Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fish Tacos

We had some friends over for dinner on Monday, and gave some new recipes a try.

We had fish tacos with lettuce wraps instead of taco shells. So good! Check this out:

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
adapted from Our Best Bites

  • 1/4 c. fresh lime juice (about 2-3 juicy limes)
  • 1/4 c. white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 c. canola oil
  • 1/2 c. roughly chopped cilantro, stems removed
In the jar of your blender, combine lime juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, and sugar. Blend until ingredients are completely combined. With the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Add cilantro and blend until the cilantro has broken down but still maintains some of its texture. Chill a few hours or overnight. Serve with greens, on any type of Mexican salad, or use as a marinade.

Creamy Lime-Cilantro Dressing (Green Sauce)
adapted from Our Best Bites

  • 1 pack (1oz) Ranch Dressing Mix*
  • 1C mayonnaise (I don't like mayo to begin with, but I especially don't like low-fat. So I just use canola mayonnaise, which is more heart-healthy than veggie-oil mayo)
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1 lime (about 2T)
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 C roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 C green salsa
  • hot sauce
Place milk, mayo, and ranch mix in a blender. Juice the lime in there too. Toss in the garlic, cilantro and green salsa. Blend. Sample it and add hot sauce to taste. Make it several hours ahead of time to allow it to thicken.

Some green salsas are super-hot, so be sure you find one you like before mixing up a whole of this stuff.

To make the dressing, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, and 1 tablespoon of mix. Blend well and serve over your favorite salad. Chill a few hours or overnight to allow thickening.

Grilled Fish Tacos
adapted from Our Best Bites 

  • Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette above
  • 2 fillets mild white fish (we used tilapia)
  • Iceberg (or other large-leaf) lettuce for wraps, in place of tortillas
  • Toppings: Green Sauce above, Salsa, Pico de gallo, guacamole, cabbage (cole slaw mix), cotija cheese (this is a soft, crumbly Mexican cheese, like feta, but tastes more like a mild mozzarella), lime wedges for drizzling and salt for seasoning.
Marinate fish in Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette for at least 20 minutes (ours marinated for about an hour & were delicious!), then grill. We made a packet out of foil, which we left open on top to make clean-up easier but still allow us to get some of that good grill flavor.

Serve the fish flaked or in whole pieces, and top as you wish!


*For an MSG-free option (MSG = monosodium glutamate), I used this recipe for homemade ranch dressing mix:

  • 7 saltine crackers (use gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3/4 cup dry minced parsley flakes
  • 1/4 cup dry minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon dry dillweed
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Blend crackers in an electric blender on high speed until powdered. Now add the parsley, the minced onion, and the dill weed. Blend again until it is powdered. Then, pour the mixture into a bowl. Next, stir in the garlic salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Store this dry mix in a container with a tight-fitting lid at room temperature for up to 1 year.

The Verdict: Thumbs up all around! We ate ourselves silly on this one. The only thing to watch out for is the amount of Green Sauce you use, since it has the full-fat mayo. We're excited to try this again with corn tortillas once we add grains back into our diet. (The link to the vinaigrette has some tips for lightly cooking the tortillas to make them flexible enough for all the fillings.) 

Definitely give it a try!


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