Fish Tacos are Easy!: A Recipe

Fish tacos are a fresh and light dinner option for hot summer evenings.

Plus, fish tacos are easy!

Any white flaky fish will work, but if you can find a Red Snapper… that’s
the stuff. At my local grocer it’s rare to find Snapper. I can always find Tilapia fillets, so I usually end up with those. If you don’t mind the dreadful farming practices, Tilapia is great. You could also use Sea Bass, Cod, or Halibut.

Note: I would not suggest making these tacos with catfish. I had a bad experience with a grilled catfish taco and it continues to haunt me.  

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Grilled Fish Taco with Classic Coleslaw

Fish Tacos with Classic Coleslaw
Serves Four

What you need:
4 Fish Fillets
(fillets vary in size(duh) you need about ⅓ pound per person)

½ cup diced onion

¼ cup chopped cilantro

3 limes

½ cup olive oil

Dash of salt and pepper

8- 10 corn tortillas

Tinfoil

Optional: Hot sauce like Cholula or Tapatio


Slaw fixins:

Bag of pre cut slaw mix (some come with dressings, but you do not need that)

¾ cup mayo

0071430010660_CF_version_type_large1 tablespoon of sugar

¼ cup of white wine or apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon of salt

Plenty of pepper

 

What to do:
First, make your slaw. To make life easy I use the pre cut slaw mix. If this offends you just substitute with 5 cups of shredded cabbage and 1 cup of shredded carrot. Judge me if you must… Once I even tried the pre-made slaw dressing mix. Not a good idea. Way gross. Like gag me with a spoon, worse idea ever, gross.

To make the slaw dressing just whisk all off the ingredients together in a large bowl before adding the pre cut slaw mix/ cabbage. Add cabbage mix and toss. After I add the cabbage is when I pepper to taste. I like “plenty” of pepper to balance the sweetness of the dressing.

Keep your coleslaw refrigerated while cooking the fish.

To grill your fish brush a little olive oil onto your grill grates. Be careful! Grease and fire can be dangerous. But without a little oil your fish will stick and possibly fall through the cracks and just pretty much be a disaster. I admit grilling fish isn’t always a 100% successful. But you can’t beat the grill flavor and fish odor free house.

Wrap your tortillas in some tinfoil and throw them on the grill to warm as you cook your fish.

To prep your fish for grilling squeeze on a couple of those limes and add a little salt and pepper.  
On high heat, grill for 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily.
One fillet makes about 2 tacos.

Garnish tacos with slaw, onions, cilantro, and lime. I also like a bit of hot sauce to add some kick to this simple taco.

Suggested Sides:
Grilled Corn (Hello, the grill is already out)
Black Beans
Spicy Watermelon Salad

Irish Michelada

After my latest visit to Mexico I was feeling self conscious about my red hair and ivory complexion. I just did not blend with my people.
Like at all.
I was the whitest girl on the Quinceañera dance floor. Admittedly, that could have something to do with my lack of moves. Either way, I have some undeniable non-Hispanic traits. 

So, I’ve decided that I’m Irish Mexican.
Obviously.

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In honor of my self proclaimed Irish Mexican heritage, I’ve created a new drink. The Irish Michelada made with Guinness Draught.

WTH, you say?
Maybe it’s just my eclectic taste buds, but the Irish Michelada is delightful.

I went lighter on the lime than I do with my normal (aka boring) Michelada and I added a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce. Worcestershire isn’t an uncommon ingredient and can be found in Micheladas all across Mexico. Micheladas can also be made with bouillon cubes, but those are high in sodium and weird.

 

What you need:

1 can of Guinness Draught
1/4 lime or about 1/2 tablespoon of lime juice
1/2 cup of bloody mary mix or regular old tomato juice could work
2-4 dashes of a hot sauce of your choosing
3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce

Optional: salt and chili powder for glass rim, and more lime for garnish


What to do:

First salt the rim of your glass by combining some salt and chili powder on a small plate. Rub a lime wedge along the rim of the glass and then dip into your salt. Avoiding the rim of the glass pour in your Bloody Mary mix, hot sauce, Worcestershire and lime. Stir. Next pour in your can of beer. Don’t be timid about this step. Don’t worry about holding your beer or glass at an angle. The Guinness Draught is best when just dumped upside down into the glass. Wait for it to settle. Then drink.

