RECIPES CRAPPIE By: Jenny Nguyen Crappie Tacos with Spicy Guacamole Recipe While deep frying crappie is not the only way to cook this delicate fish, it certainly is the best way! Top your tacos with spicy guacamole and queso fresco for the ultimate taco experience Crappie Tacos with Spicy Guacamole Recipe (Jenny Nguyen Photo) Everyone loves fish and chips, but at your next fish fry, wow your guests by offering a taco bar. You don’t have to do anything different with your fried fish. Fry it like you’ve always done, but serve it with warm tortillas, freshly made creamy guacamole, crunchy shredded Brussels sprouts (or cabbage), hot sauce and queso fresco cheese. Make it a buffet by laying out all the ingredients on a table. People can fix their tacos any way they like. Fish tacos remind me of the West Coast, of where I lived for many years. While I no longer reside there, I do miss the warm summer evenings by the beach and having tacos and margaritas late at night. So for old times’ sake, and because it’s delicious, I try to recreate that experience here in the Midwest. I throw small, intimate taco parties with friends, and we drink beer and margaritas on the rocks. And for some reason, tacos always taste better when eaten outside in the open air. We may not be near an ocean, but we do have some nice lakes in Nebraska. And I’d say that the fresh fish we catch ourselves tastes just as good if not better. Serves: 4 Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 30 mins Ingredients: 1 pound of boneless crappie fillets, or any white flaky fish Your favorite fish breading or batter Canola or vegetable oil for frying 2 ripe avocados 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed and minced ¼ cup of yellow onion, diced 2 tablespoon of cilantro, chopped Half a Roma tomato, diced Juice of half a lime, or to taste Kosher salt and pepper, to taste 12 small corn tortillas Toppings: chopped red onion, chopped cilantro, hot sauce/salsa, shredded Brussels sprouts, crumbled queso fresco cheese, extra lime wedges Directions: 1. Heat oil in a pan for frying. Rinse fish under cold water and bread/batter according to package directions. When oil reaches between 350 to 375 degrees F, fry fish until crispy and cooked through. Do not crowd the pan or your oil temperature will drop too low. Drain fried fish on paper towels. 2. To make spicy guacamole while fish is frying, combine avocado, jalapeno, yellow onion, cilantro, tomato, lime juice, salt and pepper. Do not mix too much; you want to keep the guacamole fairly chunky. The measurements above are only approximates— change ingredient ratios according to your taste. Do not make guacamole too far ahead because it can brown quickly, although the lime juice does provide a small buffer. 3. Heat tortillas in the microwave, over a warm grill or in a pan with a little oil. Assemble tacos with fish (break up fish as necessary), shredded Brussels sprouts, fresh guacamole, red onion, chopped cilantro, hot sauce and crumble queso fresco cheese. Serve immediately.