Restaurant Recreations: Anthony’s Fish Tacos

Who doesn’t enjoy a scrumptious meal made by another, have someone else wait on you, and exit the premises when it’s time to clean up?

As my eight year old would say, “Duh!”

The problem is that most people can’t afford this luxury on a regular basis, and even if they could, it’s not always convenient to drag along little ones for the ride. Not to mention, the meal isn’t always superb and the service might be disastrous. Lastly, if we indulged on a regular basis, we might end up having to buy a new, and larger, wardrobe. After all, one never knows what unhealthy ingredients a chef might use to make a dish tasty.

So why not bring your favorite restaurant meals home by recreating them?

This doesn’t mean you can never eat out again, but it does mean you can enjoy the same, wonderful dishes you eat out – in!

This is an enjoyable tradition in my household. And I’ll be the first to admit that the first attempt is not always successful. But that’s half the fun. You keep trying till you get it right. And soon, you’ll end up with a dish that’s even better than the original!

So the next time you sample a tasty restaurant treat, try to recreate it at home. You can start by asking the waiter what ingredients the chef used. Or check to see if there’s an ingredients list on the menu. You could even write and ask the restaurant if they’d be willing to part with the recipe, much like they do on Bon Appetit (one of my favorite sections of the magazine!). Better yet, experiment and share on my blog. Then we’ll all benefit.

Today’s Dish: Anthony’s Fish Tacos

Ever been to Anthony’s on the waterfront of Seattle? Along with the beautiful views are killer fish tacos. Very simple, indeed, but oh so delicious. You can also try them at SeaTac airport when you are laid over from the rain!

I attempted these tacos several times before I finally had it mastered. About the same time, I found the restaurant recipe online. You can compare the original recipe to mine and see how the two variations coincide in flavor though the preparation varies. My recipe makes enough for 6 tacos.

Step One: Marinate fish.

You can use any mild white fish, and in fact, Anthony’s serves up rockfish and mahi mahi. I used snapper when I made them, but I typically choose whatever looks the most fresh at the fish shop.

  • 1 pound white fish
  • 1/4 white wine
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBSP chopped garlic
  • 1 TBSP fresh spices (basil, oregano, parsley or combination of any)

If you don’t have fresh spices on hand, substitute 1 tsp of dried spices.

Marinate about 1 hour prior to cooking.

Note: An alternative to marinating is blackening the fish. When I do so, I sprinkle the fish with basil, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and cayenne. I actually think the combination of seasonings is just as tasty and doesn’t require the lead-time of marinating.

Step Two: Prepare salsa

  • 1 1/2 cups  chopped tomatoes
  • 2 TBSP chopped onions
  • 2 scallions, chopped, white and green parts
  • 1 TBSP chopped jalapeno pepper (or more if you like heat!)
  • 3-4 TBSP chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients and set aside. Can be made ahead.

Step Three: Prepare slaw

  • 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 2 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate. Sample and add more vinegar or mayonnaise, if desired.  This actually tastes better if prepared ahead of time.

Step Four: Cook and Assemble

Next, pan fry your fish about 2-3 minutes per side. If the fish is meaty enough, you can grill instead. Heat tortillas and top with fish, salsa and slaw. Garnish with sliced avocado and extra chopped scallions.

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Melinda Hinson