A Deprived Expat’s Fish Taco Recipe

It’s not easy being an expat, especially when you’re deprived of fish tacos.

This post is mainly for any of my readers deprived of your favorite home foods, especially since you are living the ‘good life’ across the pond somewhere. Therefore, today’s post is about fish tacos. Why? Because it’s Cinco de Mayo of course. And because fish tacos rock!

We don’t have access to fish tacos around these parts and when I first heard about them, the idea sort of turned me off. Yes, I like fish. In fact, I eat fish at least twice a week, but fish and tacos just didn’t seem a likely combination. But then on a recent trip to California, I decided to try them. I was hooked from the first bite and took every chance I could to eat them.

Fish Taco Recipe

As I was looking for recipes for our Cinco de Mayo celebration, the idea of a plate of fish tacos made my tongue jump for joy (again).

 

So, What is a Fish Taco?

It’s simple math really. Fish + taco = Fish taco. Hee-hee, let’s break it down even further.

Fish tacos were reborn in Baja, the second earth’s second-longest peninsula off the Northwest coast of Mexico, but have been extremely popular in Southern California for many years.

Let’s step back a bit and give credit where credit is due. Anthropological evidence shows that the indigenous people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate tacos filled with small fish. Praise for fish tacos, now onto the recipe. 🙂

A Simple Fish Taco Recipe

You can make fish tacos (Tacos de Pescado) with a hearty white fish such as, salmon, cod, tilapia, or even with shrimp (Tacos de camarones). The taco filling generally consists of shredded cabbage, a sour cream or Greek yogurt-based dressing, and fresh cilantro. Interpret your own fish taco recipe as I have below.

Ingredients (Makes 4 medium-sized tacos)

  • 1 pound (450 grams) salmon fillets (cod, tilapia, or shrimp)
  • Flour
  • Creole seasoning
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Sunflower oil
  • Cooked corn kernels (roasted adds an intense flavor)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh basil
  • 1 lime
  • Mexican oregano
  • Chipotle (optional)
  • Soft shell tacos
  • 1/2 red or yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • Arugula

Fish Taco Yogurt Salsa

In a medium bowl, mix together Greek yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon each of ground Mexican oregano and fresh lime juice until the consistency is not too runny. Add sea salt and chipotle to taste.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat a heavy pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Season fish on meat side with Creole seasoning or salt and pepper.
  3. Lightly dust the fish with flour and shake off the excess.
  4. Add a tablespoon of sunflower oil to the pan.
  5. Cook fish pieces until lightly golden brown, break into chunks, and set on a paper towel.
  6. Remove excess oil from pan and lightly fry the tortillas, they should still be soft to handle.

To serve, place fried fish pieces in a tortilla, add the healthy colorful toppings of your choice such as roasted corn, red pepper slices, fresh cilantro, fresh basil, yogurt sauce, and arugula. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by cooking some healthy fish tacos served with a glass of refreshing Aguas Frescas.

¡Buen provecho!

 




Almost Roasted Blue Potato Recipe

Blame it on the moon. I had to substitute yellow taters for my almost roasted blue potato recipe, but it’s all good.

My plan was to head to the Blue Danube River, listen to Johann Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz, eat blue potatoes, and see the blue moon, but the stars had another plan. Instead of a blue potato recipe post, using blue potatoes, I’m substituting yellow taters.

Almost Blue Pan Roasted Potatoes
Almost Blue Pan Roasted Potatoes

The problem with being a travel/food blogger is that you can’t always get the picture perfect photo and you can’t always get the ingredients when you need them. The latter is the case with my Almost Roasted Blue Potato recipe. I went to five grocery stores in Germany and couldn’t find a single blue potato. I did find French blue cheese and Persian blue salt though. 🙂

Persian blue salt is a natural mineral rich rock dotted with blue crystals and has a hint of sweetness.
Persian blue salt

Like any good cook, sometimes you just need to substitute ingredients which is what I did and it turned out wonderfully delicious.

Pan Roasted Blue Potatoes with French Blue Cheese and Thyme Recipe

  • 1 pound (500 grams) blue or yellow potatoes
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried thyme (I like Penzey’s)
  • 3-5 cloves fresh purple garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Blue Persian salt or Fleur de sel (more if needed after cooking)
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Crumbled blue cheese

Almost Pan Roasted Blue Potato recipe.
Almost Pan Roasted Blue Potato recipe.

Pan Roasted Blue Potato Instructions

  1. Wash the potatoes in cold water only removing the skins if there are imperfections.
  2. If the potatoes are large, quarter them or dice them into 1/2-inch cubes.
  3. Blanch the potatoes and make sure they are completely dry before placing them in hot oil.
  4. Heat the large pan on medium heat, add the olive oil, potatoes and some salt.
    You can always add salt but you can’t take it away.
  5. In the uncovered pan, gently turn the potatoes browning both sides until half done.
  6. Turn up the heat to medium high and add the garlic cloves and thyme. Continue to roast for approximately 10 minutes or until the garlic and potatoes are done (cooking time varies depending on the potato variety).
  7. Add more thyme, salt, and pepper to taste.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat and top with crumbled blue cheese.

When I get my hands on some blue potatoes, I’ll update the post with a picture of blue potatoes.

Enjoy tonight’s blue moon and this recipe!




Once in a Blue Potato Salad

Once in a blue moon you have to do something different and eat blue potato salad

Tomorrow an additional moon or “blue moon” will appear, so I’m celebrating the rare event by making a blue potato salad with roasted garlic, topped with blue cheese and dried rosemary.

