We hosted three dinner parties this weekend - Friday, Saturday, & a lunch on Monday. Yes, 3! Can you believe it? Lots of cooking, but I can't imagine anything better to do on a weekend than hang out with A. e, and have dinner with our friends. :-) We also had a delicious lunch at Spice Market on Sunday and I found my new obsession: Vietnamese coffee! ...I guess condensed milk makes anything better.
After waking up at noon (yay for days off!) on Friday, I spent the afternoon wandering around Whole Foods in Tribeca thinking of menus for the weekend. I picked up lots of great ingredients: gruyere for croque monsiuers, oxtails for a beef stew, a Caribbean coconut sorbet for dessert, freshly ground honey roasted peanut butter (my favorite stand at whole foods), fresh tilapia, even short ribs. My favorite find? A giant orange bag of Mexican corn flour. Not sure what I would use it for, but I picked it up anyway.
Then I thought: homemade tortillas!
I love labor intensive foods, there's something so romantic and satisfying about a cooking process that have been around for so many generations... A. thought I was crazy to be spending an hour kneading dough, flattening it with a cast iron skillet (I need a tortilla press asap!), then a rolling pin, and patiently sitting by the stove on a hot day as each tortilla bubbled up and browned, when Whole Foods sells perfectly good tortillas ... but when he came home and saw the warm stack of fresh corn tortillas he said 'absolutely amazing!'. Told you so! :-)
So, that was the menu on Friday: Spicy Tilapia fish tacos with homemade tortillas!
2 cups corn masa
1 1/2 cups warm water with a dash of salt
Mix the corn masa with the salted water. Knead the dough until thoroughly mixed together to make a large ball.
Then make small golf ball sized rounds. As you are working through the dough, keep it covered with a damp towel to prevent drying. Flatten each small ball very thin either with a tortilla press or with a rolling pin and then cut into round shapes (click here for a step by step).
Heat an ungreased non-stick skillet on high. When the skillet in very hot add a tortilla, one at a time and cook for 30 seconds on each side. If the tortilla sticks, the skillet is not hot enough.
Serve the tortillas right away or keep covered for a couple of hours.
Now to the tacos...
TILAPIA TACOS w/ADOBE CHILE SAUCE
4 tilapia filets
juice of half a lime
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped, + additional leaves for garnish
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sour cream
2 chipotle chiles in adobe sauce, canned (seeded)
1 ripe avocado, sliced
salt & pepper
Season tilapia fillets with lime, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
In the meanwhile, make the spicy chipotle sauce. Combine the chiles and sour cream with a dash of salt in the food processor. Set aside.
In a nonstick skillet over medium high heat with a bit of olive oil, add the tilapia. When cooked, flip over until golden. Remove from heat.
To assemble the tacos: add a smear of the chipotle sauce to the fresh tortillas, plenty of tilapia, a couple of slices of avocado, and fresh cilantro. You can top each taco with a fresh salsa (recipe below) or serve on the side.
SIMPLE PICADILLO SALSA
1 large tomato
1/2 white onion
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp white vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 of olive oil
Tabasco and salt (to taste)
Combine all ingredients and chill. Keeps in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.