Blackened Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw and Chipotle Aioli

Blackened Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw and Chipotle Aioli

The tacos strike once again! Seriously, I think I could eat tacos every day for the rest of my life and never tire of them. There are just so many ways to make them, and so many wonderful combinations to explore. Did I ever tell you how my brother used to hate tacos, thinking they were not enough for a meal?! Taco night was one of my favorite family dinners growing up. I would get so excited, and be thinking about dinner all day long. My brother, on the other hand, would endlessly moan and groan about it, saying they were basically just sandwiches, and thus, boring…. ummm.. okay?! Obviously, he was crazy. Luckily he has changed his tune, and now understands the wonderfulness that is the taco. When Ron told me he had never had fish tacos, it became my mission in life to make some. This gave me an excuse to put tacos on the menu again, and also gave me a use for some of the tilapia in my freezer. I also had half a head of cabbage in my refrigerator begging to be made into a slaw, so it was definitely meant to be. These tacos were awesome! A little spicy from the Cajun seasoning and the chipotle aioli, and balanced out by the refreshing and light cilantro lime slaw. So so good!

Blackened Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw and Chipotle Aioli

Blackened Fish Tacos 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 lb flaky white fish (I used tilapia)

3 Tbsp butter, melted

2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning (store-bought or homemade- I used this recipe)

2 Tbsp olive oil

8 corn tortillas

Cilantro lime slaw (recipe follows)

Chipotle Aioli (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Brush fish with melted butter, and sprinkle on both sides with seasoning.

2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add fish and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until fish is cooked through. Remove from pan, and flake with a fork.

3. To assemble tacos- warm corn tortillas in a a skillet, or in the microwave. Put some fish in the tortilla, add some slaw, and top with chipotle aioli.

Source: Tide and Thyme

Cilantro Lime Slaw

Ingredients:

4 cups cabbage, finely shredded

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

4 Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl, and toss to combine. Chill for at least an hour before serving, to allow flavors to meld.

Source: Muy Bueno Cookbook

Chipotle Aioli

Ingredients:

1/3 cup mayonnaise

3 Tbsp sour cream

3 Tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped

2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped

Juice from 1/2 a lime

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl, and mix together to combine. If you’d like the aioli to be a smoother consistency, you can blend all the ingredients together in a food processor.

Source: Tide and Thyme

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BBQ Chicken Meatball Sliders

BBQ Chicken Meatball Sliders

A couple weeks ago my best friend and I got together for a little horror movie watching and cooking (a couple of our favorite activities). We made a few treats for the horror-themed blog we write together, check it out here! We decided to watch Friday the 13th, and made a few delicious recipes to go along with the movie. While perusing recipe ideas for our dinner and a movie night, I came across these BBQ chicken meatball sliders and while we ultimately decided on making some awesome chicken parm sliders instead, I still wanted to try out this recipe, especially since we had just been gifted some Texas barbecue sauce and smoked cheddar cheese by Ron’s grandparents. These sliders turned out wonderfully! The smokiness of the barbecue sauce was especially good with the smoked cheddar cheese. They were great for a dinner, but would be an awesome appetizer to serve as well. Wouldn’t a make-your-own slider bar be a fun idea for a party? After making a couple recipes for these little sandwiches, I’ve gotta say I’m hooked.

BBQ Chicken Meatball Sliders

BBQ Chicken Meatball Sliders

Makes about 16 meatballs

Ingredients:

1 lb ground chicken

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 large egg

1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp chili powder or chipotle chile powder

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 small onion, minced

1/4 cup vegetable oil

To assemble:

Slider rolls, toasted

Shredded cabbage or lettuce

Grated cheese (I used smoked cheddar)

Tomato slices (optional)

Pickles (optional)

Directions:

1. Mix together the ground chicken, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt and black pepper in a large bowl, until combined.

2. Form meatballs, by rolling 1-2 tbsp of the chicken mixture into balls.

3. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is heated, add the meatballs and brown on all sides. This will take about 5 minutes total.

4. Remove the meatballs to a plate, and set aside.

5. With the skillet still on medium-high heat, add the onion, and saute a few minutes until translucent. Add the meatballs back to the pan, and then add the barbecue sauce. You can add about 1/2 cup water if the sauce is too thick.

6. Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.

7. Assemble sliders by placing on a slider roll and adding toppings of your choice.

Source:chickenrecipebox.com

Mushroom and Shrimp Noodle Bowls

I subscribe to a lot of food magazines- Cook’s Illustrated, Bon Appetit and Every Day with Rachel Ray among others. While I find some of the things in Rachel Ray’s magazine a little hokey (such as the nicknames for certain foods), and there are months where I’m not really compelled to make any recipes, there are other times where I get one of her magazines and I want to make everything, and this is what keeps me a subscriber. That, and I’ve yet to make a recipe of hers and not like it. This past issue (the April issue) was one of the later. There were so many recipes I wanted to try, and up first were these mushroom and shrimp noodle bowls. Making this recipe also gave me an excuse to buy five-spice powder, an ingredient that I’ve never cooked with before. I loved the complexity it gave this dish, and while it still would have been tasty without it, it gave it a little extra something that added more interest to these noodle bowls. There are many variants of five-spice powder, so depending on the mixture you buy it could contain star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel (these five are common ingredients), anise, ginger, nutmeg, tumeric, black pepper, orange peel or galangal. Therefore, your noodle bowls may have variation in flavor depending on the brand of five-spice powder. I bought a blend at Whole Foods (the only blend I could find), and theirs contained orange peel, tamari powder, lemon peel and organic spices (which spices are not specified). Regardless of what may or may not have been in the mix, I loved the flavors in this dish.

