Blackened Fish Tacos*

I believe there are signs in life and that sometimes when you pray you get an answer. It may come as a surprise and even in a way you totally did not expect. But it happens. And it happened to me today. Last night I was cleaning out a closet and I came across something I had shoved in it. My sweet kitty Caesar’s old bed. We had to put him down a few months ago and it was absolutely heartbreaking for both Jorge and I. I felt so lost without him and felt that he was taken from me way to soon. Some people may not understand, but until you have a pet that is truly part of the family…you just will not get it. And that is what he was, part of the family. So last night I found his bed, that I had shoved way in the back, because I had no idea how to deal with the pain I felt when I saw it. And last night, a few months after he passed, I stumbled across it. And I thought of all the great times and his unique, quirky personality. And I started to cry because I miss him. And then I prayed. I prayed that he is ok where ever he may be…and that he knows that Jorge and I love and miss him and did everything we could for him. And then I put his bed back because I was not sure what else to do with it, and I went to bed. Then this afternoon the UPS man stopped by and when I opened the door, in ran this little baby girl…

I stood there staring at the UPS guy and he just shrugged and said “Sign here please?”. So I scooped up the little kitten that just ran inside and started walking up and down knocking on my neighbors doors. Eventually I found out that some people moved this last weekend and two neighbors noticed that she showed up on Friday. At this point, I was getting so aggravated with my neighbors. This kitten was skin and bones and so scared to be outside, and people saw her…and just left her. But I said, well I guess you are home now, and headed inside. I took her upstairs and put her in the office and sat down next to her. And it hit me and I immediately started crying and calling Jorge. Caesar sent her to me. It is his way of telling me he is ok and that he knows we would take care of this little kitty like we took care of him. And I will. I am taking her tomorrow to get checked out at the vet and as long as everything checks out ok, I am going to introduce her to our other 4 legged babies. You may not believe in signs, but I do. And I never asked for a sign but I sure did get one. And I am definitely not going to ignore it.  And now the only thing left is to give her a name to fit her sweet, chatty personality! My Mom says she looks like Halloween…so we might name her Pumpkin or Trixie (for Trick or Treat) or who knows…but any good ones I would love to hear!

Now this had absolutely NOTHING to do with these delicious Blackened Fish Tacos. I wish it did. Caesar did love fish…but that’s a pretty weak connection! I just had to share this story with you guys, because it truly amazed me and reminded me that someone really is looking down on us and listening…and sometimes we do get signs or prayers answered. But please, don’t take the lack of a funny tale about these tacos as a sign that these tacos are any less then amazing.  They are honestly one of the absolute best Fish Tacos I have had! Part of that can be attributed to the sauce…which was spicy and just incredibly flavorful. And the other part is from how the fish was blackened. Both recipes are from my parents, so to me…it just makes it that much better! These truly made for a delicious, fresh, light dinner…perfect for one of these hot summer nights!


Blackened Fish Tacos


For fish tacos:
2 lbs sea trout fillets (or any white fish), cut into 1 inch thick fillets
1 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup blackening seasoning
2 tablespoon olive oil
Corn Tortillas, heated
Cabbage, Shredded
Fish Taco Sauce (below)

Fish Taco Sauce:

Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup light mayo
1 tablespoon Garlic Salt
1-2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, to taste
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, or to taste


For fish tacos:
Coat cast iron skillet with olive oil. Preheat cast iron skillet to roughly 350 degrees in the oven. And once heated, move to grill that has already been heated to 400 degrees.

Toss fish with melted butter. Using 1/4 cup seasonings cover one side of fish. Place seasoning side down in cast iron skillet. Allow to cook for 2 minutes. During this time coat the side of fish facing up with the other 1/4 cup seasonings. Flip fish and allow to cook another 2 minutes, or until cooked thoroughly.

Then fill tortillas with fish, cabbage, a drizzle of the Fish Taco Sauce and enjoy!

Fish Taco Sauce:

Using your food processor or blender, purée all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to use.

A Novice Chef Original Recipe

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39 Responses to “Blackened Fish Tacos”

  1. 1

    Ammie — July 28, 2010 @ 7:14 am

    She is adorable – yeah for another saved animal!

    Oh, and the tacos look great too!

