Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Date night in: Valentine's edition, part 1

I know I'm technically a little late for Monday, but I wanted to do a special feature this week for Valentine's Day.  I know a lot of folks out there are tight on cash, but that shouldn't stop anyone from celebrating.  So I wanted to share a few ideas for affordable date nights in.

The recipes will feature easy, yet yummy, fixes for two, so whether you're a culinary expert or an amateur, you can easily make any of the dishes.  Also, recipes can easily be multiplied to serve a larger number of people.  If you're single, get some girlfriends together and celebrate your love for each other!  Don't let Valentine's get you down...perk up!

My first recipe is Fiery Fish Tacos.

If you're new to fish tacos, they're delicious.  It took me 20 years to finally give them a try a couple of winters ago, and I wasn't disappointed.  They never sounded appetizing to me, but now they're one of my favorites.

Be forewarned: I love spicy food.  I'll share how I season, but I'll also recommend adjustments if your pallet isn't quite as tough as mine.

white fish (I chose flounder this time around.  They're quite large, but I cooked 3 because Caleb has a big appetite.)
1/2 c mayonnaise (I prefer Kraft Mayo with olive oil)
1 tsp chile limon seasoning (replace with chili power if you cannot find, and also use less to soften the blow of the spiciness - use your best judgment)
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (you can use as little as 1/8 tsp so it's not so hot - I like them "fiery")
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground oregano
corn tortillas (I use pre-packaged white corn tortillas, but you can use flour if you prefer)
avocado (optional, but I love!)
olive oil

If fish is frozen, defrost in cold water.

Chop about 1/4 of a head of cabbage.  (You can purchase the pre-packaged shredded cabbage if you'd like to skip this step, but I like it fresh.)  Place chopped cabbage in medium sized bowl (or larger if you're cooking for more).  Add mayo, chile limon, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, garlic powder, and ground oregano to cabbage, and mix until seasoning is evenly distributed.  (You may also replace a 1/4 cup of mayo for sour cream, but I'm not a huge fan of sour cream, so I do all mayo.)  Squeeze the juice of half a lime into mixture, and stir in evenly.  Refrigerate.

Dice fish in about 1 inch chunks.  Cook in large pan over medium heat with olive oil and butter and salt and pepper to taste.  (I never measure olive oil and butter when I cook this way.  I just make sure the olive oil coats the pan, and I use a small spoonful of butter.)  Continue stirring over heat until fish is thoroughly cooked.  (The time will depend on what fish you choose.  I cooked mine for about 10 minutes.)

Put fish on warmed tortillas, and add cabbage mixture on top.  Add sliced avocado and fresh cilantro on top, to taste.

It's that easy!

Along with the tacos, I served black beans, Mexican style rice, and chips and queso, which we always order when we eat out at Mexican restaurants.  I just heated a can of black beans and added a spoonful of salsa on top and a dash of cilantro.  You can use any kind of bean you'd like, such as baracho or refried.  Campbell's makes an inexpensive Fiesta Nacho Cheese, and you can find it near their "cream of" soups.  (Tip - I always add milk, not water, and only fill the can about 1/2 to 2/3 full.)  For a simple, good Mexican rice recipe, go here.  If you prefer, make your own style rice, or buy saffron rice, which is always delicious.

Because I love avocado so much, I garnished my plate with the remaining slices and topped with salt and pepper...yum!

Let me know what you think!

2 inclinations:

Beckerman Girls said...[Reply to comment]

Your meal looks amazzzzzzzzing !!! I don't eat fish,so that's the only thing I would omit..but the rice, avocado, beans...I'm DROOOOLIN!!!! What a grrrrrreat idea! Happy early VDAY!
xoThe Beckerman Girls


Jessica Marie said...[Reply to comment]

@Beckerman Girls
Thanks! We ate it last night, and it was yummmmy!!

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