Tomatillos have to be one of the cutest foods out there. They come in their own little leaf packaging, they’re a bright green which would be fabulous in a wedding color palette, and they’re perfectly, adorably, palm-sized. They also have a really unique flavor – kind of tart, kind of tangy – and are a great, fresh base for an incredibly flavorful salsa. I used this as a topping to the fish tacos I made a couple of days ago, and it was terrific.
TOMATILLO SALSA (serves 4)
– 4-5 tomatillos, seeded and diced (approx. 2 cups)
– 1/3 red onion, diced
– 1 lime, juiced
– 2 small cloves garlic, chopped
– handful cilantro, chopped
– 1/2 tsp. cumin
– 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, couple of grinds fresh black pepper
1. Peel the “leafy” part away from the tomatillos. This has a bonus of smelling like crumpling leaves in the fall! Wash the whole tomatillo to remove any residue.
2. Cut the tomatillos into quarters, then with your fingers, kind of push out the whole middle part to “seed” them. These seeds are teeny, so don’t worry if you don’t get all of them. You also lose a lot of the bulk of the tomatillo in this process, but that’s ok too.
3. Dice a 1/3 of a red onion – make slits along the natural ridges of the onion, lengthwise, then flip it to the side and make horizontal cuts. The onion will dice itself naturally.
4. With a Citrus Reamer, juice a lime into a small prep bowl. Add the cumin, garlic, salt & pepper, stir to combine.
5. Combine the diced tomatillos, onion, chopped cilantro in a bowl. Add the dressing and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve as a topping to any mexican dish, or even on its own.
When I first heard of fish tacos, I thought they sounded totally gross. Fish tacos?? How would that work? Weren’t tacos just meat, salsa, lettuce and shredded cheese? Little did I know. A couple of years later, these are one of my favorite things to make – they’re healthy, full of flavor, and are really adaptable to different ingredients. This one infuses tilapia with cilantro and lime flavors, and is topped with avocado slices and a tomatillo salsa for a fresh, quick dinner. A fresh, light creamy avocado dressing would also be really nice with this, too.
FISH TACOS SPIKED WITH CILANTRO AND LIME (serves 2 for dinner – approx. 4 tacos)
– 1 lb. tilapia
– handful cilantro, chopped
– small whole-wheat tortillas
– 1 lime, zested and juiced
– 1/2 tsp. cumin
– dash paprika
– 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
– 2 tbsp. EVOO
– couple grinds of fresh black pepper
– sour cream, for topping
– tomatillo salsa, for topping
– avocado, for topping
1. Zest the lime (just the green, not the white – the “pith” is really bitter), then juice it. This was the first time I got to use our new Rosle Citrus Reamer, and holy moly. Game-changer.
2. Combine the lime juice with the lime zest, cumin, paprika, salt & pepper, stir to allow the spices to mix with the lime juice. Add the olive oil & chopped cilantro, stir to combine.
3. Add the fish to a ziplock bag, then pour the marinade over it. Ziplock the bag, shake it all up so that the marinade covers the fish, and let sit for approx. 20 minutes (I used this time to make a tomatillo salsa).
4. If you have a Le Creuset Grill Pan (Le Creuset continues to be awesome), get it super hot (medium-high heat, no oil), then add the fish. Cook until it’s flaky and cooked through, approx. 7 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the tilapia.
5. Warm the tortillas in a microwave – 4 at a time, in a paper towel, for approx. 45 seconds – then top with the fish. Add avocado slices, tomatillo salsa, sour cream. These are light and delicious, and a little different than our typical mexican fare, the turkey taco lettuce wraps. Hope you like them as much as we do!
These turkey taco lettuce wraps, from the very first time I made them, got added to the rotation immediately. They are incredibly healthy: you make your own taco seasoning, so you avoid all the preservatives and bad things in the grocery store seasonings, the lettuce wrap completely eliminates the corn taco you would otherwise use, and if you use the guacamole recipe from a couple days ago, you get the added bonus of the avocado health benefits.
Also, this is fun to eat! It’s a little messy but so worth it. If you’re having trouble with the lettuce wraps, you can always shred the lettuce and put the turkey and toppings over it like a turkey taco salad.
TURKEY TACO LETTUCE WRAPS (adapted from Skinny Taste)
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
– 2 lbs. ground turkey
– 1/2 vidalia onion, minced
– 1/2 yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, minced
– 8 oz. tomato sauce
– 1/4 c. water
– Any kind of lettuce for the wraps – boston bibb works well, as does iceberg or romaine (seen here)
– 2 tsp. garlic powder
– 2 tsp. cumin
– 2 tsp. salt
– 2 tsp. paprika
– 1 tsp. chili powder
– 1 tsp. oregano
1. Mix ingredients for taco seasoning, adjusting to your preference (if you like it a little hotter, double the chili powder), and set aside.
2. Over medium high heat, brown the turkey.
3. When turkey is brown, add taco seasoning and stir to combine.
4. Mince that bell pepper and the onion, add to the ground turkey, along with the tomato sauce. Add 1/4 c. of water and stir to combine well. Cover and simmer on low for approx. 25 minutes.
5. Arrange your toppings, assemble, and bring a lot of napkins to the table – this is a messy one!
So we’ve talked about my avocado obsession, right? I could eat them all day long. Not only are they delicious, but they’re so good for you, and there are a million articles about how they promote heart health, blood sugar regulation, even anti-cancer benefits! Also, according to this site, the avocado is “colloquially known as the Alligator Pear, reflecting its shape and the leather-like appearance of its skin.”, which totally makes sense. Ha. The Alligator Pear.
Anyway, this guacamole recipe is super easy and perfect with Pretzel Crisps, which we should basically buy stock in at this point, because we go through so many of them on a weekly basis. It’s also a great topper for turkey tacos, which are up next.
(serves 4 regular people, or 2 people who live in this house and really love guacamole)
4-5 cherry tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 of a large vidalia onion, diced
cilantro (approx. 2-3 tablespoons)
juice of 1 lime
kosher salt to taste
1. Peel and dice the avocados. I’ve found that an easy way to do this is right in the avocado half itself (see the dice in the avocado half in the picture above?). Then just run a knife around the edge and the diced pieces should kind of just squeeze out into the bowl. Mash this gently with a fork. As you add the other ingredients, the avocado will continue to get smoother, so it depends on how chunky you like your guac.
2. Add the lime juice (this will also prevent the avocado from browning) and the kosher salt, so the salt can kind of blend with the acid in the lime juice.
3. Add the diced tomato and onion (try to make these pieces the same size) and cilantro, mix everything together. Adjust seasonings and enjoy!
Chicanos – you used to be in the living room of a house. Now your restaurant is in a mobile home on a lot. Your portions are enormous and you could probably feed a family of 4 for under $20. You make the best Mexican food I’ve had outside of Mexico. I love you. Don’t ever change.