Now I just need to decide what pairs best with an Irish Michelada.
Tequila or Irish Whiskey?

Enjoy!
-SZ

 

Grilled Corn Salsa: A Recipe

Grilled Corn Salsa can be eaten as a dip or can also be used as a taco topping. I especially like these flavors atop a beef taco. Real good.

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IMG_2873What you need:

6-8 medium to large ears of corn, husked 

1 cup of diced red onion

I little tub of cherry tomatoes, halfed
or about 2 cups of diced tomatoes

1 bell pepper, diced

3/4 cup of olive oil

Cilantro
Lots and lots of cilantro
Cilantro is kind of like cow bell… You can never have too much

One large lime

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar 

Salt and pepper

What to do:

First off you need to grill the corn. Brush the ears with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before putting them on the grill. They shouldn’t take longer than 10- 12 minutes to cook. Make sure to turn the ears periodically. Let cool.

While your corn is cooling is an ideal time to chop and dice your other ingredients. Add your tomatoes, onion, bell pepper and cilantro into a large mixing bowl. Toss together.

Once your corn is cool, cut it from the cob and add it to the salsa mix. Add the juice from the lime, and the balsamic vinegar. I think the balsamic really pulls this salsa together, it brings out the sweetness in your corn and adds some depth to this composition. Lastly, salt and pepper to taste.
Keep chilled until serving. 

This recipe serves four (or one in my case). 

Enjoy
-SZ 

Michelada: What to drink while eating tacos

Micheladas are one of the most popular drinks in Mexico and in my mouth.
I think the easiest way to describe a michelada is to imagine the baby of a bloody mary and a Corona.

The first time I had a michelada was on Cinco De Mayo in 2007 or possibly 2008. Either way/year, I was immediately hooked. I’m a sucker for any salty beverage… bloody marys, dirty martinis, salty dogs…

Traditionally micheladas are served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass and everyone agrees on the lime, but otherwise the recipe varies depending on the region of Mexico. Below is my recipe. There are more elaborate recipes to be found, but mine has never disappointed. 

Yes, that is a Tecate glass and I was using Dos Equis.
Yes, that is a Tecate glass and I was using Dos Equis.


Ingredients:

Regular 12oz can or bottle of Mexican lager
1/2 lime or about 1 tablespoon of lime juice
1/3 cup of bloody mary mix (my jam is Zing Zang)
2-4 dashes of a hot sauce of your choosing (I use Sriracha)

Optional: sea salt or chili powder for glass rim, and more lime for garnish

What to do:

First salt the rim of your glass by putting salt or chili powder, or better yet combine both, on a small plate. Rub a lime wedge along the rim of the glass and then dip into your salt. Pour in your bloody mary mix and 2-4 dashes of hot sauce. Add your lime and lastly, slowly pour your beer in and swirl a bit to mix all this yumminess together.

Enjoy!

-SZ

Busy Mom Chicken Tacos with Easy Lime Sour Cream Sauce

On the first day of school I managed to get up on time and cook a nutritious breakfast. Everybody made it to class with wrinkle free polos and my dinner menu was planned for that entire first week back.

That was August. It’s January now and despite new year’s resolutions and the best intentions a busy mom can have… I get lazy and tired and I just do not want to cook. Thinking about dinner can melt my brain after a busy day. My husband is sympathetic and usually understands when I say something like “I’m going to grab a pizza”. Or better yet he suggest that we hit our local pub and have a couple of beers while the kids gorge themselves on fried food with ranch. Always a good clean family fun, but not so great for our bank account or our health.

Apparently, nutrition is a thing, so I do cook most nights.
Over the years, I’ve developed a few last minute kid approved dinners that I rotate through on busy weekdays. One of our favorites is chicken tacos. Obviously my family is no stranger to the taco. We eat tacos weekly, in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. (insert pervy joke about my hubs here)

This recipe is however, the easiest and most highly rated of my last minute craptastic standbys.

