Monday, June 4, 2007

Fish tacos, chilled vegetable soup

Muggy, muggy, muggy. We had several very hot and humid days in a row and I’m wondering if somehow time has skipped ahead to late July or August. Technically, it’s still spring and there are many things to do, but I feel like I get very little accomplished during the day lately. Work outside until I can’t stand the heat, come in the house and sit beside a fan for a while. Repeat.

These days, I live to grill. :) Without air conditioning, this little brick oven of a house can get quite steamy in the summer and, while baking is strictly a no-no, I also turn off my stove at the gas supply because the 11 pilot lights can contribute to the heat as well. This is the same stove that contributes much-needed heat in the winter months, so I can’t complain about it.

This menu was perfect for a hot summer day. Lime juice was squeezed over tilapia fillets then grilled. These were placed on a steamed corn tortilla with a spoonful of cilantro-cabbage coleslaw over the fish. I can’t believe that I once thought of fish tacos as “weird”! I swear, if I lived alone, I’d still make a full recipe and sit and eat it all and enjoy every bite until I burst.

Served alongside was a spicy and cold vegetable soup. Although not fond of cold soup, Jack really enjoyed this one (probably because it was spicy) and had a second bowl. I used yellow bell peppers instead of red, so the soup was a nice golden color. I also cut the amount of olive oil in half and decreased the amount of cilantro drastically since Jack doesn’t like it. I sprinkled extra on my serving because I love cilantro! I added a few shakes of ground dried chipotle chili as well.

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Slaw

Servings: 4

Amount Measure Ingredient Preparation Method

---------- ---------- ------------ ------------------------

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

4 whole sea bass fillets

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

8 whole corn tortillas

2 cups shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/4 cup sliced green onions

1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper

1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds toasted, ground

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tomato cut into thin wedges

Sprinkle one tablespoon lime juice over the fish, then sprinkle with seasoned salt. Coat with cooking spray. Place on a grill over hot coals. Grill for 4 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily. Wrap tortillas in foil and place at the back of the grill until heated through.

Combine the cabbage, 1 tablespoon lime juice, cilantro, green onions, chile, mayonnaise, cumin seeds, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and mix well. Stir tomato in gently.

Cut each fish fillet into 8 pieces. Place a piece of fish in each tortilla. Spoon slaw over and roll up.


"Whole Foods"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per serving: 260 Calories (kcal); 5g Total Fat; (17% calories from fat); 27g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 54mg Cholesterol; 669mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : Other fish fillets can be subbed for sea bass-- snapper, roughy, tilapia are a few. Avoid strong flavored fish such as salmon or mackerel.

Cut fish before grilling and skewer to make grilling easier.

Farmers’ Market Chilled Salsa Soup

Serves 8

Buy the freshest from-the-farm vegetables you can find for this invigorating cold soup. If ripe tomatoes and hot chiles are available, make your own salsa, or purchase your favorite brand—that it’s already in the jar makes it easier to take on a picnic.

4 large cucumbers, peeled
4 green bell peppers, seeded
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 cups diced scallions (about 2 bunches)
1/2 cup Mexican-style canned mild green chiles
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups salsa for garnish

1. Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise, and slice into chunks. Dice green peppers. Place cucumbers, peppers, cilantro, scallions and green chiles in blender or food processor, and process until smooth.

2. Add garlic, vinegar, salt and olive oil, and mix well. Add water, taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and vinegar. Add more water to thin soup if needed.

3. Fill two ice-cube trays with soup, and freeze overnight. Chill remainder. Pack frozen cubes with chilled soup in large insulated containers. At serving time, pour soup into cups, and top with large spoonful of salsa.

Per Serving: 130 CAL; 3 G PROT; 7 G TOTAL FAT (1 SAT. FAT); 16 G CARB.; 0 MG CHOL; 690 MG SOD.; 5 G FIBER; 7 G SUGARS

(Source Unknown)

I know that I complain a lot about the work and the heat, but I just love living on the farm. Two years ago I divided the water lilies in our goldfish pond and, having way too many to use, I advertised in the Pennysaver that they were “free to good homes”. One man came by to pick a few up and gave me some cannas which he had divided from his garden. They made a gorgeous screen between the driveway and patio that year (alas, I forgot to dig them up in the fall so they froze…). A woman gave me some Siberian iris which she had divided from her garden. These have survived. So well that I had to move them earlier this spring to a larger area.

How beautiful!