Friday, July 1, 2011

Tacos Two Ways

Oh tacos how I love thee, let me count the ways!
1. You are SO tasty
2. You are easy to make
3. You come in many variations
4. I can eat you for any meal of the day (mmm, breakfast tacos)
5. You are perfect for loading lots of ridiculous toppings 
6. You are handheld and easy to eat

I wonder if they have this shirt in my size....
Wren probably wouldn't let me wear it out of the house, fun hater ; )

I could keep going on but I know you people are busy and you have better things to do than sit around and read about my love for tacos, so here are two very different takes on tacos that we have had in the last week.

First up fish tacos!  Fish tacos are the perfect summer dish because they are light yet still full of flavor and you can also do them on the grill.  I like to use a  mild white fish for my tacos such as Cod or Tilapia so that it can showcase all of the flavors you add, just make sure to use WILD and not farmed fish.  You can really play around with the flavors of the fish by using different spices or marinades but I like to keep mine simple.

Easy Fish Tacos
-1.5 lbs of fish
-2 limes
-1 lemon
-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-salt and pepper
-2 cups of shredded cabbage (purple or green or both)
-2 tbsp light colored vinegar (of your choice)
-various taco toppings

Place cleaned fish in a large bowl.  Squeeze the juice of 1 lime and 1 lemon, pour over fish.  Lightly season fish with salt and pepper, let sit for 10 minutes up to 5 hours in the refrigerator.  Once your fish is done marinating, heat large skillet with 1 tbsp of oil.  Cook fish until it is no longer transparent (about 6 minutes), flipping fillets half way through.  Combine the remaining olive oil with the vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper in a cup, pour dressing over cabbage.   If you like a creamy cabbage slaw, you can add 2 tablespoons of sour cream or plain greek yogurt to this dressing.  Serve tacos with various toppings such as: guacamole, sour cream/greek yogurt, salsa, or cheese.  Finish tacos with a squeeze of fresh lime, enjoy!
Or you could go Danielle's route, skip the tortilla and just go for a fish "taco" mound, equally delicious!

These next tacos are something that I created last night, again wanting a light meal that still carried lots of flavors but this time using ground meat.  Here is my take on Thai Tacos!

Thai Tacos
-1 lb ground meat (I recommend organic turkey or grass fed beef)
-1/2 onion, chopped
-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
-2 tbsp chili sauce
-1 tsp olive oil
-salt and pepper
-1 head of butter lettuce
-3/4 cup of shredded carrots
-1/8 cup of chopped peanuts
-various taco toppings

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet, cook onion and garlic until fragrant and translucent.  Add your ground meat to the skillet and let cook, breaking up meat into small crumbles.  Season the meat with the chili sauce and salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat once thoroughly cooked.  Gently tear away the large outer layers of the lettuce, rinse and pat dry.  To compile the tacos, place a couple spoonfuls of the meat down the center of the lettuce leaf, top with carrots and peanuts.  Other additional toppings: cilantro, chili sauce, fresh lime juice.

A perfect way to round out this meal is with a refreshing cucumber salad with a sweet and spicy vinaigrette.

The light soft butter lettuce combined with spicy meat and slightly sweet carrots all topped with the crunch of peanuts, is a wonderful combination!  My belly was so happy after this meal but I think the best moment was when Wren said "this grass fed beef really does taste so much better than conventionally raised meat," and he is so right : )

When I was little my dad use to have Turkey Taco Tuesdays, and it was always one of my most looked forward to meals, I think we should reinstate Taco Tuesdays!

Last year, my 4th of July looked like this.  I hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekend!

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