Monday, May 12, 2008

More Tacos

Cucumber Sprouts

Monday Monday. My Friday frettiness was totally banished by a fantastic weekend of relaxation, puttering, and around town adventuring. B. is between exams right now, and we intentionally didn’t make a single commitment except for one date to play tunes with one of our favorite guitar players, and goodness, I feel right as rain. We finally made it to the Arboretum, and although we missed most of the flowering trees, we were right on time for the Native Azalea garden. Native Azaleas bear but a small resemblance to the front yard version you usually see; the color spectrum is incredible – none of this tacky bright fuchsia baloney (we are the grumpy owners of a gargantuan one just this color, right next to some enormous crepe myrtles that are also bright pink, gak), but rather delicate peaches and dusty pinks, and my, they have the longest stamens and their shape is much more like a very spare tree, airy and fragile. Lovely.

Native Azalea

In other exciting news, I have to report that the leek starts I planted have just gone bananas. When you get these, they look like the tiniest little green onion slip – about four inches long and skinnier than a pencil. You can plant them in various ways, but I used a chopstick and poked a four-inch hole in the ground and popped them in so that just the tiniest bit was poking out of the ground. Within two days I had to ask B. if I was seeing things, because they were growing so fast. Now the idea is to continue to mound soil up around the growing green parts so as to end up with a longer white part of the leek. I need to figure out how to do this without making a big mud pile in the middle of the garden. Perhaps by wedging some 12 x 1 boards into the sides? Like a raised bed in the middle of our slightly raised beds? Hmm. Anyway, the seed started leeks are on a much slower program, but are definitely puttering along.

So yeah, we played a lot of music and hung out with the chickens and generally put ourselves back together. We called our Mums and our Grans and ate fabulous food. Here was my favorite thing we ate this weekend, our third taco variation since I posted our last taco fun, due to the fact that around here you have to buy a package of 50 tortillas and I’ll be damned if we don’t eat all of them:

Fish Tacos with Cabbage and White Stuff

For the Fish:
White fish
1 cup flour
1 cup beer
Pinch of salt
High heat frying oil

Heat oil up to the temperature where a drop of water bounces off the surface. If it’s smoking, it’s too hot. Cut the white fish into pieces, we like them about one inch by two or three inches. Whisk together beer, flour, and salt, dredge fish in batter. Fry ‘em up, being careful to not put all your fish in at once; this cools the oil down and you will have soggy oily fish bits. After your first round, make sure you like how much batter is sticking to the fish – if it’s too much, thin batter down, if it’s not enough, add more flour. This is enough batter for two generous cuts of fish (circa a pound), but for two people a half-pound of fish will be plenty, so you could halve the batter part too.

For the Cabbage:
Thinly sliced green and/or red cabbage
One tiny red onion, red cipollini if you can find it, also sliced paper thin
Olive oil
Vinegar (ume vinegar if you can find it)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne

For the White Stuff (ok, I think the world calls this Baja Sauce, but I hate that name…)
½ cup of sour cream
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon milk
½ cup of chopped cilantro, and any other green things, like kale thinnings or other random early garden flotsam
1 finely diced jalapeno (you can put some of this in the cabbage too)
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and pepper (to taste)

The sauce is all about throwing everything in together and then tasting it and adjusting. You should also have an avocado to throw on top of your tacos if you can, and when tomatoes come on, those too. I have to confess that I am not the fry cook in the family. I don’t know what it is, I really hate frying things. I think it’s the flying oil bits and dealing with the leftover oil. Fortunately, B. is the Guy Who Fries Things around here.

Anyhoo, I hope everyone else had a great weekend…

1 comment:

ourfriendben said...

Great post, Heather! Loved reading about your adventures, music making, chickens (!!!), and taco-making. Hola!