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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tilapia Tacos with Fruit Salsa

... we now return to your regularly scheduled eating... I mean programming?

As much as I love curry and am not at all lying when I say I was still devouring it happily after two weeks in Thailand, I came back to MN craving the things I had missed... one of which was Mexican food! Ben and I have eaten some variation on these tacos two nights in a row for dinner and I couldn't be happier.

Tilapia tacos with fruit salsa

The first night we topped them with Frontera's Tomatillo Salsa, and they were delicious but I couldn't help feeling like something was missing - mainly because I can't stop thinking about the absolutely-to-die-for fish tacos I ate at my bachelorette party at Blackbird Cafe which were topped with pineapple salsa. The sweetness of the pineapple with the light flakiness of the fish was just about perfect and I wanted to recreate that flavor - plus I pretty much can't get enough of summer fruit right now - so on my way home from work today I stopped to pick up the makings for fruit salsa.

fruit salsa in the making

Like most salsas I make, this one had no recipe and is just a few random things thrown together from the store and from my fridge, but it turned out AMAZING. Seriously, make this now. Now... if someone can please help me understand why cilantro comes in such gigoondous bunches when you use hardly any in a given recipe, I'm pretty sure my life will be complete.

The weather in Minneapolis had been gorgeous this week - mid 80's, low humidity and sunshine. What a nice treat after the gross 100 degree humidity we had in July. So, we've been taking advantage of this rare spurt of perfect weather by having dinner outside most nights.

Tacos + Cervesa = heaven

The only way to enjoy tacos - with a cold brew

More champagne grapes

...and some grapes! But don't be fooled, these aren't just any grapes...

Champagne grapes!  Adorable

...they are little champagne grapes! Adorable


For the Salsa
- 2/3 c mango, diced
- 1/2 a nectarine or other fist-sized stone fruit, diced (I used a Ruby Velvet Apricot, which
seems like it's actually somewhere between a plum and a nectarine)
- 1/2 a small red onion, diced (mine came from the farmers' market, so it was quite small)
- 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 of a small green jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1/2 an avodaco, chopped small
- 1T lime juice, or more to taste if you like (I used not quite 1/2 of a lime)

Prepare the fruit as instructed above - mix the different fruits and the onion together and stir until mixed. Then add the cilantro and jalapeno and stir together. Finally, add the avocado (if you get a nice ripe one it will get all mushy and add a nice creamy texture to the salsa) and then the lime juice and mix it up good.

For the Tacos
- 1/2 small head breen cabbage, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 2 tilapia fillets
- 8 corn tortillas

Brush the cabbage with a little olive oil and sautee in a pan until cooked but not mushy. Brush the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place on the grill or grill pan, and cook on both sides until finished (Ben was in charge of the fish and he said it took about 3-5 minutes to finish cooking. Don't you love how precise my recipes are?...yes..)

Heat the tortillas in a pan (you can use the same pan as you used for the cabbage if you're looking to save dishes) for about 1-2 minutes, turning halfway through. You'll know they're ready when they are soft and pliable.

Place some cabbage in the middle of each tortilla, then top with tilapia and finally with salsa. Eat. Enjoy. Preferably with a cold cerveza in your hand.

Buenos noches!

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