing comes alive. It’s a universal food now that nearly everyone can enjoy in so many forms. Carne asada, pork carnitas, shrimp, veggies, chicken—You name it—and there’s a taco named after it!
The beauty of a tacos for a Sunday dinner is that you can literally make a few versions and share them family-style with all sorts of shared toppings—including red salsa, green salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese, peppers, onions, sliced radish, cilantro, guacamole, sliced avocado—and the taco toppings go on! Everyone can assemble their tacos themselves, in their own way, and the conversation never skips a beat. In fact, it may actually get even livelier, especially over margaritas and mojitos.
One taco variety I love is a good savory fish taco. With halibut being in season right now, there’s hardly a better combination for summer freshness and flavor at the dinner table. I’ve taken Sam’s recipe for fish tacos and kicked it up a notch with the halibut.
The halibut can be grilled, sauteed or fried. Throw it in a crunchy corn shell, a soft warm flour tortilla, or make a bowl. There are several great gluten-free taco shells and tortillas made by Siete. (Read more about their heart-warming story.) Add some fresh salsa, crisp cabbage, and a smooth cream sauce and you’ve got a meal worth serving to any friend or family that crosses your threshold this Sunday. Sometimes the best dinners are the easiest ones so you can sit with your guests and chill.
As Sam also says, “The best Sunday suppers offer memories that last forever.” Enjoy this Sunday’s dinner and the tacos you create together.
Sunday Dinner: Halibut Fish Tacos
- 12-inch fry pan
- 2 medium tomatoes seeded and finely chopped
- 1 small red onion peeled and finely diced
- 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and finely diced
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 lime cut in half
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 pounds firm white fish (e.g., flounder, halibut), cut across grain into strips about 1/2" wide x 3" long
- 1/2 cup peanut oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Corn or Flour Tortillas
- 2-3 cups shredded green cabbage
For the Salsa:
- In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno, if using. Add salt to taste.
For the Crema:
- In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream until well combined. Season to taste with the juice of a halved lime. Season to taste with salt and pepper and chile powder.
For the Fish:
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pour the milk into another medium bowl, and place the fish into it.
- Pour the peanut oil into a 12-inch frying pan and place over medium high heat until it shimmers and is about to smoke, Remove the fish pieces from the milk bath and dredge them lightly through the flour mixture, shaking to remove the excess. Add the butter to the pan. Place some of the fish pieces in the oil, without crowding them, and cook until deep golden brown on one side, approximately 3-4 minutes. Turn carefully and cook 1 minute more. Remove to a warmed paper-towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining fish.
- Warm your tortillas.
- Fill each tortilla with 3 pieces of fish, followed by the tomato salsa, and a pinch of the cabbage. Drizzle with the crema. Have additional salsa, limes and crema on side.