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In my new neighborhood, there’s a tiny Mexican grocery on Monmouth Street that’s within easy walking/biking distance called La Chiquita. The refrigerator case by the front door contains cheeses and crema, and the one in the back keeps avocado, cilantro, a variety of peppers, tomatoes and corn cool. Tonight I stopped in for some crema and went elbow to elbow with the after-work crowd in to pick up forgotten items necessary for dinner. Crema was my missing ingredient.

La Chiquita, its neighbor, La Mexicana – a delightful dive serving authentic Mexican food, the corn tortilla class at The Learning Kitchen, and Mere and Joe’s destination wedding at a hacienda in central Mexico have all conspired to make tacos ever on my mind. I just can’t seem to get enough south-of-the-border style food. And on a hot almost-summer night, tacos just seem like the perfect choice for dinner.

Tequila & Lime Marinated Mahi Mahi Tacos
based on an Epicurious.com recipe
serves 4
prep time – about 15 minutes
marinade time – one hour
cooking time – about 10 minutes

  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 lb mahimahi
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons honey, divided
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Mexican Crema
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
  • 8 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 1/2 firm-ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 limes, quartered

In a bowl (if you’re green) or in a zip top plastic bag, combine 3 tablespoons lime juice, tequila, 1 tablespoon cilantro, garlic and cumin. Add fish (got a beautiful piece of mahi from Lukens Poultry, Fish & Seafood), turn to coat; refrigerate, turning once, for 1 hour. NOTE: I made half the recipe, so you will see smaller quantities pictured.

In a bowl, combine vinegar, oil, 2 teaspoons honey, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add cabbage and the remainder of the cilantro, toss well. (The shot of tequila pictured is optional libation for the cook).

In another bowl, combine crema, zest, remaining 1 tbsp juice, remaining 3/4 teaspoon honey. Crema is a bit similar to sour cream, but it has salt added so the flavor is a bit different.
 Heat grill. Remove fish from marinade; season with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning once, until just cooked through and lightly charred, 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board; coarsely chop.

Grill tortillas, turning once, 30 seconds per side. To assemble, spoon 1 tablespoon crema mixture in center of each tortilla. Divide fish, slaw and avocado among tortillas. Garnish with lime wedges.

Corn & Black Bean Salad
serves 2 

1 ear of corn, husked, kernels removed with a sharp knife
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 serrano pepper, seeded, minced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 large Roma tomato, seeded and cubed
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. Serve.
 Oh, mahi. Insanely good.

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