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Showing posts with label Tacos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tacos. Show all posts

Monday, April 13, 2015

Lemon Lime Shrimp Fajitas

Fajitas are a quick and easy meal to prepare, especially on a busy weeknight, and Chicken Fajitas are a family favorite at our house.  But this time, we wanted to try something a bit different and make seafood fajitas.

Using sliced green peppers and onions and a little cilantro, all we needed was a simple marinade for the shrimp and we were ready to cook.  And get this, the cooking time was only about 7 minutes!

For the marinade we combined a lemon ponzu sauce, which is actually an Asian lemon-accented soy sauce, and lime juice to create a simple citrus mix that was a bit salty, sweet and tangy all at the same time.

Once the fajita mixture was ready to serve we tried several different toppings to find the ones we liked the most.  By far the overall favorite was the addition of crumbled queso fresco cheese, with the  salty cheese really adding a nice texture to the shrimp and vegetables.  We also liked sour cream and Homemade Guacamole on the fajitas, both of which can be added to the fajitas or served on the side.

However you choose to build your own favorite Shrimp Fajita, it will quickly become you favorite quick and easy weeknight meal.  Enjoy!!

2 lbs  Medium Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1 large  Onion, thinly sliced
2 large  Green Peppers, thinly sliced
2 TB  Canola Oil
1 cup lightly packed  Cilantro Leaves
1 cup  Lemon Ponzu Sauce
2/3 cup  Lime Juice
12  Flour Tortillas
Garnishes:  Queso Fresco Cheese, Sour Cream, Guacamole

In a medium glass bowl combine the shrimp, garlic, Ponzu and lime juice.  Stir to combine and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and peppers to the skillet and saute for 4 minutes, or until tender.  Add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are pink.  Add the cilantro and stir, then spoon the mixture into warm tortillas.

Garnish with crumbled queso fresco cheese, sour cream or guacamole.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Catfish Tacos

This recipe is a family favorite that we've been making for several years, so I was really surprised when I noticed we didn't have a picture of the tacos on the web site.  So, below is an update of the recipe, with a picture included.  If you like catfish, you are really going to love these tacos.

Catfish has a sweet flavor that tastes great when topped with a spicy Chipotle Slaw.  The slaw was something that took a lot of trial and error to get just right, because chipotle powder is a very intense seasoning. A little goes a long way!  The first few times we made the slaw, the chipotle flavor was a little too strong, and it overpowered the catfish.  So each time we made the slaw, we would reduce the amount of chipotle powder just a little, until we reached just the right amount of spice to go with the fish.

The catfish can be prepared very quickly.  First the fish is dipped in a buttermilk and lemon pepper mixture, then in a breading of cornmeal, flour and seasonings.  Frying takes just about 8 minutes and you are ready to assemble your taco with slices of fresh avocado and a squeeze of lime.  Enjoy!!

1 1/2 pounds  Catfish Fillets, cut in half diagonally
1 cup  Buttermilk
1 tsp  Lemon Pepper
1 cup  Flour
3/4 cup  Cornmeal
2 tsp  Seasoned Salt
2 tsp  Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 tsp  Black Pepper
Vegetable or Canola Oil, for frying
Flour Soft Taco Shells

Place catfish fillets on a plate and set aside.

In a large shallow dish, combine the flour and cornmeal with the salt, Old Bay, and pepper. In a second shallow dish combine the buttermilk and lemon pepper.

In a deep skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of canola oil until hot.

Dip the pieces of catfish into the buttermilk then in the flour/cornmeal mixture, pressing the breading onto the fillets to help it adhere. Gently place the fillets into the heated oil and fry the fish in two or three batches, about 3 - 4 minutes per side until cooked through and golden. Transfer the catfish to a paper-towel lined platter and let drain briefly.

Place a piece of catfish onto a flour tortilla shell, top with a scoop of Chipotle Slaw, drizzle with a squeeze of lime juice, fold the taco closed and serve with sliced avocado and lime wedges. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chipotle Shrimp Soft Tacos

Tonight we were in the mood for Mexican food.  Something spicy with a little chipotle pepper flavor.  I love cooking with chipotle peppers, and the adobo sauce the peppers are packed in adds a nice smoky undertone to any dish.  So when I went to the grocery and spotted Florida Gulf shrimp on sale, I started thinking...Shrimp Tacos!

We started off with some very thinly sliced red onions, and let them marinade in lime juice, almost like a ceviche-style mixture.  The lime juice worked its magic on the onions, adding a citrusy bite to the sweet red onions.

Next we let the shrimp marinate in a very simple mixture.  Olive oil, a few spices and a couple spoons of adobo sauce was all that was needed to infuse the shrimp with lots of flavor.

