Easy Fish Tacos

While I LOVE making food from scratch because it’s fulfilling and gives me a sense of accomplishment, there are some days that I just need to and/or want to whip up something quickly.  Especially these days where I would prefer NOT to be on my feet too long with the extra weight I’m carrying around.  😛  Last Friday was no exception.  I had a quick flight home but it was one of the first flights out of Portland, so I was up pretty early.  Come dinner time, I was exhausted and had no desire to be in the kitchen longer than 30 minutes.  Since it was a Lenten Friday, we abstained from eating meat (any animals on land.  fish is okay.).  I wasn’t in the mood for pasta, so I ran to Trader Joe’s and grabbed fish fillets from the frozen section (don’t judge me!), avocados, broccoli slaw, and lettuce mix.  If I wasn’t lazy or tired (rough week) I would’ve purchased fresh cod and beer battered the fish myself but that just wasn’t happening.

I found this recipe (which worked perfect for me because I had greek yogurt in the fridge that I needed to use up) for a sauce to dress our fish tacos with.  The “labor intensive” things about this dish was putting the fish in the oven, cutting the avocados, and preparing the sauce.  Other than that it was pretty easy.

EASY FISH TACOS

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas
Avocados, sliced
Fish fillets, frozen (this is the easy version)
Broccoli Slaw (purchased at Trader Joe’s)
Lettuce and red cabbage mix (purchased at Trader Joe’s but you could easily do this from scratch)
Fish Taco Sauce

DIRECTIONS

Cook fish fillets according to package instructions.  While the fish fillets are cooking, prepare the fish taco sauce (I didn’t make any modifications to the sauce) and warm up the tortillas.  When the fish fillets are done, assemble your tacos and enjoy.

There wasn’t enough red cabbage in the lettuce mix I got so I added broccoli slaw to add some crunch to the tacos.  Adding slices of avocados bring some extra creaminess, in addition to the sauce.  YUMMY IN MY TUMMY and pretty healthy for you too!

I’m not trying to be Sandra Lee and make semi-homemade recipes but there are times when you don’t have enough ingredients on hand or are on a time crunch when taking shortcuts help.  What are your shortcut recipes?  Would you like to see more posts like these because I have a couple more that I can share?

my salsa

Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow.  Unfortunately, we won’t be able to go out and partake in the debauchery around the area as the hubs has school.  Eh!  But we, kind of, had our little Cinco de Mayo food fiesta this weekend.  I had some pork shoulder in the freezer that I wanted to use up since we’re moving soon and I haven’t gone grocery shopping for meat lately.  Plus I wasn’t in the mood for cuban pork or slow roasted adobo again, so I figured I’d make carnitas.  And I gave the hubs the option for burritos, tacos, or enchiladas.  He picked enchiladas.  I didn’t make my own enchilada sauce though.  I used the canned stuff.  Eh it was a quick fix since we were cleaning, well more like purging, all day.  Next time I think I’ll try Eva Longoria’s chicken enchilada recipe.  Since we were having pork, I opted to used the green chile enchilada sauce instead of the red chile sauce.  I was a bit skeptical about it but it turned out tasty.

CARNITAS GREEN CHILE ENCHILADAS
(wow what a mouth fool)

SLOW COOKER PORK CARNITAS

INGREDIENTS

1.5 lbs Pork Shoulder
1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tbsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Paprika
3/4 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Salt (you don’t want to add too much salt as the fat from the pork shoulder will flavor the meat plus you will be adding cheese and enchilada sauce to the meat)

DIRECTIONS

Put all the spices and seasonings into a bowl to combine.

Pat the pork dry and place the dry rub onto the pork.  Cover and marinade for several hours or overnight (I marinated my pork for an hour because I didn’t have time and it was still delicious, but I’m sure marinating it longer will be even better).

Heat skillet with oil.  When HOT, sear the pork on all sides to lock in the juices.  When brown, place into the slow cooker for 5 hours on low and 3 hours on high.

When done, remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred with forks.  Leave the fat from the carnitas in the slow cooker for assembly of enchiladas below.

ENCHILADAS

INGREDIENTS

Shredded Carnitas
Fat from the Carnitas (don’t knock it just yet)
1 can of Green Enchilada Sauce
Limes (optional)
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of shredded Mexican Blend or Cheddar or Queso Fresco
Tortillas

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To a baking pan, add 1/4 of the green enchilada sauce to the bottom.  Spread out and set aside.

Put the shredded carnitas in a bowl and add juice of limes and 1/4 of the green enchilada sauce.  Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Put the fat from the carnitas and 1/4 of the can of green enchilada sauce into two shallow bowls.

Take a the tortilla and to soften dip into the fat from the carnitas (adding flavor here people!), then dip into the green enchilada sauce.  This is a method used in Eva Longoria’s enchiladas; however, she dips the tortillas in oil.  I’m just adding an extra layer of flavor.

Then add the shredded meat combination onto the tortilla, then add onions and cheese.  Roll up into a cigar and place the enchilada into the pan.  Repeat until the pan is full of enchiladas.

Then add the remainder of the enchilada sauce over the top of the dish.  Sprinkle on remainder of cheese.

Place into the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.  Let it sit for 5 minutes and enjoy with a Margarita or Michelada!

If you have leftover carnitas, you can make carnitas nachos with black bean mango salsa (black beans, diced mangos, cilantro, and lime juice) like I did for lunch.  I added tomatoes and avocados because I wanted more vegetables in my meal.  Plus cheese 😛

Here are some other Mexican fave’s you can enjoy during Cinco de Mayo…

Restaurant Style Chicken Nachos

Accompanied by some Guacamole or salsa (I SWEAR by Pioneer Woman’s restaurant style salsa.  I’m NEVER EVER buying salsa again.  I’ve used this recipe for the last year and a half!)

Tequila Lime Chicken, also another Pioneer Woman favorite

Pair it with some guacamole or pico de gallo, another Pioneer Woman favorite

And some Mexican Corn, Elote

Want something to warm you up (although it is May)?   How about some Tortilla Soup?

Don’t want soup to warm you up?  How about some Chile Verde?

My inspiration for the title of the post is Cinco De Mayo and of course a snippet from D-12’s My Band video, where Eminem starts singing My Salsa at the very end.  HILARIOUS. And just for the fun of it forward to minute 5:06.

Enjoy your Cinco De Mayo!  Drink responsibly and don’t drink and drive.  Salud!

cooking = therapy

I’ve been a tad stressed out lately and I find that whenever I cook it’s a stress reliever.

I’ve been cooking a lot lately.  Here are a couple of the recipes I’ve made lately.

Restaurant Style Chicken Nachos by iheartfood4thought.com and allrecipes.com (Modifications by me in Red)

INGREDIENTS

2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 green onions, sliced, white parts and tops separated
3 tablespoons canola oil (I used olive oil)
1 shredded, cooked, whole chicken breast
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup salsa
1/2 (12 ounce) package tortilla chips
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend
1/2 large tomato, diced
Refried beans
Sliced olives

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

> Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
> In a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, cook and stir the garlic and white parts of the green onions in canola oil until tender.
> Mix in shredded chicken, salt and pepper. Toss until well coated with oil.
> Stir in the salsa.
> Arrange tortilla chips on a large baking sheet.
>Spread refried beans on top of chips
> Spoon the chicken mixture over tortilla chips.
> Top with Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese blend and tomato.
> Bake in the preheated oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.
> Remove from heat and sprinkle with green onion tops before serving.

** TIP: Heat the chips for 5 minutes before cooking the nachos to avoid sogginess. Can also add jalapenos, fat free sour cream and taco seasoning to chicken mixture.

I add olives, sour cream, jalapenos, and guacamole on top of the nachos after it comes out of the oven.

My husband LOVES when I make these randomly or for game day.  They taste like the chicken nachos at Taco Bell… actually even better.

I actually made a smaller portion that what is called for (I believe the version above calls for a serving size of 6).  I didn’t want to make the full portion as I made sliders earlier for the 10am games.

Of course with Hawaiian bread.  It plays up that sweet and salty feel.  Potato Rolls are awesome with sliders too.   I don’t have a recipe for sliders.  Just get a some good ground beef (Sirloin or Chuck) with a good fat content (80-20).  Make them into mini patties and season with salt and pepper on both sides and grill or place on the griddle.  Toast up the bread.  Ketchup and mustard and either pickles or caramelized onions.  YUMMY!  Don’t forget a nice cold beer with that!

Last week you  might’ve seen my farmers market buys.  I bought some figs which ended up molding (I know gross) after two days sitting out, so I had to throw them out.  I did however still have butternut squash and made this.

Saffron Rissoto with Butternut Squash by Ina Garten

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. You should have about 6 cups. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the pancetta and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still al dente, about 30 minutes total. Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese. Mix well and serve.

For some reason my risotto ended up being salty, probably because I used the powdered stock instead of low sodium stock in a box or homemade risotto.  But it was still pretty tasty.  I also crisped up some extra pancetta and put it over the top for texture.

Keep posted for a couple more easy peasy recipes I’ve whipped up.  As well as a DIY.