  2. 2

    The Nifty Foodie — July 28, 2010 @ 7:20 am

    You are way awesome for taking in this kitty! I hate how people just ignore/neglect animals that are lost. While I can’t take in anymore pets, you better believe I at least offer them food or water and call owners if there are tags. :

  3. 3

    Tasha — July 28, 2010 @ 8:27 am

    What a wonderful story! Enjoy getting to know your new baby. She is lucky to have wandered in your door. The fish tacos look amazing, too.

  4. 4

    Erica — July 28, 2010 @ 8:39 am

    Awww…what a sweet story and she looks just like my sweet Clementine. I don’t know what it is about that color of cat, but they are so sweet! Good luck with the name picking! The fish Tacos look amazing, and I wish we could get fresh fish here. Grrr…

  5. 5

    Erica — July 28, 2010 @ 8:39 am

    P.S. I too believe in signs. :o) And I think yours was a great one.

  6. 6

    Tracy — July 28, 2010 @ 9:55 am

    Your story brought tears to my eyes. We had to put down one of our “babies” about a year ago and it was devastating. We didn’t intend to get another cat for a very long time, but our surviving cat, Lucy, told us otherwise. She was BORED! So, we went to adopt a rescue cat…and came home with TWO! Two adorable brothers named Noah and Fitz. They are sooooo sweet and special to us. Can’t imagine our lives without them.

  7. 7

    Laura — July 28, 2010 @ 10:02 am

    That’s awesome! I totally believe that this sort of thing doesn’t just happen by coincidence.

    Welcome, Trixie or Pumpkin or whatever her name shall be. She’s adorable! :)

    Oh. And the food looks great, too, as per usual

  8. 8

    Kerri — July 28, 2010 @ 10:17 am

    caesar was such a sweet kitty… he is currently playing with quincy. and we will see them again some day… i’m so glad that you are able to rescue this new kitten. i know how much you and jorge will love her! :)

  9. 9

    Lindsay — July 28, 2010 @ 10:23 am

    Awwah she is a cutie. I had a kitten that looks like her follow me home from school when i was about 7. We thought of Halloween also so we named her Hallo. She was one of my best friends growing up. Even though I have 4 kids now all of my animals are my babies too. :)
    Im looking forward to trying out the tacos!!

  10. 10

    DeAnna — July 28, 2010 @ 10:29 am

    OMG I’m sitting here with tears streaming down my face. I totally understand your feelings. Our Bobbi died in April after 19 years of love and happiness. She was our daughter. A lot of people don’t understand how close you can be to a pet. I thought it would be a long time before we got another pet, then Merlin came into our lives. He is a huge bundle of love.

    What a beautiful Tortie girl. She looks like a bunch of different spices. Pepper, cumin, chili, onion salt. LOL

  11. 11

    Steven — July 28, 2010 @ 10:37 am

    Cat story really warmed my heart. I presently have eight kitties and one beautiful German Shepherd that I have rescued, who truly believes she is the Mommy to all eight of them. I could read heartwarming stories like yours all day. And yes, I am certain Caesar guided this new arrival to your doorsteps…

  12. 12

    Becca — July 28, 2010 @ 10:49 am

    Ohhh Jessica… what a WONDERFUL story! I am SO happy to know that your new kitty will have such loving and wonderful parents!

    Now then… your fish taco post was an answer to MY prayers, girlfriend! After my HORRID experience at the doctor yesterday (he asked me if I was PREGNANT, when he knows that my tubes have been tied!), I am DEFINITELY in need of every ass-friendly recipe that I can get my hands on. Thanks for the love, Hon xoxo

  13. 13

    Loren — July 28, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

    First, I have to say it is wonderful you were sent this kitty. It’s a symbiotic meeting of needs and a sign for sure that your old one helped you find each other. Halloween is a particularly interesting, and I love the magickal way you were brought together. I think “Zelda” would capture that if you’re still considering names. In German, it means “dark battle” which I think represents her trauma of being abandoned – but in later Yiddish interpretations, the name means “happiness” which is what she has found with you. :)

    Just my two cents. It captures the moment.

  14. 14

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — July 28, 2010 @ 1:45 pm

    Congrats on the new kitty! She’s adorable. This fish taco recipe looks to-die-for… I love those fresh ingredients and flavors!

  15. 15

    Stephanie — July 28, 2010 @ 1:53 pm

    I’m so, so glad you shared your story! My husband and I have a 1-year-old golden retriever, Gus, and we consider him our “heart dog,” meaning he has a place in our hearts always as he is just as much a part of our family as I am. So I understand your grief over the loss of Caesar. Please keep us updated on Trixie’s (that my vote!) story!

