Tortillas have been a pantry staple in my house for some time, and lately I've been reaching for them more and more.
Add avocado and salt for a tasty snack. Or scrambled eggs and sharp cheddar for breakfast, or cut into strips and pan fry for a soup or casserole topping. There's good reason tortillas are a staple to Mexican cuisine -- fresh, fried or stale, they're the start of many a meal.
They saved me one night last week when I was staring at the fridge trying to decide what to cook while my son, starved for attention, tugged at my leg. I needed to come up with some dinner, and quick.
That's when I thought: tortillas + fish + veggies + canned beans.
I'm not offering a formal recipe, but more of an account of my meal. The idea is that the dish is easy to make and flexible, so I give you the basics and then you adapt it to your own pantry and skills set. Simple enough?
I sliced a white fish fillet into strips about 1/2 inch thick. Then, the fish was tossed in a mixture of mostly cornmeal with a little flour, salt, cumin and coriander -- that's right, skip the messy, wet step of typical frying. Preheat a frying pan with a shallow (about 1/4 inch) dose of oil like vegetable or canola. Once the oil is hot, drop the fish strips in. Fry until golden, and then turn to cook second side (just a couple of minutes total cooking time).
I placed my fish strips on warm tortilla along with some sauteed veggies, although shredded cabbage would have been tasty, too. Then I topped the whole thing with a sauce made from mashed avocado, lime juice and yogurt. Warmed, canned beans made it a square meal.