When it comes to the second week of December, no matter how well prepared you are, the month begins to take over. It seems you’re not in charge of your own life. Instead of easy-going fall weekends culminating in Sunday games, there are work parties, family get togethers, school and church performances, and neighborhood potlucks. Somewhere down the road and fairly soon, that stack of bags in the corner of the spare bedroom must be gone through, sorted out, wrapped, and mailed or delivered, if need be. There are travel plans, weather delays or plain old bad weather, holiday attire to attend to, and the forever and constant barrage of holiday ads all with some version of “Sleigh Ride” for the soundtrack.
When it comes to Cinco de Mayo cooking, I’ve got these things going for me:
- I lived in way southern Texas (San Antonio) for four years. Hot is my only comment.
- Southern Colorado has been our home for most of twenty-two years.
- I’ve studied cooking more than a few times at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.
- My late dear friend and brother-in-law, Alfred Barrionuevo, was from Mexico and began his professional career as a chef. If you were in the kitchen with him, he was the teacher, and he had extraordinary passion for his cooking. Not only that, his much-loved mother–fondly called “Abelita”–passed on her simplest and best “Mexican” rice recipe to my sister, who then gave it me –nothing written down, you know. My version is in this post.
What a fun thing this blog has turned into. My kitchen is full of notes for current and future recipes, as well as ideas from other people for meals they’d like simplified so that they, too, can spend more time at the table together. Looking at life OUT of the fast lane.
I have been a little amazed by how many people have said, “Oh, I bought the stuff to make ________ and I’ll make it this weekend.” This is for a meal that takes 20-30 minutes to fix. It makes me realize that folks who work full-time often don’t cook at all during the week. Maybe sandwiches or leftovers, certainly take-out and I’d guess a couple of restaurant meals. So, try this fish taco meal. My sister made a version of this once while visiting and we’ve been making it ever since. This dish is faster than going and picking something up at the local pizza shop. The fish is done in FIVE MINUTES. You can make other things to go with it and it will take longer, but you can make a fairly balanced meal in nearly the time it takes the fish to cook.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like fish tacos. They’re on menus as main courses with beans and rice; they’re also listed as a starter some places. They may come with tartar sauce and lettuce and tomatoes or with coleslaw and jalapenos. However you like them, I am sure you’ll make this super-easy and incredibly fast version one day soon—maybe today. This is one of those meals for which you would want to shop the day you’re cooking or, at very most, the day before.
Could serve with: A can (or homemade) of black or pinto beans mixed with sautéed bits of onion and green or red peppers. A side of Southwestern rice if you’ve got time. Homemade pico de gallo–why not? If you have a Cuisinart, you have pico in 30 seconds. Easiest: some finely shredded lettuce with minced tomatoes on top. Continue reading