Thursday, July 29, 2010

Phish Tacos

Having five couples on vacation together meant each of us got one night to show off our cooking skills to the 14 person crowd.  This could have been a nightmare for a gluten free gal, but somehow, through some thoughtful menu making on the part of Dave's family, I was able to eat every meal and they were all delicious!  A few desserts I had to avoid, but it just gave me a great excuse to walk down the road for ice cream instead (I ODed on lactose one night for sure, oops!)

As it turns out, New Jersey has a large supply of seafood due to its close proximity to the ocean.  Clearly we don't get much fresh seafood here in Boulder where most of the fish I buy has been previously frozen.  Therefore, for our meal, Dave suggested we make fish tacos.  I reminded him that my fish tacos normally taste like nothing, but we decided to go for it anyway.  My first fish taco experience was at the Denver Aquarium last summer where we ate in a restaurant surrounded by schools of fish swimming by.  I've been trying to match that flavor ever since, and I think we got it this time! We went down to the fish market in Sea Isle City, grabbed three pounds of fresh mahi-mahi, and made some pretty successful fish tacos that had some great flavor to them.   See fish taco recipe below. 

My phish-head enjoying the Denver Aquarium in summer 2009.
The next night we had a "Country Boil" which featured fresh jumbo shrimp.  This involved boiling potatoes, onions, kielbasa (ring bologna for us Midwestern folk), corn on the cob halves, and jumbo shrimp in water seasoned with Old Bay.  This was something completely new to me and I really enjoyed it! 

Other fabulous meals included fajitas, pulled pork, and grilled chicken and veggies.  It was a great week for my tastebuds!

Phish Taco Recipe (I'm scaling portions down to a 2-4 person meal rather than the 14 person meal)
1 lb Mahi-mahi
Fish marinade (recipe from Bobby Flay of the Food Network):
  1/4 c. oil (olive or canola)
  1 Tbsp chili powder
  1 lime juiced
  1 jalopeno finely chopped (set small amount aside for pico de gallo)
  1/4 c. cilantro finely chopped
Jicama slaw
  1/2 jicama grated
  1 lime juiced
  Kosher salt
Pico de gallo
  1 large tomato or a few small ones finely diced
  1 Tbsp cilantro finely diced
  1 Tbsp red onion finely diced
  1 Tsp jalopeno finely chopped
  1/2 lime juiced
  pinch salt
  3 Tbsp sour cream
  1 Tbsp mayo (olive oil mayo just came out-- make the switch, people)
  1 Tsp cider vinegar
  1 Tsp lime juice
  Dash of paprika
Corn tortillas
Make the fish marinade by whisking ingredients together.  Marinate fish for 20 minutes then grill the fish, skin side down (if there is a skin side) for 8 minutes over medium high heat, then flip over for another 8 minutes.
Grilled mahi-mahi
 Make the jicama slaw by pealing the jicama with a knife or carrot peeler.  Cut it in half and grate it on a cheese grater (the biggest holes).  In a bowl, stir together the lime juice, pinch of kosher salt, and jicama.  Jicama is found near the weird vegetables in my grocery store, like mushrooms and fingerling potatoes.  If you can't find it, substitute white cabbage dressed with cider vinegar and a pinch of salt (Don't want to cut up smelly cabbage?  Grab a bag of prepackaged coleslaw that hasn't been dressed yet.) 

Jicama slaw
 Make the pico de gallo by combining all ingredients in a bowl and seasoning with salt to taste.  (When I made this at the shore, I used 10 tomatoes for a huge batch and put out chips so that people could munch on the pico while the fish was grilling, which kept me from feeling too rushed by the hungry masses.  By the end of dinner it was 100% gone.) 

Pico de gallo
 Corn tortillas are gluten free, but they fall apart if not properly prepped.  After months of thinking that microwaving would suffice and having my taco insides end up plopped on my plate, I have decided that corn tortillas must be fried in order to properly hold food.  Throw a Tbsp of oil into a hot frying pan and throw in a tortilla or two.  Coat in oil by flopping them around in the pan and wait for them to puff up a bit.  Keep them warm until you're ready to serve them. 

With a fork, combine the drizzle ingredients.  Taste the drizzle and add more acid (lime or vinegar) to taste.  It should be tangy!  

Lastly, if avocados are affordable and ripe, slice one up into small pieces for taco filling.

Serve the fish, jicama slaw, pico de gallo, avocado, and drizzle in corn tortillas.  I just took all of these items and put them in order on the bar so people could make their own tacos with what they liked.  Plan on each person having 2-3 of these tacos.  Rice or a lettuce salad with lime vinaigrette dressing make great sides for this dish. 


1 comment:

NavyGirl said...

Oh. My. Gawd. Those tacos look freaking amazing!!! My mouth is watering and I'm trying to come up with a plan in which you magically appear on my doorstep with a plate of those... ;)