Thursday, August 12, 2010

Farmer's Market & Impromptu Tacos!

My, I love Thursday mornings! The farmer's market in Ormond Beach boasts my favorite produce guy, the super-secret Thai shitake grower, and the organic baker who speaks mostly German. I can barely contain myself!

My return to the market this morning after a summer away was delightful. My farmer guy, Mike, was there with some exciting new items. I found plump white eggplant, okra, yellow squash, and a bundle of basil as big as a cabbage. What do I love best about this Mike? Aside from his kids, who entertain me with their latest school lessons while I shop, the produce is incredibly cheap. I bought all of those items for $8. The basil alone would have cost that much at Publix. Anyway, a successful produce purchase - one that will surely spark a pesto post dish of some kind later in the week.

Sidenote: my mushroom lady was happy to see me, and informed me that she will start bringing shitakes to the market again now that I am back. Am I the only person who appreciates a $4/lb bag of the freshest, most meaty shitakes I have ever seen? Jeez!

While I was finishing my stroll, I passed the seafood guy, who convinced me to buy some local sea bass. It was super expensive, but I decided to support local and buy enough for a small lunch for 1.

Which leads me to the food for today....

Impromptu Fish Tacos!

Why the exclamation point? Because fish tacos are the bees knees! If you haven't ever had a true fish taco - put on your shoes, go to the closest seafood shack, and dig in.

Because this was an impromptu lunch, and I am making an effort to use what I have rather than hitting the store every time I have an idea, this one is not my super ideal taco - but it was a damn fine stand-in.

I had some compari tomatoes and greek yogurt*, so I decided to throw together some salsa, and top with lime creme.

Impromptu Fish Tacos
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced (roll the lime before you cut it to release the juices)
1/4 cup greek yoghurt (I like full-fat for this)
pinch cumin
pinch chile powder
pinch garlic powder
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
1/4 lb sea bass (mahi-mahi would be great here too)
1 TB olive oil
small handful fresh cilantro
2 corn tortillas**

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, half the lime juice, and salt to taste. Set aside.

In a small bowl, or ramekin, combine yoghurt, the rest of the lime juice, and a pinch of cumin.

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. In the meantime, heat another small skillet to medium hot. When hot, place corn tortilla in the dry pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side to warm/toast the tortilla. This will prevent it from falling apart when you eat it.

Season fish with cumin, chile powder, garlic powder & salt. I am not big on measurements, but a light dusting of each works well. When the oil is hot, add to pan and shake once. Cook 2-3 minutes, being careful not to move the fish (you want to let it get a golden crust). Turn and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side. Test the fish with a fork - if it is flaky and falls apart easily, it is done. Immediately move to a plate.

Now all you have to do is assemble your tacos! Throw on some pieces of flaky fish, salsa, and top with your lime creme and some fresh cilantro.

I hope you enjoy!

*I use Greek yoghurt in place of sour cream, cream cheese, or mayo in a lot of my food. Yoghurt, even made from whole milk, is much healthier, and I never miss out on the taste. Try it!
** Some people prefer flour tortillas, but corn are traditional for fish tacos. Flour overpowers the delicate taste of the fish - so if you haven't tried it yet, give it a go.