Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday night madness - Fish Tacos edition

For the last few weeks, once a week, my friend Megan and I have gotten together and cooked up a veritable feast of goodness. There's no rhyme or reason to what we cook but it's a small tradition that brightens up the beginning of the each week. Megan is a phenomenal cook and she challenges me on a regular basis to try new things because she does so on a regular basis (carrot turnip mash, anyone?) and it's always a hit! She's also been on a no-dairy, no-gluten kick, which makes our evenings together even more of a challenge - one I'm happy to take on.

Tonight's endeavour could not have gone better - we made halibut tacos with homemade tortillas and a mango jalapeno slaw. I haven't made tortillas from scratch since I was about 12 and I have to say - they're super easy and actually fun to make!The halibut was extremely subtle in flavoring, and became more of a back-up dancer to the diva that was the slaw. More sweet than spicy and super light, it tasted like something you could eat all summer long. As we ate, Megan and I came up with 101 ways to use the slaw - with chicken, serve as a side, add avocado, etc. It's that good, I swear!

In keeping everything dairy and gluten free, the tortillas were made with Masa, a enriched corn flour found in the Mexican section of most grocery stores, and the slaw was made with dairy-free mayo (found at Trader Joes). All around dinner - 4 stars... or, maybe that would be 4 tacos... which is exactly how many Megan and I ate at dinner. Each.

The recipe:Tortillas

Servings: Makes approximately 12 tortillas
Prep time: Moderate
Cooking time: 15ish minutes

2 cups Masa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup water

1. Mix the masa, salt and water. Knead with you hands as you would normal bread dough. If the mixture seems dry and cracks easily, add more water, approx a tablespoon at a time.
2. Roll the dough into small balls, about the size of a golf ball. If you don't have a tortilla press place the ball between two sheets of wax paper, flatten (I used a book) and roll out with a rolling pin until the tortilla is 6" across in diameter.
3. Heat a skillet to a high heat (do not use oil), and place the flattened tortillas on the skillet without overlapping. Flip as they start to steam/smoke (30ish seconds) and cook an additional 30 seconds.
4. Store on a plate with paper towels between the tortillas to reduce moisture.

The recipe: Jalapeno-Mango Slaw (as adapted from Food and Wine)

Servings: This is the halved version, so serves 3
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15ish minutes

1 whole mango, diced
1 large jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 medium shallot, minced
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons minced garlic
The juice from half a lime
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 1/2 cups shredded coleslaw mix

DirectionsMix all ingredients into a large bowl and refrigerate as the rest of the meal is prepared. Done and done.
The Recipe: Halibut
Servings: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

1 lb halibut steak
World Market Key Lime spice*, or juice of one lime

*Note: We prepared this using a Key Lime spice seasoning I found at Cost Plus World Market. I tried finding something similar online, but without much luck. If you can get your hand on some, do. It's a kick of limey-goodness with a hint of pepper that's hard to replicate.

1. Cover the halibut with the Key Lime spice seasoning. If you aren't fortunate enough to have it on hand, squeeze some fresh lime juice over the steak and season with salt and pepper.
2. Bake at 400 degrees until the fish flakes when poked with a fork, approximately 15 minutes
Compilation: Tacos
Place tortilla on plate. Place slaw on tortilla. Please fish on slaw. Place taco in mouth!

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