Posts Tagged tacos
I may have neglected the blog over the the past 6 months, but you can bet I wouldn’t forget it’s 3 year anniversary! Compared to last year, there hasn’t been as many noteworthy blog-happenings. However, there were some really delicious and popular posts from the past year, such as this Red & White Sangria to celebrate Canada Day, the zesty Tequila Lime Bison Tacos, and some tasty Cranberry, Almond & Date Power Bars. Of course the biggest thing to happen for Kyle and I was the birth of our daughter in October; not exactly blog related, but being busy with her has definitely been the main reason the blogging has slowed down. The past six months with her have been so amazing … and the little bean has started to eat real food, so you can imagine how exciting that is for someone as food crazed as I! I’m sure we’ll be sharing lots of fun foods that we make with her as she grows up. Thanks again for another great year – and for sticking around even after the reduction in posts!
To celebrate this year, I figured why not cook up a good ‘ol Gorging George favourite? Tacos! Always my back up for those busy, “I-Haven’t-a-Clue-What-to-Cook” kind of days (I even have a pork shoulder currently braising away to pile onto some tortillas for tonight’s dinner). I’ve had beef, pork, bison, some vegetarian tacos and even enchiladas on the blog, but I have yet to share a fish taco. So I’m finally posting a recipe for some salmon tacos that I made a few months ago. They are crispy and spicy, and topped with a mound of freshly limed cabbage & jalapenos, some pickled red onions, creamy avocado, salty feta and a sour cream that has a slight kick to it. A great treat for a celebration or even a weeknight meal. If you don’t have dinner plans this long weekend, I suggest you get yourself to the grocery store ASAP to grab all the ingredients to make these – they will not disappoint. Here’s to another year of sharing my favourite recipes with you!
Crispy Chipotle Salmon Tacos
Note – I just listed “kosher salt” as an ingredient, omitting the quantity, as it’s used often throughout the recipe to season everything. I am assuming that you have at least 1 Tbsp of salt kicking around. If you don’t have any kosher salt and have to use Table Salt, please reduce the amount slightly as the smaller granules would make everything rather salty if used in the same quantity.
1/2 small red onion, sliced
red wine vinegar
8 flour tortillas
1 lb centre-cut salmon filet
1 1/2 – 2 tsp chipotle chili powder, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup panko
3 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 juicy lime (or 2 if they are not juicy)
1 cup sour cream
1 avocado, pitted & sliced
1/2 cup feta, diced
Fill a mason jar or small container with the sliced red onion. Fill it up halfway with red wine vinegar. Add 1 tsp of salt and fill the rest of the jar with water. Allow to “pickle” while you make the tacos.
Heat your tortillas according to package instructions. Keep warm.
Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat in a large non-stick pan. Slice the salmon into 8 equal strips (they should be around 3/4″ wide each). Sprinkle all the salmon pieces evenly with 1 tsp of the chipotle chili powder and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Whisk the 2 eggs together in a medium dish and pour the panko into another medium dish; season both with salt and pepper.
Working with one piece of fish at a time, first dip the fish in the eggs then into the panko mixture, pressing all the sides gently to ensure they are evenly covered. Place the fish gently into the hot pan. Repeat with remaining fish pieces. You don’t want to crowd the pan, so if yours is not large enough, work in 2 batches. Cook for about 8 minutes, flipping once after 4 minutes to ensure both sides get golden brown. (If you like, you can quickly fry the two outer edges to crisp them up) Remove the cooked fish to a paper towel lined plate.
Meanwhile, combine the cabbage, jalapenos, cilantro, juice of 1 lime, 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt in a medium bowl, mixing thoroughly; set aside. In a small bowl stir together the sour cream and remaining chipotle chili powder – use 1/2 tsp to keep it mild, or a full tsp if you like a lot of heat!
Construct the tacos: smear each tortilla with some of the sour cream mixture, then top with a piece of salmon, some of the cabbage mix, pickled onions, avocado and feta. Devour.
Makes 8 tacos.
Tomorrow is Earth Day; and just like last year, I thought I’d share a dish that’s as local as I’m prepared to eat while living in the subarctic. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t love to eat locally, or that I dislike any of the food that we can get around here. But, as I pointed out before, this land is fairly barren 8 months of the year, with the exception of fresh-water fish and wild animals that roam the north. There’s no access to fruit and vegetables that were grown within a 100-mile radius of our home. So we combine produce from the southern States, Mexico, and South America with meat from Alberta and sometimes local fish and game.
So here is my closest approximation of a “Local Taco” – using only 1 local ingredient: Bison. And I’m okay with that. Bison is a delicious wild meat, that doesn’t have much of a gamey taste to it. Plus it’s fairly lean, making it a healthy alternative to beef from time-to-time. However, there is absolutely nothing else included in this taco that was grown or produced anywhere near where I live. I’ll take the compromise and walk to work as much as possible. Plus, we live in the Land of the Midnight Sun – which means for quite some time around the summer months, we have no need to turn on our lights. You’re welcome Mother Earth.
Bison Steak Tacos
This marinade would work well with various proteins. So if Bison isn’t a local meat near you, you could substitute beef, pork, chicken, shellfish, or any fresh or salt-water fish – hell, I won’t even judge if firm tofu is a local ingredient for you. Just reduce the marinade time to 1 hour if you’re using seafood, as the lime juice will end up cooking it eventually if left too long.
1 lb bison steak
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp lime juice – about 1 lime
2 Tbsp tequila
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chili flakes
Pico de Gallo
2-3 roma tomatoes
1/2 white onion
juice from half lime
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
6-8 corn tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
Slice the bison steak into thin strips, against the grain. Combine the steak and remaining marinade ingredients (garlic through chili flakes) in a zip-top bag. Marinade in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
About a half hour before you’re ready to cook the steak, prepare the Pico de Gallo. Dice the tomatoes, mince the jalepeno (remove the seeds and insides of the jalepeno if you want it less spicy), and dice the onion. Combine the vegetables along with the lime juice, salt & pepper together in a bowl and set aside.
