Dinner tonight was supposed to look a little different. But when it was go-time, I found myself faced with a real sketchy looking mango that I couldn’t remember buying and 3 wrinkly kiwi that I could remember buying because it was the source of The Little’s real public tantrum during the busiest grocery shopping hour of the busiest grocery shopping day.
So the kiwi, I bought. And the kiwi, she did not eat. Because they’re “real spicy.”
The person who coined the phrase “The Terrible Twos” most certainly didn’t survive one of those epic public meltdowns to realize that the Threes are worse than the Twos.
And at the end of the day, I just really wanted a real beer and a real fish taco. With a real tortilla. So one, I had. In the form of beer-glazed fish tacos topped with a kiwi-mango salsa.
Don Jalapeno is brewed with – wait for it – jalapenos. You get good muted char/roasty flavors from the roasted jalapenos and just a little heat on the back end from the fresh peppers. It’s one of those beers that’s awesome for a flight, to share, and to cook/bake with… but I find it a leetle difficult to finish the entire bottle on my own.
And that’s why I got married. No unfinished beer left behind.
I reduced the marinade to concentrate the flavors, drizzling the glaze over the tacos before eating. And Mother of Saint Arnold, was it fantastic.
Beer-Glazed Fish Tacos with Kiwi-Mango Salsa
Grilled cod tacos are topped with kiwi-mango salsa and a beer glaze.
For the marinade:
1/2 cup beer (go for something middle of the road, not light or overly bitter)
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 small orange
Pinch of salt
1 lb cod or other white fish
For the salsa:
2 kiwi, peeled and diced
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 jalapeno, diced (and seeded, if desired)
Small handful of cilantro, chopped
4-6 Small flour tortillas
Heat grill to medium-high.
Place marinade ingredients in a large zippered bag, add fish, and let sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
Combine the salsa ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Put the marinade in a medium sauce pan or pot over high heat, bring to a boil, and let reduce to ~1/4 cup.
Grill the fish ~4-5 minutes per side, until it's opaque in the center and flakes easily.
To serve, top tortillas with flaked fish, a scoop of salsa, and a drizzle of the beer reduction.
I don’t know that any single of ice cream has ever been so rich and decadent. And after being pretty much sugar-free for 30 days, I was good after a single bite.
After officially wrapping up the Whole30, I wanted sushi rolls – complete with white rice. Jason wanted ice cream. Actually, Jason just wanted dessert. Something completely over-the-top, no chocolate.
And this ice cream totally qualifies as both.
His favorite ice cream, pre Whole30, was Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche. And it’s insanely easy to recreate at home – fresher, better, and for less expense – with just a handful of ingredients.
I tweaked the original recipe to:
1. Add more vanilla – you can never have too much vanilla to support those wonderful caramel notes.
2. Add the scrapings of a vanilla bean – everything tastes better studded with pretty flecks of vanilla bean
3. Swirl additional dulce de leche into the churned ice cream before freezing (well, as much as one can swirl it).
The final product:
One small spoonful of heaven.
Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
Rich, decadent homemade dulce de leche ice cream studded with vanilla bean flecks.
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
2 cups dulce de leche, divided (or two cans of homemade dulce de leche using this method, with some leftovers)
1 tsp vanilla
Scrapings from 1 vanilla bean
Heat milk and cream in a medium pot over medium-high heat just until steaming.
Remove from heat and whisk in 1 2/3 cup dulce de leche until completely smooth.
Whisk in the vanilla and the scrapings of a vanilla bean.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and completely cool it (placing the bowl in the sink and adding ice water to the same level as the mixture inside the bowl will speed things along very quickly).
Chill until completely cold.
Transfer the mixture to your ice cream maker and run according to manufacturer instructions.
Scoop out 1/3 of the ice cream into your freezer-bound container, drop small spoonfuls of half of the leftover dulce de leche on top.
Scoop out another 1/3 of ice cream and repeat, using the remainder of the dulce de leche.
Scoop the remaining ice cream over top, using a knife held vertically, give the ice cream a couple of swirls, and then transfer the container to the freezer until solid.
It’s beginning to look a lot like… Cinco de Mayo! We are gearing up for our 2nd Annual Taquitos & Tequila pool party and I’m playing around with party menu ideas. And looking for every other excuse to whip up a new pool-side drink.
But I can’t decide which I dislike more to describe a drink lacking booze: Mocktail or Virgin. I guess if “virgin” makes me giggle, then that question probably answers itself, right?
So this is the Palauxma. It’s a faux Paloma.
The Palauxma is what a grapefruit margarita lover drinks on a school night. (Or when she’s out of tequila and running out for more would mean putting on real pants – and we all know that PJ pants are only acceptable in CVS after dark.)
(Sorry, Mom. That’s the ONLY reason there’s no tequila in this recipe.)
If you go to the right restaurant, the old waiter will light up briefly when you order it – because it’s just not a drink that people order – right before he goes all sadface on you to say that they don’t keep grapefruit soda behind the bar.
Instead of grapefruit soda, a simple – and much fresher – combo of grapefruit juice and club soda works even better. At home. Pants optional.
(And that 2-year old soda maker thingy collecting dust in the kitchen cabinet? Suddenly, its useful again.)
Fresh grapefruit and lime juices are the star of this school-night version of the Paloma.
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice (about 1 large)
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice (~2 limes)
4 drops liquid stevia (or simple syrup or your favorite sweetener, to taste)
3/4 cup club soda
2 small glasses of ice
Lime or grapefruit wedges, for garnish
Mix the grapefruit juice, lime juice, and the sweetener of your choice in a large glass or shaker.
Divide club soda between two glasses of ice.
Pour half of the grapefruit mixture into each of the glasses.
We’re in the Whole30 home stretch! When we started this thing 4 weeks ago, I imagined Day 31 to be a monstrous carb fest: a deep-fried french fry sandwich in a tortilla.
(Possibly battered and deep fried again.)
But here we are, 29 days later and I’m all like “Eh.” Don’t get me wrong, it’s going to be really nice to have a tortilla on fajita night. But what I really want:
Goat cheese. (I’ve already pulled it out of the freezer!)
In place of tortillas, we’ve been having “lettuce wrap” fajita nights. Or just grabbing a knife & fork and forgoing the wrapping vehicle entirely.
We’ve relied pretty heavily on our go-to TexMex chicken marinade/wet-rub these last 28 days. Because when your mind already knows something is missing (like tortillas), it’s really easy to start picking things apart, looking for other “flaws.” But the wet rub is super flavorful and requires zero resting time – and almost impossible to find something to complain about.
Lettuce Wrap Chicken Fajitas
A lighter twist on chicken fajitas that doesn't skimp on flavor.
For the wet rub:
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ancho chili powder (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
For the fajitas:
1 lb chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
1 onion, sliced in 1/4-inch rounds (rings left in tact)
2 bell peppers, sliced in 1/4-inch rings
Whole romaine or butter lettuce leaves
Heat grill to high.
Place a piece of foil over half the grill and drizzle with olive oil.
Add the onions and peppers and cook for ~8-10 minutes before flipping/stirring. Remove when the veggies are nicely charred.
Whisk the wet rub ingredients together in a bowl. Add the chicken, turning to coat on each side.
Place the chicken on the grill and cook ~6-8 minutes per side, or until juices run clear.
Let chicken sit 5 minutes before slicing.
Serve chicken with whole lettuce leaves, topped with grilled vegetables.