Rockfish Tacos with Carrot-Bean Slaw and Avocado Cream

24 03 2016

So here I am, This Girl is back…from a LONG break after having a baby! Bare with me as I get back to real cooking and blogging (enough with the frozen pizza, to-go orders and week-old leftovers, although I can stretch a leftover now like you wouldn’t believe)!

These tacos were inspired by last night’s baby food, homemade of course, and admittedly my son has been eating better than me lately. I made him pureed avocado and corn. I love the silky smooth texture, which is different then my usual chunky guac. Here I pureed avocado with sour cream making a “sauce” for these tacos, although his combo with the corn would be delicious as well. Too bad he ate it all! Next time I’m doubling, half for him and half for us!

Rockfish Tacos with Carrot-Bean Slaw and Avocado-Sour Cream

The following makes 4-5 large tacos (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 lb skinless rockfish, cubed
  • ½ Tbsp ancho chile powder (you could use regular chile powder, I just wanted to match the smokey flavor in the poblano)
  • ½ tsp each ground cumin and garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp each salt and onion powder
  • Olive oil
  • 1 heaping cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) blank beams, rinsed well
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tortillas (I used multi-grain soft taco tortillas)
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend

Char the poblano pepper over an open flame on your stove. Continue to turn and char until all sides are done. Place in a medium bowl and immediately cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will trap the steam to make peeling easier.

Combine chile powder, cumin, garlic, salt and onion powder in a small bowl. Season fish liberally all over using spice blend. Add olive oil (few turns of the pan) to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add seasoned fish and saute until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, uncover the pepper once cool enough to handle and peel the skin. Don’t take too much time removing, leaving some of the char on will add flavor. Cut in half, remove seeds and rough chop/large dice. Add back to the bowl along with the carrots, beans and green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper, any spice blend you have leftover from seasoning the fish, juice of half the lime and the rice vinegar. Mix well and set aside.

Add the avocado and sour cream to a small food processor along with salt and pepper to taste and juice from the rest of the lime. Pulse until smooth and set aside.

Warm tortillas in the microwave, or if you have time you can char them over an open flame on your stove or on the grill.

Finally, build your tacos. Spread some of the avocado-sour cream on the bottom of a tortilla, top with some cheese, the carrot-bean slaw and fish. Enjoy any leftover slaw as a side dish along with the tacos.

Fish Tacos with Carrot and Cilantro Chimichurri Slaw

30 04 2014

Friends often ask me how I’m able to cook nearly every night after long work days. The trick is to meal plan for the week, use similar ingredients in different dishes and utilize leftovers. The other night I made a steak dinner with a chimichurri sauce. I saved some of the chimichurri on purpose to use with this taco, to add flavor and finish the dish. By using leftover sauce with quick cooking fish and pre-shredded carrots, I’m able to get dinner together super fast on a busy weeknight.

Fish Tacos with Carrot and Cilantro Chimichurri Slaw

Fish Tacos with Carrot and Cilantro Chimichurri Slaw

The following makes 2 large tacos (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cod filets, skinless
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground cumin
  • Ancho chile powder
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup leftover cilantro chimichurri
  • 2 whole-grain tortillas, soft taco size
  • 2 Tbsp whole cilantro leaves

Heat a Tbsp or so of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Season fish filets on both sides with a little salt, cumin, chile and garlic powders to taste. Saute until fish is opaque, cooked through and starting to brown, 4-5 minutes or so per side.

Meanwhile in a bowl, combine the carrots, green onions, red onion, chopped cilantro and all but a little of the leftover chimichurri until combined.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave 10-20 seconds.

To serve, divide the carrot slaw among warmed tortillas, top with a piece of fish and garnish with remaining chimichurri and cilantro leaves. To make the taco easier to eat after you plate it, gently break up the fish into bite-size pieces with a fork.

Smoky Chipotle Chicken Tacos

18 03 2014

Taco Tuesday’s never been easier, and not because you’re eating out….you just need a fast recipe! Using a crunchy slaw mix, such as broccoli slaw, is a great time saver when you’re trying to get dinner on the table quickly. It also adds the necessary textural contrast to soft tortillas, helping create a great taco!

Smoky Chicken Tacos

Smoky Chicken Tacos

The following makes 4 tacos (adapted from Everyday Food):

  • Olive oil
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 cups broccoli-slaw mix
  • 2 Tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 tsp chopped chipotle in adobo
  • Zest and juice of half a lime
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 multi-grain tortillas, charred
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Add a little olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper and a tsp of chipotle. Saute until browned and cooked through, 7-8 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine slaw, yogurt, chipotle (use 1-2 tsp depending how much you like chipotle), lime zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Char the tortillas over the flame of a gas burner, flipping constantly.

Top each tortilla with chicken, slaw and cilantro.

Blackened Tilapia and Chicken Tacos

27 02 2013

This morning I pulled out a small portion of tilapia and one chicken breast from the freezer to defrost for dinner. Random I know, and of course I didn’t have a clue what I was going to make. Sometimes this is how I like to meal plan though…take something out to defrost in the morning without a plan, and then let my creativity flow throughout the day!

So by now you’ve figured out what I came up with…tacos! I decided to use the same seasoning on both the fish and chicken though so there wouldn’t be too many contrasting flavors. Here’s to taco night, and endless possibilities!

