Nantucket is a beautiful island off the coast of Massachusetts, and I first discovered it back in the late 80’s. Yes, yes I know; many of you were just born around that time! 🙂 Anyway, for the past few summers, Tim and I have taken our boys to Nantucket, and we’ve all fallen in love with the place. Once the whaling capital of the world, Nantucket is now a vacation destination where visitors can walk down cobblestone streets in the old town, ride bikes, sun themselves at the beach, grab a fishing rod and try their hand at catching a fish, eat great seafood (especially the fish tacos at Millie’s), go boating, and a whole lot more. For this month’s Recipe Redux challenge, I was charged with taking a favorite vacation food and making it healthier, so I decided to play around with a fish taco of my very own.
One of the cool things about Nantucket is the remote beaches. One afternoon during our week-long visit this August, we drove our four-wheel Jeep to Great Point where the boys had an opportunity to go fishing. Yours truly opted out of that activity.
Josh and Simon would fish all day if given the opportunity!
After getting skunked at the beach, we decided to rent a boat for a morning and give Great Point another try. We figured we’d have better luck offshore. By noon, the boys had hooked over a dozen bluefish. We took one home and Tim cooked it up for lunch. Fish sandwich anyone?
The testosterone kicked in when my husband gutted and filleted the fish. The boys were fascinated.
One of our favorite beaches is out in Madaket. After the beach, we love to head over to Millie’s for fish tacos. Millie’s is also a fun spot for watching the sunset.
This grilled striped bass in corn tortillas with tomato and sweet corn salad, guacamole, and lime sour cream hit the spot. Other than the sour cream, it’s pretty darn healthy.
For this month’s Recipe Redux, I decided to create my favorite Nantucket fish taco meal at home. We’re big fans of fish tacos around here; I typically cook up a pound and a half of tilapia fillets, lay out a bunch of toppers, and tell everyone to have fun creating their own.
For this taco recipe, I offered my family roasted bell peppers, caramelized red onion, fresh cilantro, and guacamole for the toppers. But you don’t have to stop there. Other topper options we’ve enjoyed include black beans, corn kernels, grilled portobello mushrooms, coleslaw, salsa, and light sour cream, and of course, fresh lime juice.
- 1½ pounds tilapia fillets (4 to 6 fillets)
- 2 tablespoons of your favorite marinade (I used Baja Seafood Cooking & Grilling Sauce)
- As many flour tortillas (or corn tortillas) as you want
- 3 bell peppers, quartered, tossed with EVOO and grilled or roasted (or sliced thin and sauteed)
- 1 red onion, cut into thin half-moon-shaped slices and caramelized in a skillet
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, washed and separated into sprigs.
- Other topper options: Corn kernels, beans, salsa, coleslaw, light sour cream, lime wedges
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the tilapia on a cutting board and slice each fillet down the center where the fish connects to create 2 smaller fillets. Place in a bowl, add the marinade, and toss until evenly coated. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Place the fillets on a baking sheet and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork and is cooked through, about 12 minutes.
- To build the tacos, heat each tortilla individually on a dinner-size plate for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Place one piece of fish down the center of the tortilla and top with any or all topping ingredients. Roll up burrito style and enjoy.
The worst part about Nantucket is leaving.
Until next year …