We wanted to add a sauce to the tacos, too.  Something light and not so strong in flavor that it would hide the seasoned shrimp.  So for the sauce we went with a simple, yet amazingly delicious sauce of sour cream, one chipotle pepper and a dash of milk to thin the mixture.  If you like things a little more spicy, just add a second (or even a third) chipotle pepper to the mixture.

All of these bold flavors came together beautifully and this meal will definitely be added to our regular rotation of dinners.  This meal is very quick to prepare and can be ready start to finish in about 30 minutes, and any leftovers make a great lunch the next day.  Also as a side note, the chipotle sauce was simply heavenly and I know it would be wonderful on chicken sandwiches, or as a base for chicken salad, so you might see those recipes pop up here very shortly.  Enjoy!!

1/2 medium  Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 TB  Lime Juice
1/4 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
2 lbs  Medium Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 TB  Olive Oil
2 TB  Minced Garlic
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
3 tsp  Adobo Sauce
1/2 tsp  Smoked Paprika
3/4 cup  Sour Cream
1 - 2  Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
1 tsp  Adobo Sauce
1 - 2 tsp  Milk
Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Soft Taco Tortilla Shells
Garnishes:  Sliced Fresh Avocado, Fresh Lime Wedges

In a small glass bowl, combine the onions, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Stir until coated and set aside.

In a medium glass bowl, combine the shrimp, olive oil, garlic, pepper, adobo sauce and paprika.  Stir to evenly coat all of the shrimp and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

To make the chipotle sauce, use a small blender cup and combine the sour cream, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, 1 teaspoon milk and salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.  If mixture is too thick, add the additional teaspoon of milk and blend.  Adjust the salt and pepper here, if needed.  Chill the sauce until ready to serve.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the shrimp and marinade in a single layer and sauté for 5 - 6 minutes, stirring frequently and turning the shrimp over to cook evenly.  When the shrimp are pink and cooked through, remove pan from the heat.

To serve place a soft taco shell on a plate, place several pieces of shrimp in the center of the taco, add slices of avocado, a scoop of the marinated red onions, and a drizzle of the chipotle sauce.  A squeeze of lime is optional, but adds a beautiful, crisp citrus flavor to the taco.  Serve with Spanish rice.  Makes about 6 servings.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Smoky Pork and Chorizo Tacos

If you're tired of boring ground beef tacos, this is a great way to upgrade taco night.  These Pork and Chorizo Tacos get their great smoky flavor from canned chipotle peppers with adobo sauce.  If you're not familiar with these little peppers, this is a really simple recipe to experiment with chipotles. 

Chipotles are jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and dried, then packed in a smoky, spicy red sauce.  One word of caution, different brands of chipotles can vary tremendously in flavor and heat.  For some recipes one pepper will add just enough spice, but with other brands you might need two or three peppers for the same dish.  The important thing here is to taste test.  Start with the single pepper and a little adobo sauce, taste the sauce, and if it is too mild you can always add more peppers or sauce.

If you have leftover peppers when you are finished with this recipe, there are many ways to use up the extras.  Store the remaining peppers, with the adobo sauce, in a small glass jar covered with plastic wrap.  These can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks without spoiling.  For a quick sandwich spread, you can puree the peppers and sauce with a few tablespoons of cream cheese.  Or they can be chopped and added to omelets, soups, chili, or polenta.  You can even freeze the leftovers in a small Ziploc bag.  The next time you are making chili, just break off a piece and add it to the chili pot. The added smoky flavor will transform any dish into something amazing.  You can find canned chipoltes in the Mexican foods section of your local grocer for about $1.00 per can.  Such a bargain!

This recipe uses pork sirloin, which is a juicy, full of flavor cut of pork.  When combined with spicy chorizo, onion, garlic and a few spices, you get a smoky taco that just needs a few toppings to be the perfect masterpiece.  We added sliced avocados, crumbled queso fresco cheese and, for the more daring, heat-loving diners, a little hot salsa for even more heat.  Enjoy!!

2 lbs  Pork Sirloin, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/4 tsp  Thyme
2 Bay Leaves
1 TB  Olive Oil
1/2 lb  Fresh Chorizo, casing removed
1 small  Onion, chopped
1 TB Minced Garlic
3/4 cup  Crushed Tomatoes
2 or 3  Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, plus 2 tsp sauce
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp  Sugar
Soft Tortillas
Garnishes: Avocado slices, sliced onion, chopped tomato, salsa

Place the pork in a large pot, cover with water and add the thyme and bay leaves, then simmer the pork over medium heat for 30 minutes or until tender and cooked through.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked pork to a plate to cool.  Reserve 1 cup of the broth and discard the remainder.

When the pork is cool enough to work with, use two forks to shred the meat into small pieces and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the chorizo and cook 10 minutes, breaking the meat up with a spoon.  Add the pork, onion and garlic, stir and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the reserved broth, tomatoes, peppers, adobo sauce, salt, pepper and sugar, stir and cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat.  Adjust the sauce as needed by adding a bit more salt, pepper or adobo sauce.