Busy Mom Chicken Tacos on leftover holiday party plate. The only thing worse than cooking at the end of a long day is doing dishes.
Busy Mom Chicken Tacos on leftover holiday party plate. The only thing worse than cooking at the end of a long day is doing dishes.

 

Busy Mom Chicken Tacos with Easy Lime Sour Cream Sauce

What you need:

One busy a** work day

Chicken
Just swing by your local grocer and grab a rotisserie chicken… there’s no time for heavy cooking

Tortillas 
Whatever you got will work. Corn. Wheat. Potato. Potaaatto.
Doesn’t matter at this point.  

Shredded cheese

Lettuce and other taco toppings found on hand

Two limes

One small container of sour cream

A dash of salt and pepper

What to do:

After making easy sauce start pulling apart or shredding your rotisserie chicken. Or make someone else do the chicken dirty work. Kids, husband, roommate, or anyone else.. because your hands get real gross with. Next warm tortillas using a stovetop skillet. (If your chicken is cold you may need to warm it up in the microwave.) At this point just start composing tacos. Garnish with what is available and top off tacos with the easy lime sour cream sauce.
Throw some gold fish or a fruit cup down as a side dish and call it good.

Easy Lime Sour Cream Sauce

Combine juice from the both limes and sour cream into a small mixing bowl.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix.
Use as taco topping.   

I was originally going to call this recipe “Sh*tty Mom Chicken Tacos with Easy Lime Sour Cream Sauce”. Inspired by one of my Christmas presents.

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Such a thoughtful gift. Thanks John.

-SZ

Ugly Vegan Fajitas

Don't let the cilantro fool you. It's like lipstick on a pig.
Don’t let the cilantro fool you. It’s like lipstick on a pig.

I am lousy with good intentions.
I have recently been trying to eat less meat.  

I flip flop back and forth between being a carnivore and herbivore, and have done so for years.  Mostly because I enjoy judging people for not being as healthy as me. Plant based diets aren’t easy though. They require a considerable amount of planning, time and often, money. That’s why I never stick with it for very long. I’m not the best at planning ahead, or budgeting my time, or budgeting in general. This time around, I’ve been trying to keep things as simple as possible by planning minimal ingredient recipes. I’ve also been making meals ahead of time so that I have something available when I get the hangries.
I was crushing it. Was.

A weekend of excessive drinking, exhausting work hours, and an ambitious school schedule have a way of knocking me dead on my ass.  Well thought out menus were replaced by fast food, late night pub grub and oven ready pizza.  I’ve once again flip flopped.  Unfortunately, I’ve still got a crisper full of decomposing produce and I can’t afford to keep eating out.

 

After leaving work the other day, exhausted and in no mood for domestic work.
I was broke and hungry, and I had no choice.  I had to roll up my sleeves and get my Martha on.

The result…Ugly Vegan Fajitas.

 

What you need:

4 days Sleep Deprivation

1ea Oven that doesn’t work all that well

2lbs Mixed Veggies (summer squash, peppers, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, etc..)

1/4cup Olive Oil

Some Kosher Salt

1 packet Frontera Taco Skillet Sauce Frontera-Classic-Fajita-Skillet-Sauce-604183121745
(a seriously delicious, vegan life and time saver)

6ea Whole Wheat Tortillas

 

What to do:

Basically take whatever veggies you’ve got on hand, cut them up, season them with some olive oil and kosher salt, spread them out in a single layer onto a baking sheet. Roast them in a preheated, 450 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until they take on a bit of color.  Take the veggies out and drizzle the skillet sauce over them.  Put them back in the oven for a couple more minutes and you’re good to go.  Heat your tortillas in a skillet. Simple.
So my fajitas turned out ugly.  My oven is old.  Not cool early 70’s old…bad late 90’s old.  It doesn’t get hot enough.  I also loaded my pan up with too many veggies because I was in a hurry. Both things lead to mushy, pale pile of veg that didn’t caramelize.  The fajitas tasted great though.  Next time I’ll take my time and do these up right.  

As for my part time plant based diet?  I’m working on finding a balance.  
Tonight for dinner, I had leftover refried black beans and corn chips. Balance.     

