Summer is better effortless and a little messy. Let your hair down, get your toes in the sand, forget the makeup, embrace the post-work cocktail, and let that cilantro jalapeño crema run down your cheek.
These California fish tacos are messy (in the best possible way) and their cocktail sidekick, the chelada, is effortless. I’m excited to make them again, like woah.
Elizabeth and I had a little dinner party featuring these bad boys (kinda like the one with these bad boys). The summer evening light flooded the kitchen, and our cocktails in hand, we blasted the Salsa Fever Pandora station (pro tip), and we were ready to whip up what would be the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. You should absolutely throw this dinner party – people will hate you…for how awesome you are.
Let’s start with our totally effortless beer cocktail, shall we? (This one would also do!) Rim a pint glass with coarse salt, add a few cubes of ice, squeeze the juice of one lime in your glass, pour in your favorite light lager (we used Pacifico – just don’t use a flavorless light beer), give it a quick stir, and voila! a wonderfully refreshing and totally easy summer cocktail: The Chelada ladies and gentlemen.
Now here’s the deal with the tacos: there are tons of fun toppings all of which are optional, but highly encouraged – you do you. The only thing you MUST promise me you’ll make is the cilantro jalapeño crema. That’s a nonnegotiable. The crema is what sets these fish tacos apart from all the rest. It’s a crema revolution, get on board.
I’m a terrible person.
I had been wanting to make this outrageous-looking recipe for Fry Bread Tacos for almost a year, but some exciting new recipe always jumped the line. I finally made these puppies from Herbivoracious and while they were phenomenal, they’re clearly meant to be made and consumed in the summer – corn, tomatoes, yellow summer squash…
One of my New Year’s Resolutions last year (and will be this year too) was to cook seasonally. I try to go a farmers market once a week not only because it makes me supremely happy to shop outdoors with all the hustle and bustle, fresh air, and fruit and veggie samples, but also because I’m supporting local farmers.
So maybe “terrible” is a little strong, but for my own personal goals, I felt a little bad about buying so obviously out of season. The ingredients also just better in season. Don’t be a goober like me. If you have a hankering to make this in the winter months for a little summer comfort to warm you up, I suggest that you substitute the corn and yellow squash for diced and roasted sweet potatoes or butternut/acorn squash. You could also throw in some shredded and sautéed brussel sprouts if that’s your jam.
Now, having a michelada is never out of season ;)
I (shockingly) followed this recipe from Michael Natkin almost to a T, so I’m going to send you right over to him!
Indian Fry Bread Tacos from Herbivoracious.
French phrase for fun:
La neige est de la magie … même si mon sang Californie ne peut pas gérer le froid.
Snow is magical…even if my California blood can hardly handle the cold.
I don’t know exactly when I started cooking without recipes, but I do know it had almost everything to do with my mother. Ideas from the Food Network and cooking magazines also helped in the process. If you watch a seasoned cook like my mother or your favorite TV chef, you’ll notice that most recipes (aside from baked goods) are by taste and feel – they will sprinkle in spices or drizzle in vinegar and olive oil. When you reference the recipe online or in the file, you’ll notice that exact measurements are listed, but when you watch what the cook does, it’s not that. They don’t pull out the measuring spoons and cups for every ingredient – things are “eyeballed.” They’re tossing things in here and there with zest and a flare. That beauty comes with some guidance, time, and practice.
It’ll start with a recipe that you follow to a T. And I would recommend that for a beginning chef, but as you go along, cooking with other people, you’ll learn where you can take liberties in a recipe. You’ll learn more about what flavors go well together and how to time things, and with any luck, soon you’ll be like my mother – not only whipping up delicious meals on the daily, but also whipping up a meal when it appears as though there is nothing to eat in the cupboard.
I love cooking, because the combinations of flavors are endless. There is always something new to learn (which is why I have this blog in the first place). It’s one of my favorite ways to spend time with people. And when you’re done, you have a beautiful meal to share.
Don’t stop now! Keep reading…