let’s fête foodie {taco party}

Let's Fête cinco de mayo_4

I’ve been making this meal for a few years, and it consistently makes me (and the family) so dang happy. The fresh flavors, clean ingredients and bright colors can liven up any room/meal/day/season. We make this in the winter months on occasion, simply to break it up a little bit. I really swear by these recipes, and they are all from Cooking Light. I used to receive the hard copy of the mag when I lived in San Francisco, and this one meal has stood the test of time. I make parts of it on occasion too, so it’s not like you need to commit to the whole thing if you’re not up for it.

The menu consists of this fresh cabbage slaw, halibut tacos and rich pineapple-avocado salsa. I threw in a blackberry margarita too but this was the first time I’ve made that recipe. We also do the flank steak tacos on occasion, which were from the same issue.

Please excuse the lack of photos for this post, I mean I didn’t even get one of an actual taco. Sometimes (and by that I mean most of the time) when the kids are hungry you have about .25 of a second before a meltdown is going to happen. So, you snap a few quick shots and then shove some food at them. Self preservation, people.

Note that the recipes below make party sized amounts of each, for 6 – 8 adults, so adjust accordingly.

Let's Fête cinco de mayo_2

Chimichurri Halibut Tacos (makes 6 servings)

2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons fresh oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas

to make

  • place first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Slowly pour oil through food chute; process until smooth. Place fish in a shallow dish; rub mixture over fish. Cover and chill 2 hours. (I have to admit I rush this part…still great)
  • preheat grill to high heat.
  • sprinkle fish with salt and black pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill. Break fish into chunks. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide fish evenly among tortillas
  • top with cabbage slaw or pineapple-avocado salsa (below)

Let's Fête cinco de mayo_1

Cabbage Slaw

4 cups shredded cabbage
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced radishes
1/2 cup diagonally cut green onions
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

to make (careful, this one is complicated)

  • combine first 5 ingredients; toss
  • sprinkle with mint, salt, and pepper

cinco de mayo

Pineapple-avocado salsa

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
Cooking spray
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 serrano chile, minced
1 avocado

to make

  • preheat grill to high heat.
  • combine oil and honey, stirring well. Brush oil mixture over pineapple. Place pineapple on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 2 minutes on each side or until golden. (note: I’ve done this recipe without grilling and the oil/honey mixture…excellent both ways, so you can save a little time if needed)
  • remove from grill; cool 5 minutes. Chop. Combine pineapple, onion, and next 6 ingredients (through serrano); toss gently. (I’ve also made this without serrano, given the little mouths in our house, and I really love it without too).
  • peel, seed, and dice avocado. Add avocado to the pineapple mixture, and toss gently.

Let's Fête cinco de mayo_5

Blackberry Margarita (8 servings)

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lime
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup 100% agave blanco tequila
3/4 cup Grand Marnier
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
12 ounces fresh blackberries

to make

  • combine 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar and kosher salt in a dish
  • cut lime into 9 wedges; rub rims of 8 glasses with 1 lime wedge
  • dip rims of glasses in salt mixture
  • combine water and 1/2 cup sugar in a small pot and heat on the stove until sugar is dissolved; cool
  • combine syrup, tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, and blackberries in a blender; process until smooth.
  • strain mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a pitcher; discard solids (I don’t think we HAVE to do this step, I mean, are we afraid of some blackberry seeds? I didn’t, and then it did get a little separated when sitting there, you can see in the pic, but tasted awesome!)
  • serve over ice, garnishing with remaining lime wedges

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