Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Tartar Sauce

I know these look a mess & that's because they are. They are super messy, especially if you use larger tortillas.

So, note to self: Use small tortillas for the fish tacos unless you want it in your lap.

I had fish tacos for the first time at a restaurant in Destin, FL. I fell in love with them. I dreamed about them. I liked them so much I decided to re-create them.

So, on with the fish tacos.

For the fish you'll be using the recipe for baked fish here on Gone With the Whisk. So get all that ready.

There are several components to this, so be sure to take notes.

To start, the avocado...

First, grab an avocado. A trick to being able to slice this, is to slice it in half around the seed. Then take a knife & stick in the seed & twist it. Then use a spoon to remove the avocado from the skin. It'll scoop right out.

Dice your avocado. Add a touch of lime juice & a dash of cilantro. Mix well & set aside.

Now we're gonna make the chipotle tartar sauce.

You'll need tartar sauce & chipotle peppers in adobo. I use store-bought tartar but if you would like to make your own, by all means, feel free & send me the recipe.

Chipotles are dried & smoke jalapenos & they are suuuupppper hot. I'm talking clear your sinuses while your mouth is on fire hot. Do they not look hot? Trust me, they are.
 They are kinda ugly too. You'll be using two whole peppers from this entire can. If you can stand the heat, use more. But have the fire extinguisher handy. Chop up those peppers.

Add the peppers to just over a cup of the tartar sauce.

Mix that together until it makes this beautifully colored, creamy & spice sauce. Set that aside.

Now for the slaw.
 I use pre-packaged, pre-cut cole slaw mix. It's just easier for me that way. You'll use as much as you like, but I used about 3/4 of this bag.

To the slaw add a 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin.

A heaping 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder.

Then a 1/2 teaspoon of canola oil.

Mix all that up & set it aside.

Grab your flour tortillas. I used the low-carb, whole wheat version this time. They were a little larger than taco sized tortillas, usually that's what you need, taco size.

And the assembly begins...

 Spread a little of your chipotle tartar sauce on a tortilla.

Then lay your fish on one side of the tortilla. We use one fillet per taco.

This is where The Hunk & I differ. I like to cut my fish fillet in half & place it on the tortilla. He likes to chop his fish up. You do what you like. I personally like the chunks of fish I get when it's cut in half, but I'm not here to persuade you. I'll just leave you with this thought...have I steered you wrong yet?

Thank you.

Moving on.

Spread a little of the sauce on the fish. This is probably what makes it so messy, the double-layering of sauce. But it's also what makes it so tasty.

 Throw some slaw on top of the fish.

Top that with the diced avocado.

Fold it over & you've got fish tacos. These are a favorite in our house.

Hope they become one of your favorites too!

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Tartar Sauce
Makes 4 Tacos

4 Baked fish fillets
4 flour tortillas, taco-sized
1 or 2 whole avocados, diced
Dash of lime juice
Dash of cilantro
2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo, finely diced
1 1/4 cup of prepared tartar sauce
1 bag prepared cole slaw mix
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp canola oil

Prepare fish according to the baked fish  recipe. Mix diced avocado, lime juice & cilantro together, set aside. For chiptole sauce, blend well, diced peppers & tartar sauce. For slaw stir together cole slaw mix, cumin, chili powder & oil. Heat flour tortilla according to package directions. Spread a little of the chipotle sauce on the tortilla, half fish fillet & lay on tortilla, top with more sauce, slaw & avocado, fold over. Repeat with next 3 tacos. Serve. Delicious!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New Orleans, Nawlins or New Orleens & Food

What says New Orleans (or Nawlins or New Orleens, however you prefer to say it) better than Po' Boys? Nothing right? Well, not quite.

I had the pleasure of taking a trip to New Orleans with my best girlfriends to meet one of our displaced best girlfriends this past weekend. (The displaced thing is another story for another time). It's become a tradition for us to make this trip just over 2 hours west for the St. Patrick's Day Parade in good ole Nawlins. The parade is always the Saturday before St. Patty's Day & is at least 4 hours long. There's lots of flowers given to girls by men in kilts & tuxedos, cabbages & beads thrown from floats at lightning speed & plenty of green beer a flowin'. But this post is not about St. Patty's Day. It's about the food I had was able to sample while in our beloved southern city of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Obviously I'm a foodie & even though I've been to alot of restaurants in alot of different places I have yet to go to one by a famous chef I saw on television. This New Orleans tripped marked my first of these experiences & I was very excited.

