Before we left for our California vacation, my sister and brother-in-law had a little dinner party to try out a couple of new recipes. The meal was such a success that we repeated it with the rest of our family, poolside, in the hills above Napa.
In preparation, my sister infused a bottle of Patron Silver overnight with several fresh jalepenos (cut up – the smaller you cut, the hotter the final product). Everything else was prepared the day of – for the margaritas, it’s especially important to juice the limes fresh, not in advance, since the flavor of lime juice begins to deteriorate quickly… no mixes or concentrates here! It’s a daunting job if you plan to drink these by the pitcher, but well worth the effort.
We didn’t write an exact recipe for the Margaritas, but here’s the general idea:
Jalepeno-infused Patron Silver
Freshly squeezed lime juice
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (a small amount to balance the lime)
Agave syrup (can substitute simple syrup)
Dash of salt
Approximately 3 parts tequilla, 2 parts juice and 1 part Cointreau with agave syrup added to taste, all over a full pitcher of ice. We made the mix seperate, kept it strong and added it to the ice as the pitcher was quickly emptied.
While a couple of the guests were on lime-juicing duty at the dining table, preparations for the fish tacos were taking place in the kitchen.
The tacos were served with warm white corn tortillas, pico de gallo, fresh cilantro leaves, pickled red onions, homemade guacamole, and yogurt “crema” (plain yogurt, lime juice, lime zest and a bit of salt).
Fish Taco Recipe (approximately 4 servings):
1/4 Cup Olive oil
1 1/2 Teaspoons Ancho Chile Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 Teaspoon Ground cumin
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro leaves, chopped
1 Jalapeño, chopped
1 Pound white fish fillets (such as tilapia, mahi-mahi, or cod)
Salt and pepper
Combine in a small bowl: olive oil, ancho chile powder, oregano, cumin, chopped cilantro, and jalapeño. Mix well.
Place the fish in a bowl. Coat with the marinade. Marinate for approximately 20 minutes.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Heat a small amount of cooking oil in the pan. Remove the fish from the marinade, season it with additional salt and pepper.
Saute the fish, undisturbed, until it begins to turn opaque. Turn the fillets and cook until flaky. Add any remaining marinade to the pan and heat through.
Remove the pan from the heat and flake the fish with a fork, incorporating all the marinade. Adjust seasoning. Transfer to serving bowl. Serve warm.
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