Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fish Tacos (From Dad)

Beth and I both have been lagging on posting on Vo2 Maxed. Needless to say life has been busy. Luckily my Dad kills it in the kitchen and has provided us with another entry. Last time it was Pollo Asado Tacos and this time it's Fish Tacos... and no my dad is not of Mexican descent. The Walsh family just loves our Mexican food (and beer)!

Fish Tacos by Jim Walsh. Here is a recipe for fish tacos with all the trimmings.

My fish taco. Carb Smart tortilla. (notice the paper plate... keep it real dad. jw)

Fish tacos differ greatly from location to location. My philosophy of fish tacos is:
1. Always but the freshest fish available. Any "white" fleshed fish will do, as long as it is of a "heavy" consistency. (Cod is usually used, but grouper, tilapia, ahi tuna, mahi mahi, or in this case wahoo are also good choices. Freshness in more important than the variety.)
2. The fish MUST unadulterated and be grilled. (Breaded fish in tacos may as well be made with packaged, frozen fish sticks.)
3. The fish MUST not be seasoned prior to grilling. Just a brush of Extra Virgin Olive Oil to keep it from sticking.
4. After fish is grilled, while still hot, flake and season. (See Recipe)
5. The true test/taste of the fish taco is in the garnish and condiments. Therefore, these must be to your taste.
6. Fresh homemade garnish / condiments are always the best.
7. Flavors must be layered, like the filling. There is a delicate balance between sweet and savory. It is very easy to overpower the flavor of the fish.
8. A fish taco is not a fish taco without a Baja Sauce. (See Recipes) Try all four and pick your favorite. These are ours.
With these guidelines in place, my recipe for the "Best" Fish Tacos follows.

Four pieces of Wahoo, approx. 1 inch thick, ready for the grill.

Grilled and ready to flake.

Ready to serve.

Shredded cabbage, grated cheese (cheddar or "Mexican" blend), and guacamole(definitely). Diced tomatoes, sour cream and diced Spanish onion (if you must).

Fish Filling

Approx. 2 lbs. of fresh fish, Wahoo in this case
2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, very finely chopped.
1/2 tsp. Obie Cue or other brand Fajita Seasoning (Available from www.obiecue.com , best I've found. Also, try their Texas Soul. Great Mexican seasoning)
1/2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Brush fish with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and grill until desired doneness, (Fish must be grilled to the point that it will flake easily).
Remove fish from the grill and flake while still hot and keep warm. The method I use is to heat a cast iron skillet in the oven to about 250 degrees and place flaked fish in the skillet to keep warm. Once all fish is flaked, very sparingly, season with the Fajita Seasoning and Cilantro. You don't have to use all the spice and cilantro. This should be just a "touch" of seasoning, and has to be applied while the fish is warm. Just a hint if seasoning.

Serve Immediately.

Mango Salsa

1 Cup of fresh Mango, diced small
1/3 cup roasted Red Peppers (The "canned" variety are used here, sweeter than home roasted)
1/3 Cup Red Onion, diced small
1 Jalapeño pepper, seeded, deveined and minced
1 Tbsp. fresh Mint, chopped (If you can't find fresh mint, dried mint leaves can be substituted, 1/4 the amount of fresh)
1 Tbsp. fresh Lime juice

Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until needed.

Clockwise from the top: Green Baja Sauce, Pink/Red Baja Sauce, Chipotle Baja sauce, Amargo Baja Sauce.

Green Baja Sauce
This Baja Sauce is like a thin mild / cilantro guacamole. Add more Jalapeño if you want it hot.

1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Cup Cilantro leaves
1 large Jalapeño pepper (seeded and deveined)
1 - 1 1/2 Avocados (Depends on ripeness, less ripe, more Avo.)
1 Tbsp. Fresh Lime juice
Dash Ancho Chili Pepper

Combine cilantro leaves, Jalapeño pepper and avocado in a food processor or blender and pulse until mixed fairly well. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until needed.

Pink/Red Baja Sauce
This sauce is very similar to Taco Bell Baja Sauce. (Mild)

1/4 Red bell pepper
1 large Jalapeño pepper (seeded and deveined)
1/4 small Spanish onion
1 cup Mayonnaise (not fat free)
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 tsp. Fresh ground Black Pepper
Dash of Garlic Powder
Dash of Cumin
Dash of Ancho Chili Pepper
2 Tbsp. water

Combine red bell pepper, Jalapeño pepper, onion, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, ancho chili pepper and water in a food processor or blender and puree. Combine 5-6 Tbsp. of this mixture with the Mayonnaise and vinegar. Refrigerate until needed.

