Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pico de Gallo (or A Party for Your Mouth)

This is another one of those recipes that I make frequently and keep on hand because it tastes so darn good on just about everything. Just between you and I, I like it so much that sometimes I just put it in a bowl and eat it like ice cream. 

Cast of Characters: 
6 medium tomatoes
1 medium white onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 c. lime juice
1or 2 fresh jalapeno peppers
1 clove garlic

Dice tomatoes and onion. Finely chop cilantro. Seed and mince peppers. Peel and dice the garlic, then sprinkle on some salt. Using a large knife blade, mash the garlic & salt into a paste. Put all ingredients (including lime juice) in a bowl & stir well.  Let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving so flavors have a chance to get to know each other.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fish for Tacos

Cast of Characters:

1 lb. fresh white flaky fish fillets (tilapia or mahi mahi works well)
1 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
½ t. pepper
½ t. chipotle powder
2 eggs
2 T. water
1 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
Canola oil


In a shallow dish, mix flour, salt, pepper, and chipotle powder together. In another shallow dish, whisk eggs and water together.  In a third shallow dish, spread bread crumbs out evenly.
  • Preheat canola oil in large skillet while you bread the fish fillets.
  • Dredge fish fillets in flour, then egg mixture, and then coat with panko bread crumbs.
  • Cook in hot skillet until brown on both sides.
  • Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.


Simple Fish Tacos

"Oh, sweet mystery of life at last I've found you!"

No, seriously.  They are that good.

So, in short, here's the cast of characters:


Cook fish as desired.  I use breaded fish fillets - naked grilled fish is equally good. My SIL recently admitted to using store-bought pre-cooked, breaded tilapia fillets. She claims they are just as good as the homemade kind but I haven't tried it so I can't vouch for her. (Click here for my recipe for the breaded fish fillets).

While fish is cooking:

Thinly slice cabbage.

Thinly slice red onion. The thinner the better. These aren't too thin - it's kind of hard to cut onions and operate a camera at the same time.

Chop cilantro. (picture to come) Cut lime wedges. (picture to come)

Steam two corn tortillas (I usually do it in the microwave) and stack them on top of each other. Then slather them with Mayonesa. You don't have to use as much as I do -  I am trying to gain back some of the 36 lbs I lost in the first 20 weeks of this pregnancy. At least that's my excuse for now.

Put some cooked fish on there. I like to break mine into pieces, Mr. Amazing Man likes to keep his in "logs."  I don't "logs" just doesn't sound good to me. Why can't he call them "sticks" instead?

Toss on some of that thinly sliced cabbage and red onion.  Don't ask me why it has to be a red onion, but it just tastes better that way. Trust me.

Spoon on a bit of fresh salsa if you want. Some fish taco purists will eschew this step, but hey - it is a great way to up the veggie intake for the day.

Sprinkle on some chopped cilantro.

Top with a generous squeeze of lime.

Enjoy! But first a final word about this gift from the heavens:

Sure, you can make your own white sauce, but why would you when you can just use this?  Trust me, this stuff gets a five-star rating for ease of use and taste.  For those on the west side of the Rockies, you can find it sold as "Best Foods Mayonesa" in nearly every grocery store. For those of us on the east side of the Rockies, it's a bit trickier to find but Wal-Mart usually carries it - just look for it on the bottom shelf in the mayo section. 

If you are unfortunate enough to not be able to find it (ahem, my friends in the frozen north), you can fudge a bit and make your own.  Just use some regular mayo, mix in a generous amount of lime juice and a bit of chipotle powder.  But if you can find this bad boy, buy it, use it, and savor the south-of-the-border goodness.

Just don't put it on your son's hot dogs. He won't think it is funny. Also, don't use it in a chocolate cake recipe. Lime-flavored mayo doesn't pair well with the other ingredients. Ask me how I know.