Mushroom and Shrimp Noodle Bowls

Mushroom and Shrimp Noodle Bowls

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Salt and pepper

1 lb spaghetti (regular or whole wheat)

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

3/4 mixed mushrooms (i.e. shiitake, cremini, hen-of-the-woods or maitake)

1/4 head savoy or napa cabbage, thinly sliced

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1 small red chile pepper, thinly sliced

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated

1 lb medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1/4 cup tamari, soy sauce, or liquid amino

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook spaghetti until al dente.

2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry 3-4 minutes until any liquid evaporated, and they become browned. Add the cabbage, scallions, chile pepper, garlic and ginger. Season with pepper. Stir-fry, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the shrimp and the five-spice powder. Stir-fry, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes until the shrimp turn pink. Add the chicken or vegetable stock and the tamari or soy sauce, lower the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the shrimp are cooked through.

4. Serve the mushroom and shrimp mixture over the pasta. Either mix together, or place the pasta in bowls and ladle the shrimp-mushroom mixture over the top.

Source: Every Day with Rachel Ray, April 2013

 

Shrimp Potstickers with Scallion Dipping Sauce

What a week, huh? I for one am glad it’s over, and I’m hoping the week will be a calmer, happier, and more peaceful one! I don’t want to dwell on the negative, and so I’ve decided to focus on the positive of this week- green grass, buds and flowers on the trees, buying some pansies to plant, celebrating my mom’s birthday, and working on some spring cleaning and organization! We celebrated my mom’s birthday yesterday with a delicious meal made by my brother and his girlfriend- asparagus with burrata, bacon and almonds…escarole with candied walnuts, pears and a blue cheese dressing… homemade pasta with a tomato, eggplant and olive sauce! They are both such good cooks, and very adventurous in the kitchen. They are not afraid to make anything, including homemade croissants and corned beef, among other things. I have to admit that I’m a bit more timid when it comes to cooking complicated and elaborate recipes, although I’m working on that. I made the dessert- a chocolate stout bundt cake with a ganache frosting (the recipe was the same as the Guinness Chocolate cupcakes), and Carrot Cake cupcakes with molasses-cream cheese icing (recipe coming soon). I was so stuffed by the end of the night I could barely move. It was worth it though!

Potstickers are something that I was very intimidated to make the first time I decided to make homemade ones, but they are actually very simple to make. The assembly is the only thing that takes a little time, but one you get the hang of it, it moves very quickly. An awesome part of making dumplings is that you can make a bunch, and then freeze whatever you aren’t using that day, and then have a delicious appetizer waiting whenever you need it! I love to make extra for that purpose. These shrimp potstickers were wonderful, as was the dipping sauce. The flavors of garlic, ginger, scallions and soy sauce go together so well, and create such a flavorful dumpling!

Shrimp Potstickers with Dipping Sauce

Shrimp Potstickers

Makes about 40 dumplings

Ingredients:

1/2 head napa cabbage, chopped fine

3/4 tsp salt

12 oz shrimp (any size), peeled and deveined

4 scallions, minced

1 large egg, lightly beaten

4 tsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1 garlic clove, minced

About 40 wonton wrappers (My package had 48 wrappers)

8 tsp vegetable oil

About 2 cups water, plus extra for moistening wrappers

1 recipe scallion dipping sauce (recipe follows)

Directions:

1. Set a colander over a bowl, and in it toss together the cabbage and the salt. Let stand about 20 minutes until the cabbage has slightly wilted. Press the cabbage against the colander with a rubber spatula to press out the excess moisture.

2. Add the shrimp to a food processor, and pulse about 10 times, until the shrimp is chopped up pretty finely.

3. Add the shrimp to a medium bowl, along with the cabbage, scallions, egg, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and pepper. Mix together thoroughly to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the refridgerator to chill. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, and up to 24 hours.

4. When chilled, make the dumplings! Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to place finished potstickers on. To make the potstickers, take a wonton wrapper (covering the rest with a damp paper towel, or plastic wrap), and place on a clean surface. Spoon a rounded teaspoon of filling into the center of a wrapper. Moisten 2 sides of the wrapper, and fold in half to make a triangle. Press together with your fingers to seal. Place the finished potsticker on the prepared baking sheet and continue making the rest. When all are assembled, you can either cook them immediately, or freeze them for the future. (To freeze, place baking sheet in your freezer with the assembled dumplings, covered with plastic wrap. Let freeze for several hours, and then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Do not thaw before cooking.)

5. To cook, place a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium high heat, and brush with 2 tsp of vegetable oil. Add the potstickers, in the pan, flat side down (10-12 per batch). It’s okay if the dumpling touch each other, or overlap very slightly). Cook for 5 minutes, until the undersides are golden brown (do not move the dumplings, just lift a little to check for browning).

6. Reduce the heat to low, add 1/2 cup water, cover the pan, and cook for 10 minutes. Then, uncover the skillet, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 3-4 minutes longer (without moving), until the bottoms of the potstickers are brown and crisp, and the water is evaporated. Remove the potstickers to a plate lined with a couple of paper towels to adsorb the oil.

7. Repeat process with remaining potstickers. Serve with scallion dipping sauce!

Source: barely adapted from The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook

Scallion Dipping Sauce

Makes 3/4 cup

Ingredients:

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp mirin

2 Tbsp water

1 tsp chili oil (optional)

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 scallion, minced

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix together. Serve with potstickers!

Source: The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook