I get the best dinner ideas when I don’t have the ability to write them down. Like sitting at dinner with a fork in my hand. Or pushing The Little through HEB in one of those soul-killing plastic car-cart monstrosities.
Or playing Candy Crush
Then 2 nights later, I’m looking at a random collection of ingredients trying to remember what I was supposed to do with them.
That’s why I found myself heavy a pound of white fish and a single orange last week. Since they’re usually for margaritas, I never just buy one orange. It had to be one of those “all I need is X and Y because I have everything else” ideas.
I never did figure it out.
Instead, I whipped up a quick margarita-esque marinade, let the fish sit a bit, and then reduced the marinade down to a boozy, citrusy glaze while the fish cooked and I finished the rest of dinner.
Drizzled over the fish tacos before serving, the glaze really adds a bright punch of flavor to the tacos.
So let this be a lesson: When in Doubt, Margarita.
Margarita-Glazed Fish Tacos
Smokey, grilled fish tacos get a summery, flavorful punch from a margarita glaze.
For the fish:
1/4 cup tequila
1 tsp lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice (2-3 limes)
1/4 cup orange juice (1 small orange)
1 lbs white fish (cod, tilapia, etc)
6 small tortillas
For the pico de gallo
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Small handful of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
Add the tequila, lime juice, zest, orange juice, and fish to a large zip-top bag and let sit for no longer than 30 minutes (less if your fish is delicate; tilapia and cod tend to hold up well).
Heat your grill to medium-high.
Stir together the ingredients for the pico de gallo and set aside.
Grill the fish 4-5 minutes each side, until the center is just opaque.
While the fish is grilling, pour the marinade into a large sauce pan over high heat and bring to a boil, reducing to ~1/4 cup.
Season the fish with salt and pepper and flake into large chunks.
Serve the fish on tortillas topped with pico de gallo and a drizzle of the tequila reduction.
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.
Hi. It’s me again. And I’m back with math. Delicious math.
Dinner = grilled protein + citrus/avocado salsa.
The markets here are flooded with beautiful Texas citrus – 5 oranges for $1? An 8 lb bag for just under $5? Don’t mind if I do!
We took a few of those Texas oranges, paired them with creamy avocado and some weapons-grade-spicy diced jalapeno (if only there were some way to tell which peppers were “just” hot and which peppers were crazy ^%$#@! hot), and made a sweet+heat salsa to go over a simple citrus-marinated fish.
Dinner = light, fresh, and worthy of dinner on the patio. If you’re among those lucky enough to still not have snow on the ground on April 1st.
Peak-season citrus and creamy avocado top a smokey, grilled tilapia filet.
For the marinade
Zest and juice of 1 medium orange
Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp chile powder (I used ancho)
Small handful of cilantro
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp oil
4 tilapia (or your favorite white fish) filets
For the salsa
2 medium oranges
1 large avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
Juice of 1/2 lime
Handful of cilantro
Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade and place in a large ziploc bag or non-metallic dish with the fish. Let sit in the fridge while you're heating the grill and prepping the rest of dinner (I did ~30 minutes and had the rest of dinner all but finished by the time the fish hit the grill).
Heat your grill to medium-high and make sure grates are cleaned and oiled to prevent sticking.
Over a medium bowl, segment the oranges, letting the oranges and juice fall into the bowl (discard any seeds and peel).
Squeeze the remaining juice from the leftover membranes into the bowl and cut the segmented orange wedges into bite-sized pieces.
Lightly stir with the avocado pieces, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, salt, and pepper; set aside.
Place fish on the grill and drizzle some of the marinade over top.
Cook 4-5 minutes on each side, drizzling additional marinade over top when flipping; the fish is done when it's opaque in the center.
Season with salt and pepper and topped with a generous scoop of orange-avocado salsa.