Spoon the pork mixture into soft taco shells and serve with an assortment of toppings including avocado slices, queso fresco cheese, salsa, chopped onion or tomato.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Citrus Cod Taco

Fish tacos are so much fun to make and they have become a favorite quick and easy meal for our weeknight dinners.  The flavor combinations are endless and you can have lots of fun creating new varieties.  Choose a variety of fish like cod, swai, catfish, haddock or even salmon, then choose a cooking method.  Most of these types of fish can be baked, fried or even poached as the centerpiece of your taco.  Cod works really well for tacos because it is a dense/solid type of fish and therefore it doesn't fall apart while cooking.  It also has a very mild taste and a flaky texture.

Next you need some delicious toppings.  I love to use different kinds of cole slaw on tacos because it makes the taco a meal in itself.  If you don't have the extra time to make homemade cole slaw, just pick up a container at the store and it will work great.  Even shredded cabbage will add a nice crunch to your taco.

But don't stop at just cole slaw for a topping.  Put your imagination to work and find a combination that you really enjoy.  Try using sliced avocado or Spicy Guacamole, diced tomato, finely shredded red cabbage, or even thinly sliced onion would work.

For these tacos we used a Jalapeno-Garlic Slaw and a sprinkle of Queso Fresco cheese with just a touch of the Spicy Guacamole.  These offered the zing of the jalapeno and the cheese balanced out the spice.  Tacos make a fun family dinner so I hope you give them a try.  Enjoy!!

Slaw - **Make this a few hours ahead for best the flavor
4 cups  Finely Shredded Cabbage
1  Jalapeno Pepper, very finely minced
1/4 cup  Sour Cream
1/4 cup  Hellman's Light Mayonnaise
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
2 TB  Lime Juice
2 TB  Cider Vinegar
Zest of 1 Lime
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparing the Fish
1-1/2 cups  Flour, divided
1 tsp  Baking Powder
1 TB  Cornstarch
3/4 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp  Sugar
1  Egg, beaten
2/3 cup  Water
1/3 cup  Lemon Juice

1/3 cup  Lime Juice
2 lbs  Cod Fillets, cut into 1-inch x 3-inch pieces
Canola Oil for frying

Garnishes of Your Choice: Avocado Slices, Chopped Tomato, Queso Fresco Cheese, etc

In a large mixing bowl combine the slaw ingredients and stir to combine.  Chill for at least 3-4 hours to allow the flavors to blend.

In a shallow bowl combine 1 cup flour, baking powder, cornstarch, salt and sugar; set aside.  Combine the egg, water and 1/3 cup lemon juice.  Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until smooth.

In a large skillet, heat 1 inch of canola oil over medium-high heat. 

In separate bowls place the lime juice and the remaining flour.  Dip fish into lime juice, then into the flour, then dip the fish into the prepared batter.

Carefully add the fish to the oil and fry 2-3 minutes on each side or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.  Drain fillets on paper towels.

Serve fish in warm tortillas.  Garnish with the slaw, guacamole, Queso Fresco cheese and a squeeze of lime juice.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chorizo-Poblano Tacos with Pepper Cheese Sauce

These taco were amazing!  The spicy flavor of chorizo and the zing of pepperjack cheese added a nice twist to the standard taco.  Add a squeeze of lime for an extra layer of flavor.

Cheese sauce can be a little tricky to make.  Be sure to keep whisking the butter and flour at the start to create a smooth base texture. Then when adding the cheese, continue to stir until the sauce is smooth again, then you can turn to a low heat.

5 TB Butter
1/3 cup Flour
1 cup Milk
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Parsley Flakes
1 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp  Cayenne Pepper
1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 - 8 oz block Pepper Jack Cheese, grated or cubed

Meat Filling
1/2 lb Chorizo
1 lb Ground Beef
1/4 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 small Yellow Onion, minced
1/3 - 1/2 of 1 Poblano Chile, minced
3 cups  Romaine Lettuce, shredded
12 Soft Taco Shells

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly until golden, about 2 minutes.
Add milk and whisk until smooth and sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

In a large skillet, brown the chorizo and ground beef, breaking up the meat into consistent small pieces.  ** For a little healthier recipe, we drained off the grease at this point, but draining is optional.

Add the next 6 ingredients thru the pepper cheese to the sauce and stir until the cheese is melted and smooth. Turn heat to low and keep warm.

To finish the meat filling, move the meat to the outer edges of the skillet and add the oregano, pepper, onion, garlic and chile to the center of the skillet.  Continue to stir until the onions, garlic and chile are softened, then combine with the browned meat.

Fill each soft taco shell with the meat mixture followed by a spoonful of cheese sauce and a handful of romaine on top.  A squeeze of lime added a nice zing to the finished taco. Enjoy!   Serves 4 - 6