Crispy Beef Tacos: A Recipe

My love of tacos began when I was a little boy growing up in the middle of nowhere, also known as Southeast Oklahoma. Fast food taco shacks and taco trucks weren’t really a thing for me.  The first exposure I had to taco awesomeness was my mother’s Crispy Beef Tacos, and I LOOOOVED them.

I’m all grown up now, and even though I know my way around all sorts of tacos, I still, from time to time, get peckish for some of mom’s cooking.  
Here is my take my mother’s classic, and though I’ve taken a few liberties to update these bad boys to suit my current tastes, they still get the job done when I’m feeling nostalgic.  

Ingredients:
Corn Tortillas
1cup Canola Oil (for frying)
Kosher Salt
1lb Ground SirloinIMG_0025
2tbls Olive Oil
½ Yellow Onion
(small diced)
3-4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
2tbls Ground Cumin
1tbls Dark Chile Powder
1tsp Dried Oregano
1tsp Coriander
1pinch Cinnamon
7oz Chipotle Sauce
1cup Chicken Stock
½ Bunch of Cilantro (chopped)
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Taco Fixings
(lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, etc….)

Procedure:
Start by preheating your oven to 250 degrees.
Next, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat.
Saute the onions and garlic until slightly caramelized.  Move the onion mixture to one side of the skillet and crumble the the ground sirloin into the skillet.  Brown the ground sirloin and the add the dried herbs and spices.  Add the chipotle sauce and and chicken stock.  Let the taco filling come to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Allow the filling 20 minutes to simmer.  Remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro.   

While the taco filling is simmering, fry your tortillas.  Heat 1 cup of canola oil in skillet over medium heat.  Using a pair a tongs, carefully place one corn tortilla into the hot oil.  It should sizzle and bubble and make a fuss, that’s a good thing…Let it fuss for a about 8 seconds and then, using your tongs, fold the tortilla leaving one side in the hot oil.  Continue frying for another 15 seconds and then switch sides.  Let that side fry for 15 seconds and then transfer your taco shell to a racked baking sheet to drain.  Once you’ve fried all of your tortillas, place them in the preheated oven to stay warm.

Fill your taco shells with delicious beef filling and top with your favorite toppings.

Enjoy! and call your mom.

Arbol Chile Salsa : A Recipe


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Ingredients:

1lb Tomatillos, Husks Removed

3ea Arbol Chilies

1ea Head of Garlic

2tsp Sea Salt

1ea Bottle of Sparkling Wine

Procedure:

So, here is what you need to do….Chill your sparkling wine.
This is important. Get it down to an appropriate drinking temperature before you do anything else. Once the sparkling wine has cooled, pour yourself a glass, take a breathe, and continue with the next steps (if you are on a time crunch just add a couple of ice cubes to reach optimal drinking temp).

Preheat a large skillet over high heat.  Remove the stems from the chilies and shake out the seeds. While you are at it, go ahead and clean the garlic by removing all of the outer papery husk and tough skins. Throw chilies and garlic into the pan and cook until they both take on a bit of char. Word to the wise….the smoke from the chilies will make make you cough like crazy so crack a window. After the chilies and the garlic have charred add ½ cup of water and immediately dump those into a bowl and cover… basically, you are looking to soften the peppers a little.  Put the tomatillos into the same skillet and cook until they char on all sides.  Add  ½ cup of water and cover to steam.  Steam the tomatillos until they turn a dull green and they are super soft.  Let everything cool a bit and then blend the tomatillos, chilies, garlic and salt together.  Enjoy this salsa with corn chips, over enchiladas, or on tasty tacos.

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Note: This recipe has been modified from our original attempt, in which we used closer to 20 chilies. The salsa was hot. Literally left blisters in our mouth hot… so we had no choice but to drink all the sparkling wine with a sense of urgency.
After the sparkles we moved on to a table red. (Not a recommended pairing)

Still in need of an edible salsa we added a can of crushed tomatoes, a splash of Zing Zang, and a handful of cilantro. The result was spicy, yet pleasing, however we recommend following the above recipe for a more controlled and tested result.