Chipotle Baja Sauce
Great "smokey" flavor (Tangy)

1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/3 Cup Mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. Fresh Lime juice
1 Tbsp. canned Chipotle chilies
2 Cloves of Garlic
1/2 tsp. Chipotle Chili Pepper

Note: Dried Chipotle Chilies can be reconstituted in boiling water and used in place of the canned variety. They will take slightly longer to break down in the blender.

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until needed .

Amargo Baja Sauce
This sauce has a slightly sour / bitter taste. By itself, it does not taste very good, but in the taco it provides a contrast to Mango Salsa. It is an acquired taste.

7 oz. Crème Fraiche
1/4 Cup Buttermilk
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Tbsp. Honey
1 tsp. Spanish Smoked Sweet Paprika
1 tsp. Spanish Smoked Hot Paprika
1/2 tsp. Chipotle Chili Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until well combined. Pour mixture into a sauce pan and gently warm until steaming. Refrigerate until needed. To serve, reheat until warm. Pour into condiment dispenser and serve warm.

Monday, March 3, 2008

ride snacks and a recipe

tri bloggers don't just ride, they eat and ride and tell you about it. personally, i like to hear about the snacks even more than the rides.
here's some of the latest:

paul's been cooking up some red potatoes in la jolla for his long rides. i guess if you live in la jolla you are spending all your money on your house (or diapers :)...just kidding. i am totally trying this soon.

james brought along a smuckers whole wheat peanut butter 'n honey on his last ride. i stole a bite, it was amazing. throw that thing in the freezer and stick it in the jersey pocket...210 calories with 26 grams of carbs...perfect

i tried to bring some sweet and salty chex mix with me on my last long ride. bad call. it was like sand when i pulled it out. not sure how i crushed it, but i managed somehow. if i could have a ride snack fairy to bring me something special, i would request that she make me a couple of these rice krispie sushi wonders by kerrie (see pictures 3&4)

oh and to drink, i have been loving putting Gatorade G2 in my bottles. electrolyte love. and has anyone tried that new propel with caffeine? it's goooooood (just what i need for my sleep problem, right?)

last week, when i rode with bethany, she ate a homemade gluten free PB&J, half a snicker's charged and a ring pop and then pulled the group for 40 miles....hmmm...maybe she's onto something.

and before his rides, moonpie cooks up some steel cut oats n nuts n berries that put our frozen trader joe's version to shame. if you click on his blo, please disregard the trans-fat-a-licious confection decorating the upper right corner of his page.
any other favorites out there?

now the recipe...

this one comes as a guest post from my way-cooler-than-a-step-mom-step-mom marsha. she is the best cook around and specialized in "three pile meals" (meat, starch, veg), anything barefoot contessa or jamie oliver, and soup soup soup. i steal all of her recipes and tell james i made them up. as for soup, she makes killer turkey chili, potato leek, butternut squash, carrot curry, and like this chicken chili she made while i was home....yum...
but this recipe is not about chicken chili, its CIOPPINO! fish soup....protein power so we can swim like fishees! click on that cioppino link for the history of the stuff. interesting. i like how it was originally just a pot of whatever remained from the catch of the day. that's like most soup thouh i guess. i think one day i want to do an unannounced soup challenge and get people to make a soup from ONLY what is in their house at that moment, especially things that need to be used up. could get some interesting recipes

okay, from the kitchen of marsha gerdes:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes,
¼ tomato paste
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 ½ dry white wine
5 cups of fish stock or combination fish stock and vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound manila clams
1 pound mussels,
1 pound uncooked large shrimp
1 ½ pound assorted firm fleshed fish fillets such as halibut

Heat oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, and salt and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ¾ teaspoon of red pepper flakes and sauté 2 minutes, Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open. (Discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Remove bay leaf. Season the soup to taste.

and here's her photo! (i love it, the fam is now "into" the food picture things and she sends me meal pics from her iphone)

Lagging, good finds, and some dinner.

Ok... I have been lagging posting on VO2 Maxxed. Beth has been getting it done and we actually have two guest family posts waiting on deck. So since I have been blowing it and haven't posted in a while. Here's quick highlight of some of the meals and wines we've had recently and some killer products we found at Trader Joe's.

Find #1: Individually wrapped, single servings of Steelcut Oats. They are awesome and perfect for right after masters.

Find#2: Trader Joe's Spicy Spinach Pizzas

We hooked them up with a bunch toppings... like fire-roasted tomatoes, red onion, mushrooms, artichoke heats, more spinach, grilled chicken, and feta cheese.

Dinner#1: Grilled swordfish with corn salsa and avocado with a side of steamed veggies.

Dinner#2: Salmon burrito.

Dinner#3: Veggie Egg scramble

Dinner #4: Filet mignon... perfect medium-rare

We also stocked up on random wines at Trader Joe's. I am big fan of the "House Wine" and Block 50. Beth really liked the Les Moirets Cotes Du Rhone.

there... that's it... a post from me. Now maybe Beth will get off my back!