Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo!!

As I was prepping for cinco de mayo, I realized I had no idea about the origin of this holiday and why I was taking part in it (obviously other than for the food!) So a very short history just so we can all at least appreciate why we get to have a day where having extra tequila and a little more lime and salsa is totally acceptable. The day commemorates the Battle of Puebla in Mexico in 1862 (on May 5th) for the Mexican army's unlikely victory over the French forces.  It is a day to celebrate freedom and democracy and highlight the beauties and delights of Mexican culture including dancing, music, decor, and of course food.

So I'm giving you two choices today, possibly making them both happen and if not, tomorrow is still a good day to continue the celebration!

Last night my husband and I went to our FAVORITE Mexican restaurant in the Back Mountain. CK's Mexican restaurant in Dallas, PA is by far the most fresh, consistent, delicious and savory Mexican food. I am a vegetarian so the fresh grilled veggies are always a great option to any dish and are always prepared just right. The top shelf guacamole is never in a big enough bowl and the chips are a perfect match. I can honestly say that if you have the chance to visit CK's or have been there before, anything of the menu is a good choice, truly.

                    By the time I thought to take this photo we were already half way finished, whoops!
And obviously no Mexican food is completely without just the right drink. I have to say I have been to this restaurant a lot and I only order the red sangria because it is just that good. It comes in this generously sized mason jar and makes anything wrong in your day turn right. My husband is a fan of the coronaritas and there is always a great selection of other drinks including great beers and tequilas. Check out their menu online and don't forget to save room for their ice cream selection next door! Truly a perfect cinco de mayo experience or if you are me, perfect for a once (or twice) a week experience!

And if you don't live near Dallas or want to create your own dish at home, a simple margarita and fish tacos are always a good choice (according to me obviously). My recipes will usually be basic, fresh ingredients with as little prep time as possible so that it keeps the cooking fun, but not an all evening chore (after work and exercising and leaving time for Mad Men I don't have all night!)

First, a cocktail to have available while all this cooking happens. This is probably my all time favorite cocktail in general, but goes with the theme for today. Skinnygirl Margarita (the original) is my go to tequila. It's made from premium Blue Agave Silver Tequilla and lightly sweetened with agave nectar, 38 calories in 1.5 ounces and you really could just drink it alone over ice. My favorite way to drink it though is over ice with a splash of lemonade.  If you want to add a little sugar or salt to the rim that just makes it extra tasty and a little more fancy. 

This meal is one of my favorite Mexican dishes to make for a quick, but tasty dinner during the week. Fish tacos are easy to make and just as easy to enjoy. We picked up some frozen Mahi Mahi, but fresh Mahi Mahi or red snapper are the best options. Here is the list of ingredients to make tacos for four or for two with left overs.

For the fish marinade:

-4 pieces of Mahi Mahi
-1 lime freshly squeezed
-1 tbsp. of olive oil
-mix of red, green, and yellow peppers, chopped
-1/2 tsp. of cilantro or to taste
-salt and pepper to taste

Guacamole spread:

-3 avocados, halved, pitted, and mashed

-cilantro to taste
-1/2 lime freshly squeezed
-salt and pepper to taste

Taco toppings:

-1/4 green cabbage, chopped
-shredded Mexican cheese
-1 cup of 2% plain greek yogurt (my sour cream substitute)
-small soft taco shells or lettuce wraps for the same savory crunch with a few less calories

  • For the fish, in a medium bowl place the fish and mix with lime juice, olive oil, peppers,    cilantro, and salt and pepper
  • Allow fish to marinate for 1-2 hours if possible (or longer if you make it the night before)
  • Fish can be grilled on a skillet outdoors, or baked in the oven at 375 degrees farenheit for 20-25 minutes
  • In a separate bowl mix avocados, cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper
  • Place cheese, cabbage, and yogurt in separate bowls for toppings
  • Once fish is cooked, use taco shells or lettuce wraps to spread guacamole, add the fish, and then top with chopped cabbage, cheese, greek yogurt and enjoy!

Let me know how the day turns out and any fun changes you made to the tacos or a new ingredient I should add to my margarita! 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!


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