  16. 16

    sippitysup — July 28, 2010 @ 2:06 pm

    I usually avoid blod with cat picture. I love cats but they appear on way to many blogs ;0 But I made an exception for this perfection! GREG

  17. 17

    ErinsFoodFiles — July 28, 2010 @ 3:12 pm

    Those look divine! And what a cute kitty!

  18. 18

    DessertForTwo — July 28, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

    Aww, I loved your sweet story! I believe in signs! We had a dog once that was truly a part of our family. I know how you feel.

    These tacos look amazing, but I can’t shake the 1 stick of butter…have you tried using less butter with great results? I’ll give it a try and let you know :)

  19. 19

    Megan — July 28, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    I love fish tacos, and these look really good…but I have a hard time believing any dinner that includes a stick of butter could possibly be ass friendly.

  20. 20

    Nichole — July 29, 2010 @ 12:13 am

    LOL Ok … First time on the blog. This is a recap of my experience thus far:

    About five minutes ago I followed a link from Food Gawker because these Blacked Fish Tacos look so yummy. I got teary eyed from the touching story you told about losing one cat and having another stroll into your life unexpectedly. Then I really did lawlz at my monitor when I read that you categorized this as “Ass Friendly”. hahhaa My friends and I say that sometime we ~have~ to have two of something so our thighs don’t become unbalanced … would hate to be walking around with one skinnier than the other. =P

    I’m looking forward to a leisurely stroll through your site! <3Nic

  21. 21

    Sarah — July 29, 2010 @ 11:36 am

    I have been having a hard time with my fish tacos because the juice leaks through the corn tortillas. I can’t wait to try your recipe! P.S. I LOVE your cat story and the meaning behind it. What a great page to stumble upon! God bless you and your family.

  22. 22

    Tanya — July 29, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

    Congratulations on your new kitty!! I recently lost a kitty so I know your pain. They truly are beloved family members. Take care of that precious little baby sent to you from the heavens.

  23. 23

    Kerstin — August 1, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

    Awww, what a sweet story! And these tacos look amazing – the blackened fish and yummy sauce sound so tasty!

  24. 24

    Samarie — August 2, 2010 @ 11:08 am

    Every time you move you get a new cat! Really guys you need to stop! LOL Congrats on your new little addition.

  25. 25

    Samarie — August 2, 2010 @ 11:42 am

    You really need to stop collecting cats… LOL EVERY TIME YOU MOVE! Any way congrats on your new addition. Now Bennie has a new playmate.

  26. 26

    Chiara — August 4, 2010 @ 5:20 am

    Your post made me cry (and I’m at the office!!!) and then it made me smile, because I love it when people adopt baby cats and then they grow into beautiful and happy adult cats! I have a cat myself who “arrived” at my place shortly after a street cat I really loved died, so I know the feeling…
    …oh, and I also love fish tacos. Almost forgot to tell you that =)

  27. 27

    DGrub — September 13, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

    Nice photos of fish taco — very appetizing. I thought about sour cream for my fish tacos at
    but used yogurt based sauce instead. I can appreciate if you can look at my recipe and comment.

  28. 28

    Shannon O'Connell — December 14, 2010 @ 11:40 am

    You made me cry! That is an awesome story.

    I’m new to your sight – – Happy One Dayaversary to me! I love it! I am a self taught cook (thanks Food Network) and I am always looking for new recipes. I can’t wait to try yours.

    I have a kitten, Sheldon, who is the furry son I never knew I needed. He’s a big eater, so I think he was sent to me for a reason. Enjoy your baby. ^..^

  29. 29

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  31. 31

    Alison @ Ingredients, inc. — October 18, 2011 @ 7:05 am

    Jessica, these look fabulous! Great story too!

  32. 32

    Holly — January 18, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

    Your sweet story really hit home. I rescued the single best dog in the whole world about 7 years ago, when he was approximately 6 years old. He is really starting to decline and the thought of losing him just breaks my heart. I know he can’t live forever and I have been so blessed to have him but I just don’t know how I will handle his loss. I loved your story and will remember it when the time comes. Thank you for sharing your story – and your fish tacos recipe.

  33. 33

    Senior Care Lockport IL — July 11, 2012 @ 2:55 pm

    I was looking for a fish taco recipe and I found this is my search… what a sweet story!!!!
    Thanks for sharing… and thanks for the recipe :)

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