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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

On living dangerously while eating...


I learned to cook from my mom when I was quite young. Good, basic, midwestern comfort food. Things like goulash, tuna casserole, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, fried chicken.
Thirty-some years later, my cooking is very different than when growing up. It is still with many fresh ingredients, albeit things my mom never had access to. The fresh herbs, new fruits and vegetables, leaner pork, and fresh fish from around the world lend themselves to much different menu choices. I make my own pesto, and keep avocadoes on hand for fresh guacamole. I make my own spice mixes, have three kinds of salt in my cupboard, and a bottle of olive oil always at the ready.
The impetus for this reflection of my culinary history and current practices was what I made for supper tonight. We had fish tacos. Yes, fish tacos. I know to some of you reading this, that is no big deal. But we live in the beef-producing capital of the U.S., and my efforts to cut back a bit on our red meat consumption could be considered anti-American. Nevertheless, I took a chance. I seasoned and cooked the fish, mixed up some lime/cilantro crema and fresh guacamole, and heated up some taco shells and tortillas. Then I called Greg to come fix his plate.
He asked me what we were having, and I told him. "Fish tacos?!", he asked. "How long have we been married? Have I EVER ordered FISH tacos?" I laughed and gave him a hug - "Live dangerously", I replied. (And we've been married just shy of 26 years, and no, he's never ordered fish tacos.)
So, he made himself one of each, a soft taco and a hardshell. He added salsa and the other condiments I had prepared. Then he feasted. Yes, feasted! The fish tacos were a success! He's taking the leftovers for his lunch tomorrow, and I've been given the go-ahead to make these again.

I have to say, I loved them. And the lime/cilantro crema will be a staple whenever we have Mexican food from now on.

So I challenge you to "live dangerously" and try something new in your menu - something you never thought about eating before. You just may end up feasting!
Meanwhile, I have a huge mess to go clean up in the kitchen - that part has never changed. :o)

4 comments:

Barbara Allen Moore said...

We decided that we were eating the same thing over and over so I started making a menu chart. We buy only the groceries that we need for the meals and we stick to the menu. This started us trying alot of different types of food. Since I'm bordering in vegetarian myself I have added more of those kinds of meals. At first Jacqui wasn't too sure she could go without meat of some kind for a meal but now she likes it. I have collected many vegetarian recipe books and we do 3 meals a week, no meat. It certainly opened us up to new food experiences & many new combinations of herbs and spices. Recent recipe that was very good "Tuscan Bean soup" a veggie soup with cannellini beans and cabbage, tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and other yummy stuff.... very nice indeed!

Bobbi and Kurt said...

Kurt and I like fish tacos, but our favorite is shrimp tacos. The shrimp can be boiled, grilled, or fried. We rarely eat beef, so I guess we may be considered anti-Americans also. We generally eat beef or pork once a week, and eat seafood or vegetarian the rest of the week. We definitely don't eat like we did when we were growing up.

Barbara Allen Moore said...

Would you email the lime/cilantro crema recipe. It sounds wonderful and could go well on nacho night.

Jan Anderson said...

I LOVE Fish Tacos. Whenever I go somewhere that has Fish Tacos on the menu, I order them since I've never seen them on any menu in Nebraska. Some are better than others in my experience... haven't tried making them myself, so PLEASE email your recipes for lime/cilantro crema and fresh guacamole!