Our meals aren't always plated and staged, but they are intended to nourish our family. To bring us together, every night (or most nights), around our kitchen table. To be away from our computers and our phones. To eat.

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Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa: Why Home Cooking is Important

Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa

My sophomore year of college, I had a revelation: that I had the power to feed myself. And I’m not talking about grabbing burritos from the local taqueria (though I did that plenty) or scarfing down a package of mini Hostess donuts (I did that, too). Like the know-how to jump start my car or balance a checkbook, learning how to cook — even the basics — was empowering. I was no great chef: much of my cooking revolved around boxes of pasta and canned sauces, but I pulled things together. I was realistic, not optimistic, as I am about most things in life.

Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa

Slowly, I realized that cooking had a powerful effect not only on my wallet, but on my body. I started educating myself about what it meant to eat healthy. It wasn’t about cutting out entire food groups, or eating everything low-fat. It was about making conscientious decisions. To skip sugar in my coffee. To replace fat-laden bottled salad dressings (calorie bombs!) with rich-bodied home-made ones. To skip the cookies from the bakery by my work in lieu of homemade treats on the weekend. Again, I took the realistic approach. I didn’t swear off all bread and pasta, or devote myself to a life free of sugar.

Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa

Most nights we cook at home with sheer speed and determination. There’s a lot of multi-tasking involved, roughly chopped herbs, and eyeballing measurements. We reserve more demanding recipes and experiments for the weekends, when we know we can enjoy them more. And for weeknights, we make realistic plans. We try to focus on fresh vegetables. We opt for fast-cooking proteins, like chicken or fish. And many of our favorite recipes are often on heavy rotation.

Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa

But as we did before we had Neko, we have made home-cooked meals a priority in our house. They are not always fancy. In fact, they most certainly are often no more fancy than yours: we eat a lot of Whole Foods sausages and simple roasted broccoli, these carrots. Sometimes I think they are not blog-worthy but after reading this wonderful piece from Mark Bittman about why it is important to commit to cook real (easy) food, I feel compelled to tell you that we want the food you find here to not feel like it’s unachievable. Some recipes may be more complicated but many, I hope, you can tackle on any given weeknight like we do. Our meals aren’t always plated and staged, but they are intended to nourish our family. To bring us together, every night (or most nights), around our kitchen table. To be away from our computers and our phones. To eat.

Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa

Fish Tacos with Pomegranate Salsa
adapted from Yummy Supper

For the salsa:
Pomegranate seeds from 1 large pomegrante
1/4 cup of freshly-squeezed lime juice
handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of diced shallot
1 small jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
sea salt or kosher salt, to taste

For the fish:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
juice from 3 limes
sea salt and freshly grated pepper, to taste
1 pound of rock cod or tilapia

for serving:
warmed corn tortillas
crème fraîche
cilantro leaves and lime quarters

1. In a small bowl, combine the pomegranate seeds, lime juice, cilantro, shallot, jalapeño, and salt. Toss gently with a spoon and then let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Add the olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper to a medium bowl. Add the fish and toss to coat. Let the fish hang out in the marinade for 15-20 minutes (no more).
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, pour off a little of the marinade into the skillet, then add the fish. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until it’s tender and flaky.
4. Serve the fish on warm tortillas, topped with pomegranate salsa, a few dollops of crème fraîche and cilantro leaves. Serve the quartered limes alongside the tacos.

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • http://www.yummysupper.blogspot.com/ erin @ yummysupper

    Woo hoo! So fun to see you guys cooking up the fish tacos here today:)
    “Our meals aren’t always plated and staged, but they are intended to
    nourish our family. To bring us together, every night (or most nights),
    around our kitchen table. To be away from our computers and our phones.
    To eat.”
    Amen sister.
    xoxox to you three,
    E

  • Nicole

    These are beautiful tacos, Kasey. You’re right, every day food is not always fancy and garnished perfectly, but it sure does feel good to make something delicious with your own two hands. I read the Mark Bittman piece, too, and I like his simple approach to food and the way he encourages people to just get in the kitchen.

  • http://londonbakes.blogspot.com Kathryn

    Having been travelling for ages and not been in my kitchen, I am definitely craving some of those nourishing home cooked everyday meals like these beautiful tacos.

  • http://www.threadandbones.com/ Jessica

    Hear hear! So true and so well articulated — and I personally couldn’t have read this at a better time as my pantry is bare and I’ve been feeling too lazy to make the big shopping expedition I need. Instead of picking up lunch I’m totally inspired to head to the market instead and make these tacos which look SO good. Thanks for the inspiration =)

    http://www.threadandbones.com

  • http://www.athoughtforfood.net/ Brian Samuels

    I think I learned very early on that homemade is often better than what you’d get at the store/restaurant/bakery (not always the case, of course)… or, at the very least, it’d be significantly healthier AND you’d get to learn how to prepare something properly.

    I’m not sure why I never considered putting pomegranate on top of my fish tacos. It’s a fabulous idea… and it looks stunning as well.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Erin, these tacos were tremendous! Still continuing to be inspired by your book! xo

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thank you, Nicole! Mark Bittman’s writing often resonates with me — I’m in support of helping people feel that food doesn’t have to be complicated!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Oh I know that feeling! Days and weeks away from my kitchen make me yearn for my kitchen SO. BAD.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    I totally agree. I had never considered putting pom seeds on tacos before either, but Erin is a freaking genius.

  • http://www.aidamollenkamp.com Aida Mollenkamp

    I love how these pom seeds so easily make fish tacos transition from summer to fall! I’m definitely trying this salsa out!

  • Heather Christo

    These tacos are absolutely incredible- the pom salsa could not be more beautiful!

  • Laura

    I love Erin’s book because it encourages home cooking in all of the virtuous ways you mentioned. The life skill aspect, feeling your best, and just being together. Our everyday dinners are never fancy either–mostly hodge podges of healthy components that we make an effort to always have (only because we’ve figured out what works over time). When you mentioned meal time as the time to be away from the computers and phones, I mentally sent high fives. Love these photos too, Kasey.

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thanks, lady. I really appreciate that. I think we all have our ‘real life’ in which things aren’t always so artfully plated. And that’s ok. So long as we’re honest with ourselves, and each other. xo

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thank you, lovely!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thanks, lady! I love how pom seeds look — I want to start putting them on everything 😉 x

  • Tommy

    This looks absolutely incredible. I just made a cocktail with pomegranate juice and seeds – I think I have a some left sitting in the kitchen…perhaps it’s time to try a new recipe?!

  • http://www.turntablekitchen.com Kasey

    Thank you, Tommy!

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