We used to get fish tacos from a place up the street from us in L.A. called The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada. Having never been to Ensenada I really can’t say if the name is accurate, but my impression was they seemed to be the best in L.A. So, when Moses asked if we could have fish tacos the other night, I was originally skeptical. Having no intention of frying fish in 100 degree weather, I was relieved when he found a fish taco marinade online that looked–delightful. Loosely following the portions and adding a few things, we came up with a pretty awesome dinner: nothing even resembling our Ensenada favorites, but good in their own, unique way (and much healthier, I’m sure).
It’s all about the cabbage and the avocado salsa. The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada has, as most L.A. taco places do, a salsa bar. Truthfully, even if the food is crummy, a good salsa bar can save it. My favorite is always the avocado salsa. A couple Moses’ family has know forever gave us some pointers on a basic one:
1 ripe avocado
1 tomateo shucked
A handful of clean, trimmed cilantro
2 generous table spoons sour cream (or, if your vegan you can omit the sour cream and use veggie stalk and add more avocado)
*I like it with white onions. Moses doesn’t.
Toss everything into a food processor or blender and blend until thick and creamy, but with a few cilantro “pieces” to give color and texture. Mixed ON the cabbage for a slaw is great!
I’ve been a big experimenting with the summer salad as of late (more to come on that), but I think the roasted corn, mixed greens and dressed in avocado and lime juice variety is my all time winner.
And, the recipe we used for fish called for salmon, which was delicious, but tofu in the same marinade works perfectly.
My take was:
1 table spoon red chili paste
1 table spoon brown sugar
1 table spoon coffee grounds (less if you’re not HUGE on coffee)
1 table spoon curry powder
Mix ingredients with a fork and use as a dry rub on fish or tofu (if using tofu cut into cubes first). Place dressed meat or tofu in a baking dish with a few table spoons of olive oil and lemon juice and bake at 400 until crispy and simmering, but not dry (about 25 minutes for fish, less for tofu).
Amazingly, during a random reading of Ms. Paltrow’s “Goop” blog, I found she had written up a glowing review of The Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada. Good for them! And good for her! Though photographs of her thighs lead me to believe otherwise.