Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ohhhh, Mexico

Some of my best travel memories are of the food I've eaten on the trip. I can honestly still taste the chocolat chaud and croissants from my first trip to Paris when I was 7. The hot dogs and mashed potatoes we ate on my second trip to France when I was 12. {My brother was 3 and that was all he wanted. But something about those French weiners and potatoes were mouthwatering. Truly.} The shwarma I had from a roadside stand in Israel. The espresso and pizzas from Tuscany.

As yo
u may know, we went to Mexico for a week in May for my best friend Lainie's wedding. Everything about that week was incredible, from the people we met, to the time we all spent together, to the romantic fairy-tale wedding at sunset on a clifftop with a crashing-waves-and-mariachi-band soundtrack.

But, oh...the food. Aside from the people memories, the food memories will stay with me forever. A favorite restaurant in Sayulita is the eponymous Sayulita Fish Taco. Fresh, crispy fried fish, crunchy cabbage, and creamy, dreamy sauce--it was a party in my mouth. I could have eaten it every day. In fact, we did have it no less than three times that week.

Well, I've been missing that place, those flavors...so I decided to make some of my own fish tacos. For a little extra something, I made a slaw to go on the tacos instead of plain cabbage. {It turned out to be great--we even had it on its own with burgers.} While these tacos aren't quite the same as the ones we had in Sayulita, they hit the spot. Light, fresh, and yummy...a simple midweek taste vacation.

Dreaming of Sayulita Fish Tacos
serves 2

2 medium-size fillets of cod, mahi, snapper, or any mild fish
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Pinch kosher salt

4 corn tortillas
Creamy Lime Slaw (recipe follows)
1/2 jalapeno, sliced very thinly

Sour cream
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 small white onion, finely diced
1/2 lime, cut into wedges

Pat fish fillets dry. Heat oil in a medium skillet
over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish on both sides with salt, and add it to the pan. Sear until fish is firm and opaque, about 3 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the fillet).

When the fish is cooked, transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Wipe out skillet, and put it back over medium heat. Place tortillas, one at a time, in the skillet to warm, being careful not to burn them.

Cut or tear fish into bite-size pieces, and then divide into 4 portions. Fill each tortilla with some fish, then garnish with a bit of the slaw, a few slices of jalapeno, cilantro, sour cream, avocado, and onion. Serve with lime wedges.

Creamy Lime Slaw
serves 2 as a side

Juice 1/2 lime
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Scant tablespoon mayonnaise
Pinch kosher salt
Ground black pepper
1/2 head green cabbage, sliced thinly

In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice and oil. Whisk in mayonnaise, then stir in salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as you see fit. Add cabbage to bowl, and toss to combine. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or up to overnight before serving.

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