Blackened Tilapia and Chicken Tacos

Blackened Tilapia and Chicken Tacos

The following serves 2 (compliments of

  • 2 tilapia filets, cubed
  • 1 large chicken breast, cubed
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tsp ancho chile powder (or chipotle chile powder)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 and 1/2 cups corn
  • 1 and 1/2 cups zucchini, chopped (I used a combo of squash and red bell pepper instead)
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Avocado, chopped
  • Reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream for garnish
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Lettuce, chopped

Mix the chile powder, paprika, salt and cayenne together in a small bowl. Rub half on the fish and half on the chicken. I used a very generous hand on both, but I like a lot of spice. And I even had extra left over that I added to the sautéed veggies. If you don’t like as much spice, I’d recommend not using as much.

Heat two small skillets over medium-high heat with a little olive oil. Saute the chicken in one and the fish in the other. Be careful not to turn the fish too soon or it will start to flake on you.

Meanwhile, get a third skillet heating with a little oil and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until translucent and fragrant. Next add the corn and zucchini (or squash and red bell pepper like I did), and cook until crisp-tender. Stir in cilantro, lime juice and salt to taste.

Wrap tortillas in a damp towel and microwave for 1 minute.

To build the tilapia tacos: Serve fish in warm tortillas and top with chopped avocado, sour cream and lettuce.

To build the chicken tacos: Serve chicken in warm tortillas and top with the sautéed veggies.

Adobe Beef Tacos With Pickled Red Onions

24 09 2012

These beef tacos would make a great addition to your Mexican fiesta, or to enjoy at a Sunday afternoon football party (which is where I served them)! Save yourself time the day of your party and make both the beef and pickled onions the day before!

Adobe Beef Tacos With Pickled Red Onions

The following makes 8 servings (compliments of and This Girl):

  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 lb beef shoulder top blade steaks or roast
  • 8 small corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or shredded monterey jack cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves

For pickled onions: combine sliced onion, vinegar, salt and honey in a medium bowl; stir well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (can be prepared a day in advance).

Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl.  (If you can’t find adobo seasoning, combine 1 tsp seasoned salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and 1/8 tsp dried oregano.)

Spread seasoning liberally over beef then brown in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Once browned on all sides, add enough water to cover beef. Cook until the meat is fork tender and comes apart with no resistance, about 2 hours. When done, remove roast and let cool; shred by hand and set aside.

I found that the meat wasn’t coming apart easily, so I shred what I could and cut the other parts and made a sauce to finish cooking it in – which helped tenderize the meat more. Here’s how I did it:

Remove the meat and set aside on a cutting board (shred/cut when it’s cool enough to handle). Strain the meat cooking liquid through a mesh strainer and add to a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, mix some cornstarch with a little water and slowly add to the boiling stock; stir constantly for a minute or so until it thickens. You may need to add more cornstarch mix depending how much liquid you started with – but just keep adding it until the liquid thickens into a sauce. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings – I added a few more dashes of cumin, chipotle chile pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and salt. Add the shredded/cut meat to the sauce and simmer on low, covered, for another hour or so. Taste and cook longer if needed.

Just before you’re ready to serve, drain the picked onions well and warm the tortillas.

Fill tortillas with beef, cheese, picked onions and top with cilantro.

And for leftovers the next night….Adobe Beef Quesadilla With Pickled Red Onions! Just stuff two tortillas with cheese, meat and beans and bake on a pizza stone at 425 degrees until golden brown, serve with pickled red onions, sour cream and cilantro.

Adobe Beef Quesadilla With Pickled Red Onions


Tandoori Spiced Chicken Tacos With Leftover Avocado, Yogurt and Cumin Dip

16 04 2012

I wanted to use up some of my leftover avocado, yogurt and cumin dip  from the weekend (see the dip portion of my post from yesterday). I immediately thought about something Indian or Mexican. And then a light bulb…who needs to choose when you can fuse both with an Indian-spiced chicken taco?!?

I have a great pre-made tandoori spice from my local farmers market. I recommend saving yourself time and looking for the pre-made kind, but if you can’t find it, below is Bobby Flay’s tandoori spice breakdown.

Tandoori Spiced Chicken Tacos With Leftover Avocado, Yogurt and Cumin Dip

The following serves 2-4:

  • 1 Tbsp pre-made tandoori spice
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 – 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Soft flour tortillas, count on at least 2 per person (I like to use the fajita style so you can really fill them up!)
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Leftover avocado, yogurt and cumin dip
  • Queso fresco cheese, crumbled or chopped
  • Box of 5 minute couscous
  • Half a lime, zest and juice
  • Cumin

This Girl’s way: I cut my chicken in large cubes and then tossed with 1 Tbsp of the pre-made tandoori spice I have along with 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil. That was more than enough spice to coat the chicken evenly. I marinated the chicken with the spices and oil in the fridge for an hour or so.

Bobby’s tandoori spice blend: 2 Tbsp each of onion powder, garlic powder, ground ginger and ground coriander; 1 Tbsp each of ground cumin, ground cayenne,  ground turmeric, ground white pepper and kosher salt; 3 tablespoons vegetable oil. If you’re following Bobby’s blend, I recommend combining all the spices first, then toss some with the chicken until you feel you have it well coated – then add the oil (store any leftover spice in an airtight container to use another time).

Pan sear the chicken in a little olive oil over medium-high heat for about 5 – 7 minutes, or until the juices of the chicken run clear, tossing often.

While the chicken is working, cook the couscous according to the package, but also add in some lime zest and a sprinkle of cumin to the cooking liquid. When the chicken and couscous are just about done, wrap tortillas in a damp towel and microwave for about a minute.

To build the tacos, spread some of the avocado, yogurt and cumin dip on the taco; top with lettuce, chicken and some queso fresco cheese (if desired). Serve alongside the couscous (hit the couscous with a splash of lime juice just before serving). Enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day!