I haven’t been able to take a family vacation in well over five years, so I immediately jumped at the chance to spend a whole week on Cape Cod with my mom, dad, sister, uncle and younger cousins. We spend our mornings on the picturesque deck overlooking the salt marsh, drinking coffee, reading the paper and enjoying the “happy chicken” eggs my mom brings from Bucks County.
In the afternoon we head to our favorite rocky beach in Falmouth, and enjoy a long day soaking in the sun. By the time we get back, it’s usually well past 5, and our thoughts immediately shift to cocktail time.
Over drinks, we contemplate what we’re going to make for that evening’s dinner. There’s not usually a ton of planning ahead – usually a last minute trip to the grocery store happens around 6 or 7, but I can assure you, the outcome is always delicious.
Everyone in my family is a self-proclaimed foodie. We love talking about food, thinking about food, contemplating new recipes, going to new restaurants, cooking, and of course, eating. So when we’re together, our main evening entertainment is spent in the kitchen, enjoying a glass of wine while we whip up a fabulous meal.
Both my parents are amazing cooks, and growing up my sister, Sam, and I were treated to gourmet meals almost every night of the week. Since Sam and I lived pretty active lives in high school (what teenager doesn’t?), usually those meals were pretty simple and quick to prepare.
Tacos were a staple meal that everyone in the household enjoyed. And I’m not talking about your typical tex-mex tacos. My parents lived in Mexico for a year right after they were married, and brought back with them unbelievable Mexican recipes and know-how (more on this to come in later blog posts). Soft corn tortillas are essential; guacamole has to be thick and chunky; serrano peppers (if you can find them), make for the perfect amount of heat in your homemade salsa.
Channeling my parents affinity for Mexican cuisine, I put together a Cape Cod twist on fish tacos – using baked cod, local Massachusetts corn, and a spicy mango salsa that is to die for. This recipe doesn’t take more than 10 minutes of cook time, and if you have a sous chef (or 3) to help with chopping, this meal can be made in under 30 minutes.
Recipe:Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa and 4 Bean Salad
Serves 4-6 depending on appetites
Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
- 1 lbs of cod (or any flaky white fish like halibut or haddock)
- Olive oil
- 1 large lemon
- 2 limes
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 ripe mangos – peeled and chopped
- 1 avocado – chopped
- 1/2 serrano pepper – seeded and diced (this can be adjusted depending on your taste for heat)
- 1/2 red onion – diced
- 1/2 red or green bell pepper – chopped (red is prettier but I only had green on hand)
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 10 soft corn tortillas
Fish: Marinate the cod in a few tablespoons of olive oil, juice of one lemon and one lime. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Let the juices soak in for at least 15 minutes. Bake at 350°F for 7-10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish) until fish is flaky and cooked through – do not overcook!
Mango Salsa: Add the mango, avocado, serrano pepper, red onion, green (or red) pepper and cilantro to a small mixing bowl and toss together. Add the juice of 1-2 limes and salt and pepper to taste. Toss together.
Assembly: Warm the tortillas in a frying pan until hot and slightly browned. Top the tortilla with a small portion of the fish, the mango salso, and guacamole (if desired). Serve with a lime wedge, grilled corn and 4 bean salad (recipe below).
4 Bean Salad
Note: You can substitute any type of beans you like in this salad, these are just the ones I happened to have on hand. Always try to include different colors though as it makes it easier on the eyes.
- 1 16 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 1 16 oz. can cannellini beans
- 1 16 oz. can black beans
- 1 16 oz. can red beans
- 1/2 red onion – chopped
- 1/2 green bell (or red) pepper – chopped
- 1 cup tomato – chopped
- 1/2 cup grilled corn – cut from the cob (can be roasted if you don’t have a grill)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped Parsley
Add the 4 different beans to a colander and rinse with water. Add the beans to a large mixing bowl, with the red onion, bell pepper, tomato and corn and toss. Add the olive oil, salt and peper to taste and juice of one lemon. Add the parsley and toss. Let rest for at least 30 minutes or in the fridge for a day. Bring to room temperature to serve, adding more olive oil if necessary. Serve alongside fish tacos for the perfect healthy summer meal.