Sunday evening I made my delicious Baja shrimp tacos (and if you haven't tried them yet, you don't know what you are missing!) For E's lunch I packed a small cheese quesadilla on a toasted corn tortilla, along with a small handful of chips. Yummy and also vegetarian, and gluten-free.
Accompanying it is lime-cilantro crema, fresh cilantro and homemade pico de gallo, (roma tomatoes, white onion, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice and salt.) Dessert is raspberries!
All packed up.
Bento #246 - Corn cheese quesadilla and chips, raspberries, cilantro, lime-cilantro crema and pico de gallo. Snack - Clementine and yogurt stars.
Champagne grapes? I'd never heard of them before, at least not for general consumption and availability at my local market! They are the tiniest little grapes you ever saw. They are tart, but not overwhelmingly so.
And, we have the sad giraffe picks. Poor giraffes, why so glum? The noodles are very yummy, though, sauteed with lots of veggies.
Ella just loves these yakisoba noodles with steamed veggies. This time I added some shrimp for some light protein, which is a favorite of hers. She also discovered that she adores water chestnut! I don't blame her, I love them too.
Bento #186 - Yakisoba noodles with steamed vegetables, shrimp and sliced bananas.
Here we have a medley of ceramic flower-shaped measuring cups I'm using as bowls. They are just too sweet. I made rice noodles and stir-fried them with shrimp and curry sauce, sprinkled with fresh cilantro. Ella loves shrimp and noodles of any kind, so it's the perfect medium to introduce some Indian flavors. She ate most of it [edit: this was a non-school day lunch.]
First things first, we ate out for dinner, and E's extra baby shrimp made it into this quesadilla for lunch, along with a side of salsa sour cream (just mix the two.)
Secondly, I discovered a trick for collecting and safely washing all your food picks and small bento items! Up until now, I'd have a cup next to the sink and drop the picks in, and when I got around to it, I'd wash them all carefully by hand (trying not to let them slip down the disposal), then lay them all out on towels to dry. No longer! I happened to have my collapsible stainless steamer basket out, and realized that it might be the perfect washing basket for those items. Now I keep the basket next to the sink, drop items in, and then I close it up and throw it in the dishwasher (top rack) with everything else. I feel so inventive!
Bento #129 - Shrimp and cheese quesadilla, salsa sour cream, dried apricots, celery sticks and organic peanut butter.
Wow. That's all I can say about these. WOW. We had these at the reunion (did I mention we did a LOT of cooking??) These are seriously, and I mean REALLY the best fish tacos I've ever had. The coriander is essential, and makes the entire dish. I used Mahi-Mahi and large shrimp.
For 2 people, you'll need:
1.5 lbs fish filets like tilapia, red snapper, mahi-mahi or other white fish and/or large shrimp 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp crushed coriander seeds 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper corn tortillas lime-cilantro crema (recipe at the bottom)
Preheat oven to 425. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray.
First, either crush the coriander with a mortar and pestle or run it through a spice grinder. This smells so, so good. It's lemony. It's amazing how different the coriander seeds are to the cilantro leaves it produces!
Combine all spices in a small bow and mix well.
Pat fish filets dry and sprinkle evenly with the spice mixture, and lay flat on the baking sheet.
Next, I tossed some large shrimp with the remainder of the spice mixture.
Arrange everything on the baking sheet and bake for 9-12 minutes, or until it's opaque in the middle and flakes easily.
My Mahi-Mahi needed a little longer to bake, so I pulled the shrimp out and set aside in a bowl after about 7 minutes.
While fish is cooking, toast the corn tortillas in a small skillet, or carefully over a gas flame. Cover with a tea towel and keep warm. Watch the tortillas carefully - my last one actually caught fire! Whoops.
Place cooked fish in a bowl and and break up into large pieces. Look at the amazing red hue.
Now here's the best part. Assemble tacos and top with a squeeze of fresh lime, and crema.
Suggested toppings: shredded cabbage or lettuce fresh cilantro fresh pico de gallo shredded Mexican blend cheeses diced onion fresh lime juice
I don't care if cheese and fish is a cardinal sin. Don't care. It's really good, and besides, my daughter loves anything with cheese.
Look at this!!
I could eat all of these by myself!
These were so amazing that I made them again the next night, except with ribeye steak. I made 5 times the amount of spice blend and I'm keeping it in a container in my spice pantry. I sprinkled the ribeye all over with the spices before searing the entire steak to medium, and after a rest I sliced into strips and assembled the tacos as shown above.
For the Lime-Cilantro Crema: 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro 3 tbls mayonnaise 3 tbls sour cream 1 tsp lime zest 1.5 tsp fresh lime juice 1/4 tsp salt 1 clove of garlic, minced finely
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. I store the entire batch in a handy squeeze bottle. Seriously. Good.