The moon was last full on July 2 and will be full again Friday, July 31. The second of two full moons in a calendar month is called a blue moon when a full moon, which doesn’t quite sync with the months in our calendar.

Is the Moon Really Blue?

Just because it’s called a blue moon, doesn’t mean it will take on a bluish hue except under certain atmospheric conditions. When a volcanic eruption or large fire leaves dust particles in the air, this causes the moon to appear slightly blue-colored.

The moon has UV reflectance and it can be recorded using proper equipment which makes that nicely visible
Blue Moon. Copyright photo by Dr. Klaus Schmitt (www.uvir.de)

Are There Really Blue Potatoes?

Yes Virginia, there really are blue or violet-blue-colored potatoes and you can make a delicious blue potato salad with them.

Native to South America, blue potatoes are common near the mountains in Peru and Bolivia where they are often used to make blue potato salad and potato cakes. There are also varieties in France (Vitelotte, also called Vitelotte noir) and the United States (Adirondack Blue).

Pommes de terre (Vitelotte) cuites à l'eau (entières et épluchées).
Violet-blue potatoes. Wiki photo by user Stephane8888

From a nutritional standpoint, blue-hued potatoes have a high concentration of antioxidants, mainly anthocyanin (water-soluble vacuolar pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue depending on the pH). The pretty pigmented potatoes are also high in fiber and potassium and low in cholesterol. No need to get blue eating these taters–they’re a totally heart-healthy treat.

How to Cook Blue Potatoes

You prepare and cook blue potatoes like any other potato. Peel em. Cook em. Prepare em. Don’t eat them immediately because right out of the boiling water blue potatoes are hot as blue blazes.




Homemade Prague Citrus-ade Recipe

This homemade Prague Citrus-ade recipe is simply refreshing and simple to make.

We spent a wonderful hot and muggy spring vacation in Prague and although the local beer looked inviting, it contained too much alcohol to safely quench my thirst during our long hours marveling at the wondrous sights of Prague.

As we walked around town, I noticed many restaurants were serving a lemonade-type drink. Since I was parched, I ordered a pitcher for our table and as soon as I took a sip of the refreshing drink made with lemons, limes, and oranges–I became hooked on homemade Prague Citrus-ade.

Lemon Limeade
Homemade Prague Citrus-ade

Most Prague restaurants have their own recipe for making homemade Prague Citrus-ade, so since my visit, I’ve been trying to replicate it. It’s actually fairly easy to prepare; you begin with simple syrup and a combination of citrus fruit juices.

Homemade Prague Citrus-ade Recipe (Serves 6-8)

Simple Syrup Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown or white, granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water

Citrus-ade Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (4-6 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (1-2 oranges)
  • 3 to 5 cups cold water
  • Ice cubes
  • Sparkling water
  • Lime or lemon slices
  • Fresh mint sprigs

Method

Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely. Remove the pan from the heat and cool completely.

If the citrus fruit is waxed, lightly scrub the peel with a cloth or kitchen brush to remove the wax. Next, roll the lemon and limes on the counter top to ensure you’ll be able to release as many juices as possible.

Pour the citrus juices and about 1 cup of the sugar water into a serving pitcher.

Add about 2 cups of cold water to the citrus-ade mixture. Now taste; adding more simple syrup and water if needed. Any remaining simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Lemon-lime aid recipe
Homemade Prague Citrus-ade ingredients

Fill tall glasses halfway with ice cubes and pour the citrus mixture over the ice cubes. Add a splash of sparkling water and garnish with a lemon or lime slices and mint sprigs.

If you want to add a bit of “wow” factor to the table, use a Bohemian crystal pitcher and matching glasses. I personally don’t have any Bohemian crystal glassware, but if I did, I’d follow my own suggestion. 😉

The variations are limitless with this basic recipe, so get creative with flavors and enjoy.

Prague Citrus-ade. It’s easy to make, refreshing, and the perfect drink to cool down and celebrate summer.




Alsatian Flammkuchen Recipe

Follow the simple Flammkuchen recipe below and you’ll receive rave reviews when you present family and friends with an authentic Alsatian Flammkuchen.

Une tarte flambée, spécialité alsacienne
Homemade Flammkuchen

Basic Flammkuchen Recipe (Tarte flambée).

  • 1-14-16″ really thin pizza-style yeast crust of your choice (frozen, fresh, non-gluten, or homemade)
  • 1 small yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3/4 – 1 cup (150  – 200 grams) of crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (110 grams) lardon, matchstick-cut pieces of bacon cut from the belly of pork
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh or dried thyme (optional)

Variations

Be creative as you can and make sure to enjoy the journey!

  • Strasbourg (Alsatian recipe above and slices of Munster cheese).
  • Veggie Flammkuchen (Cherry tomatoes, olives, onions, mushrooms.)
  • Greek Flammkuchen (Feta cheese, green olives, spinach, red onions, dried Basil)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
  2. Place the prepared dough on a pizza stone or oven rack covered with baking paper.
  3. Spread crème fraiche evenly onto dough, leaving 1/2 inch of outer edges free.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste on top of the crème fraiche.
  5. Sprinkle the chopped onions evenly over the crème fraiche.
  6. Next sprinkle the pancetta bits on top of the crust.
  7. Place the Flammkuchen in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until crust is crispy, but not too burnt.
  8. Garnish with fresh or dried thyme.

Note: As oven temperatures vary, you’ll need to carefully watch the Flammkuchen or it will indeed be a burnt mess – baked in the flames.