On our way to the parade we found a cute little spot to have lunch that was connected to a museum named The American Sector &, as the sign states & we discovered, it is one of John Besh's restaurants. John Besh is a well-known chef who is originally from New Orleans & owns seven different restaurants in the city. You may have seen him on Top Chef, Top Chef Masters & The Food Network. My point is, the dude is famous so it was a highlight for me to be eating at one of his restaurants. Onto the food...

After us girls placed our order they brought a little mason jar of homemade pickles to the table. They were very good, a little vinegary for my taste, but good.

As our food arrived at the table I had to click some pictures of it. I went traditional & ordered the shrimp po'boy that you see at the top of the post. It was served on a square wooden cutting board & wrapped in brown paper. As far as po'boys go I've actually had better, but how can you mess up fried shrimp, tartar sauce, lettuce & tomato all on french bread.

And it was served with these fries given to us in these cute tin cans lined with brown paper.

One of the girls ordered the sliders. I know this looks larger than a normal slider, but it was about average size. It was an order of three of these babies served with an onion bacon marmalade which was absolutely delicious.

The star of the table though was this short-rib sloppy joe. I didn't taste any of it because it was too messy to pass down the table to me, but it looked wonderful & my girlfriend reported that it was really good. It was ginormous too, enough for three people, seriously.

A couple of cabbages & several fake flowers (& a few green beers) later we decided to go to dinner in the lobby of the hotel that was around the corner from the hotel we were staying in. Again, as we got there we discovered it was yet another John Besh restaurant named Dominica. It's an italian place. It's very trendy being full of small plankwood tables, leather chairs, crystal chandeliers & black curtains. It was lovely & right up my alley.

After figuring out how to read the menu, it was a touch confusing at first glance, we finally ordered. One of the girls ordered this salad. It was served with very thin sliced apples topped with pecorino cheese, greens, a blood orange vinaigrette & pecans. It was beautiful & vibrant.

Then came the main courses.

Pizza with prosciutto & arugula, mozzarella & tomato sauce.

Then a margherita pizza, the girls added mushrooms to half of it. It was very good, the sauce was perfect.

I ordered the Gnocchi with mushrooms, pancetta & thyme. It was so delicious I could have swam in the sauce. It was a great, rich comfort food.

Later, we're sitting there sipping our wine & deciding where to go or what to do next when we decide to sample dessert or should I say desserts. They were as delicious as the rest of our dinner had been. First up was the Banana Zuppa Inglese which was a moist banana cake layered with butterscotch mousse & topped with peanut brittle. Absolutely scrumptious!

Then we ordered the Gianduja Budino, chocolate & hazelnut pudding topped with whipped cream & candied hazelnuts. It's fancier that it sounds, this was not your average pudding, more like a mousse. Devine!

The last dessert we settled on was the Frittele Di Mele, apple & ricotta fritters served with a ginger zabaione. The displaced girlfriend wasn't big on any of the desserts but she wanted to drink the zabaione with a straw. It was very sweet & rich but when you dipped the fritters in it there was a perfect balance. I loved this one but it was so sweet & rich you couldn't eat much. We actually left one fritter on the plate....we should be ashamed of ourselves, I know.

On our way out of town we did stop at the famous Mother's Restaurant. I forgot to take my camera in for those pictures which was just as well because I had breakfast instead of one of their famous sandwiches loaded with ham & turkey & dripping with debris & their cabbage & creole mustard concoction. You'll have to imagine that yourself & drool over it later.

That's the brief of my food adventures in New Orleans. It was much better than the usual stopping at the closest place you can find & it's good but nothing to write home about. This trip was much different on that level. 

If you find yourself in New Orleans stop by John Besh's place & tell him Gone With The Whisk said hi & she loved the gnocchi.

Until next time!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mexican Breakfast Cups

Hey ya'll!!

Before we start this new recipe let me apologize for being out of touch for so long. Of course I'm saying that assuming you all have missed me & my recipes.

I certainly hope that's the case anyway.

