Friday, April 6, 2007

Fast, Cheap, and Easy (the food, not the blogger!)

Blog, honey, I'm sorry I was late coming home again. I know, I know, I know, I say that all the time. But, seriously, this is all consuming. I worked over 100 hours last week. 100 hours! Yes, indeed, that is 2.5 times a normal work week. It was awful. I'm sorry I didn't have time to make you many meals . I know we were stuck with take-out, quick and dirty spaghetti sauce, and dinners at the office. I apologize. How can I make it up to you?

I know it is already 8:30 p.m. I know I just walked in the door. How many times can I apologize? I didn't want to stay at the office until 8:00 p.m. and I certainly didn't want to get up at 4:30 a.m. to get in a few extra hours of work this morning. I'm tired and hungry too, you know.

What if I whip something up right now? Something fast and delicious...will that make it better? Excellent, fish tacos it is.

All right, then, hand me that red snapper in the refrigerator. Thanks. I'm just going to rub it with olive oil and then sprinkle it with salt, pepper, garlic, and lime juice. See, look how quickly things are coming together?

Now, let me grab the tomatoes, cilantro, cabbage, onions, and olives and start dicing them all up. There, now, this isn't taking too long.

Hmm... let's get out the hot sauce and the salsa. You know, the homemade salsa roja from the Farmer's Market. Thanks. Oh, and put the rooster sauce back. The only hot sauce I want with this meal is the green Tabasco.

Did you pre-heat the grill? You did? Awesome, well done. While we wait for the grill to get to the right temperature, let's get out the corn tortillas and the Coronas. Do you mind warming the tortillas over the stove while I put the fish in the grill basket? Thanks.

Okay, then, fish is on the grill. During the 10 minutes it takes to cook, we'll wrap up the rest of the preparation. Are the tortillas warm? Veggies finished being chopped? Hot sauces at the ready? They are? Awesome.

What are we missing? We have the fish, the condiments, the beverages...hey, speaking of drinks, hand me my Corona. Thanks. But, I still feel like we are missing something key here.

Crema! Yes, crema. Fish tacos are almost always served with some sort of creamy sauce. Sometimes it is avocado based, other times it is mostly thinned sour cream, but it is always tangy and always a cool accompaniment to the crunchy and spicy bites of the taco. Sadly, the avocados at the market were waxy and hard this week...and I'm out of soy sour cream. But I bet I can improvise a delicious sauce. Watch this:

Cilantro Crema (dairy free, of course) -- makes about 1.5 cups


-- 1 tub of soy cream cheese (I used Tofutti brand)

-- 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (regular or low fat, or substitute sour cream)

--juice of one lime

--1/2 cup cilantro leaves

--hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste


1) blend all ingredients in a food processor until totally smooth

2) taste and adjust seasonings

To serve:

Set out bowls of chopped veggies and cheese, hot sauces, salsas, broken up pieces of cooked fish, cilantro crema, and lime slices. On the side, stack up some warmed corn tortillas. Allow everyone to build their own tacos.


The red snapper I used for this meal was actually a little "fishy" for my taste. Next time I'll try a milder white fish -- cod or halibut, perhaps.

Condiments: cilantro crema, salsa roja, cabbage, tomatoes, olives, onions, cilantro, and cheese.

Open wide!

See, I told you I could go all Rachael Ray on you and get a delicious meal on the table in 30 minutes. Don't you feel bad about being mean to me when I came in the door?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What? No fish sauce? How can you have tacos without fish sauce?

Reader j of p (p>0)