Taco Night!

Today I’m going to do a recap of taco night from Friday!  I know you were all waiting in anticipation.

We invited this guy but he couldn't come :(



Actually in searching for this I found out that Gidget (the Taco Bell Dog) died in 2009. wah wah.

So, with no Gidget, it was just the three of us.  Alex, Meredith and I decided we would stay in and watch a movie (Salt, the one that was horrible) and for something different, we thought it would be fun to have a taco night with build your own tacos and sangria!  Mer and I bought/made the food and Alex got all the sangria ingredients and made the sangria.

I wanted fish tacos because 1. I love fish tacos and 2. one of my resolutions for the New Year (food wise) was to cook more seafood.  The reason this is one of my resolutions is because I love seafood but am intimidated by cooking it so I normally don’t eat it unless I am eating out.  This blog is a great way for me to hold myself accountable for trying new things so what better time to give it a shot.  I loosely based my recipe on this one from Epicurious.  I bought frozen tilapia from Trader Joes instead of using mahi mahi, and just unfroze one piece (it comes with three really big pieces).  I moved the fish from the freezer to the fridge to defrost the night before and I also soaked onion slices in red wine vinegar for about 24 hours.   About 2 hours before we were planning on cooking, I mixed together a marinade of olive oil, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic and salt.  I coated the fish with the marinade and put in tupperware in the fridge.  When it was time to cook, I just put the fish on foil and baked at 350 for about 30 minutes.  How easy is that?  The fish was really tender (is that the right thing to say about fish? I’m not sure) and flavorful. However, I think I should have listened to the reviews on Epicurious.  While the onions were good and very strong, I didn’t think they went that well with the fish.  I think coleslaw or some sort of slaw would have been better with a spicy mayo sauce maybe.   Also, one of the reviewers said not to make these as soft tacos because then there is no variation in textures, with the fish and taco shells both being soft.  I didn’t listen to this one either and used soft corn tortillas.  I figured normally fish tacos are served as soft tacos so it would be fine.  Next time I will definitely try a hard shell.  I still have two pieces of fish left so when I make with revisions I will post that recipe.

Overall: The fish was very good and I most definitely recommend the recipe for that part alone.  I think with the few tweaks this would be an awesome dish.  Or, you could just make the fish and not use it for fish tacos but as the main course.   I just can’t believe I haven’t cooked fish much before because it is so easy and delicious!

The reason I bother bringing up the other parts of the dish is because they were still really good, I just didn’t think the initial combination was great.  I ate the remaining vinegar soaked onions today in a taco salad I made with the leftovers (lettuce, ground beef, tomato, cheese, onions and a ton of salsa) and they really are what made the salad.  They taste strong and sharp but not overly vinegary.  They are easy to make and what is nice is the longer they stay in your fridge in the vinegar, the better because they will just gain more flavor.  Definitely give them a try if you like onions.

Back to taco night.

We also used ground beef for the fish haters, just cooked with standard taco seasoning.  Everything else was pretty easy, just chopped the rest of the ingredients and heated the tortillas.   I tweaked the basic guacamole recipe I usually use to add some heat:

Semi Spicy Guacamole

4 avocadoes

2 tomatoes

½ large onion

1 T garlic (or a few cloves, minced)

1 t chili powder

1 T lemon juice

Salt to taste

Sriracha to taste

Normally, I make guac with all the ingredients except sriracha (sriracha is a thai hot sauce that can be found here).  I decided to give it a try because I thought it would give the guac a little extra kick.  I didn’t add too much because I didn’t want it to be overly spicy, but I think it added a ton of flavor and a good amount of spiciness without being overpowering.

I made the guac about an hour ahead so it would have time to sit in the fridge for awhile.  Also, you probably already know this, but if you leave an avocado pit or two in the guacamole it will keep it from browning.  Or at least lessen the amount of browning.  You guys probably think I don’t know what I’m talking about since the picture I just posted looks a little brown, but that is just my lack of having figured out my camera yet.  I think I finally figured it out today, so I promise better pictures are in my very near future!

And finally, the fun recipe….sangria!

We couldn’t decide on which kind we wanted so we made red and white.   We looked up recipes but ended up just winging it.  I requested that we leave out the fruit juice and sugar and use diet pop instead.  My reasoning was because I have a hard time drinking wine without getting serious headaches so I figured more sugar would exacerbate the problem.

The ingredients for both are really similar.  We used 2 bottles of white and 2 of red so I’m going to use amounts based on that quantity, but you can obviously halve the recipe if you want to use only one bottle of wine (not sure why you would want to do that though!).

White sangria:

2 bottles of (cheap) white wine

4 cups of diet sprite or some other soda.  I think you could also use club soda but might need to add sugar in that case

1 shot of white rum

Fruit of choice- we used lemons, oranges, apples and grapefruit

Red Sangria:

2 bottles of (cheap) red wine

4 cups of diet ginger ale

1 shot of rum

Fruit of choice- we used lemons, oranges, apples and grapefruit

YUM! These were so good and honestly didn’t need ANY more sugar, they were plenty sweet.  The white sangria was my favorite, but I think Al and Mer both liked the red best.

We ended up drinking ALL of it.  I made sure to drink a ton of water throughout so I didn’t get a headache.  These were so good and I don’t think I ever realized how easy sangria is!  I really liked that they weren’t overly sweet and didn’t taste totally full of sugar like some store bought sangrias tend to taste after a glass or two.

the spread


Taco night (or el noche de tacos) was definitely a success.  We might have to have a parte dos sometime soon.

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