Preheat a grill pan or heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the half the bison on both sides for approximately 3 minutes a side (or less if you prefer the bison more rare) – remove the cooked bison to a plate and keep warm. Continue with remaining bison. Meanwhile cook tortillas according to directions.
When everything is cooked, serve the bison steak on corn tortillas with sour cream, pico de gallo, sliced avocado and shredded Monterey jack cheese.
Makes 6-8 tacos.
I’m at it again. Another taco post. If these things weren’t so damn awesome I would think you’d be sick of me writing about them. But I know that you’re all admitting to yourselves that you just realized you’ve actually been anticipating this post. Waiting with dinner plates in hand for yet one more idea of spicy filling to stuff into a corn shell. This time we’re going with hard tacos; an adjustment from the growing list of taco recipes I’ve shared so far.
This recipe was born when Kyle and I were cleaning out the fridge and cupboards in our old apartment back in September. There were onions and garlic sitting in their basket waiting to be chopped; A half of a jalepeno leftover from a previous dish, lonely amongst the dwindling contents in the fridge; and a box of taco shells and a can of chickpeas, piled amongst the other canned and dried goods in the pantry. The experiment with this meaty legume was a success; and has henceforth become a regular on our dinner table.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalepeno, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1 plum tomato, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable broth
juice of 1/2 a lime
10-12 hard taco shells
any desired toppings: we used sour cream, salsa, sriracha, lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar, red onions, & avocados
Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and jalepeno and saute for 5-8 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add all the spices (chili powder to oregano) to the pan and stir for 30seconds – 1 minute; until they become fragrant. Add the chickpeas, diced tomato, salt and 1/4 cup of vegetable broth to the pan, then reduce heat to medium-low. Allow the chickpeas to simmer for 5-15 minutes (they only need 5, but can simmer longer if you want time to prep the toppings); add more vegetable broth to the pan if it begins to dry out – you want a somewhat saucy consistency, but not runny or your tacos will be soggy. Have a taste and add more salt if necessary.
Makes enough filling for 10-12 tacos.
It’s been a month since Kyle and I celebrated 3 wonderful years of marriage to one another. Which is another example of how long it takes me to get the recipes from our dinner table to the blog. But they get here, so I’m glad that no one is really complaining. Thanks for your patience friends!
For anniversary dinners we could spend a fortune on a fancy-plated feast and an overpriced bottle of wine at a crowded restaurant, or even spend a day of roasting and braising and sauteing and all sorts of kitchen techniques to get a 5-star menu dish on our own table. But that’s not us. Yes, we enjoy that food immensely – when we’re in the mood, but for anniversaries, why not eat the food that reflects who are? If you have perused this site often, you’ve likely deciphered that tacos are a favourite of ours, and for good reason. They could easily describe our relationship: easy (but requiring a little elbow grease to be really good); spicy; sometimes soft (like gentle embraces), sometimes hard-shelled (like we both can be when we’re both right…); full of contrasting and complimentary ingredients; and never boring.
Now, of course I wasn’t thinking about all those things when I decided to make Braised Beef Tacos for our anniversary dinner. I was thinking: “Hey, it’s a weekday, so I want something quick and requiring little thought; but I want something good and that we love.” So a large hunk of beef rib roast was purchased and coddled into submission in my slowcooker. After many hours of braising away in a smokey chipotle sauce, I shredded the beef and returned it to sop up all the flavourful juices. Then I opened a bottle of our favourite red to let it breathe while I awaited Kyle’s late-night return from from a week-long trip for work (great way to build up anticipation for an anniversary eh?!?).
Braised Beef Tacos
For the Beef
1 sweet onion, sliced
3 lb beef rib roast
kosher salt & pepper
1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 chipotle chilis (canned), chopped
1 cup beef broth (gluten free)
19 oz can diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce (gluten free)
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano
For the Tacos
10-12 6″ corn tortillas
1/2 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
jar of tomatillo (green) salsa
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
Line the bottom of a slow cooker with the sliced onions.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium-high heat. Generously season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the beef roast to the pan and brown, turning once (no need to brown all sides – but go to town if you’d like to). This should take about 8-10 minutes total, as you want to get a good crust on the meat. Remove the meat to the slow cooker, placing on top of the sliced onions.
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (garlic through oregano). Pour this mixture over the beef rib roast. Place lid on slow cooker and turn onto LOW. Cook for 8-10 hours, until the beef roast pulls apart easily with a fork (Alternatively, you can cook this for 5-6 hours on HIGH if you’re in a rush).
Remove the beef from the slow cooker to a large cutting board or platter. Allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile, strain the juices from the slow cooker into a saucepan. Strain as much of the fat from the top of the juices as you can (if you have a gravy separator, use it here to drain the fat). Bring the juices to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. While the sauce is reducing, shred the beef using two forks. Return the beef and sauce to the slow cooker and place on WARM until ready to eat. You can add some of the strained tomatoes and onions if you like as well. *You can also skip the step of straining the juices and reducing the sauce and simply add the shredded beef back into the slow cooker if you please.
To serve: prepare corn tortillas according to directions. Top tortillas with some of the shredded beef and some juices, and top with any toppings you desire – I suggested some above (cabbage through cilantro), but feel free to add what you like.
Makes 10-12 tacos.
You may have some beef leftover; so throw it in some chili or enchiladas; or eat it with some eggs in the morning – whatever your little heart desires.