So what's been going on to keep me from my peeps you ask? I've been busy, lots going on. Wedding showers, Mardi Gras (the city closes down for that), a trip with my girlfriends to prepare for & on top of it all I got sick. I had the crud, still trying to shake it as a matter of fact.

Some good things came of it though, the time off that is. I finally watched Julie & Julia & I have been inspired to cook Burgundy Beef or as Julia calls it Beouf Bourguignon. It's very french, not at all southern & doesn't include bacon grease...how good can it really be? We will see. It is on the list to make.

Also, I've stock piled some recipes to share with you & since it's been 2 weeks since we talked I will be posting every 3 days or so for the next couple of weeks.

Now enough about me & my goings on.

Let's talk about these breakfast cups & there goings on.

We're south of the border again folks. I created this recipe totally on the fly & made it up as I went along & it turned out fabulous.

So make it already!

First for prep work you need to do a rough chop on some fresh cilantro. I used alot, about 1/4 cup. Feel free to use less.

Dice up some tomatoes. I used cherry tomatoes because that's all we had in the fridge. Again I used about 1/4 cup.

Set the veggies to the side.

Grab your handy skillet & brown a pound of sausage.

As the sausage starts to brown add your tomatoes.

Toss in the cilantro.

Now grab a small can of green chilis & add those to the sausage mixture as well.

Stir all that until it's well blended & the sausage is cooked through.

Set that aside.

Using a large or burrito size flour tortilla, you'll actually be using two of these. Cut it in thirds.

Then cut it in the thirds in the other direction. You'll end up with odd shapes but that's okay, you can use most of them.

Grab your muffin tin, a regular size muffin tin & spray the cups with non-stick spray. Place tortillas in the cups being sure to cover as much of the bottom & sides of the cups as you can. You may have to place two pieces of the tortilla in one cup.

Fill each cup with a sprinkle of cheese. I used cotija which is like a Mexican feta but not as tart as feta. You can use mozzarella, queso fresco or even cheddar. Whatever blows your skirt up.

I also advise you to munch on the cheese while you prepare the tortilla cups because we all love cheese & why not. You gotta sample your creation right?

Set that aside. We're about to get to the good stuff so you can use all these things you've set aside.

Now grab a bowl & crack 4 eggs. I know you only see 3 in the picture, but you should use 4. I used 3 because it was trial & error & once I tried the finished product my first thought was use 4 eggs & less milk.

Add a 1/4 cup of milk to the eggs. I used a 1/2 cup, but use a 1/4. (refer to my note above)

Add a sprinkle of salt & pepper to your taste. Then add 1/4 tsp of chili powder & cumin. I use a touch of season salt in my scrambled eggs so I tossed it in this too.

Whisk all that together until it's well blended & bubbly. The more bubbles in the eggs, the more air there is & the fluffier they will be.

Grab your muffin tin & your sausage mixture. Fill each tortilla cup with the sausage mixture. You may not use all of the sausage, I had about a cup leftover. But feel free to fill the cups more than I did.

Pour enough of the egg mixture into each tortilla cup to almost fill the cup. The egg will rise when it's cooked so be mindful of that when filling up the cups.

Now top each cup with more cheese. Again, use your own discretion.

Place the breakfast cups in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set.

When they are ready you have slightly spicy & savory Mexican breakfast cups.

Cut one open & enjoy.

Mexican Breakfast Cups

2 Large Flour Tortillas
1lb ground sausage
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 4oz can green chilis
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Salt & Pepper to Taste
1/2 cup grated cotija cheese (or other cheese of your choice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Start browning sausage, half way through add the tomatoes, cilantro & chilis. Stir well & continue cooking until sausage is done. Set aside. Cut each tortilla into thirds, then in thirds across to make squares. Grease a muffin tin with non-stick spray. Place tortilla pieces in each muffin cup covering the bottom & as much of the sides as possible. Sprinkle a little cheese in the bottom of each tortilla cup. Whisk together eggs, milk, chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper. Divide the sausage mixture among the tortilla cups, about 1 1/2 Tbsp per cup. Then add egg mixture to the tortilla cups filling them just over 3/4 of the way. Top each cup with remaining cheese. Bake cups for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set. Serve immediately.

Note: For a low-carb version you can "86" the tortilla.