I prepared these fish tacos on a weeknight trying to use fish, fish for which I had another ambitious plan until it became too hot to grill. When did LA become biosphere? I have mushrooms growing in my yard at a time-lapsed movie pace. Pulling inspiration from many sources, I relied only on available ingredients. Expectations were low. But, the result was so good that I had to share it with you and commit it to internet permanence along with this journal entry to remember every precious moment.
Last week I took my sister for her birthday to a health resort. She, as I’ve complained, is the Beyoncé of athletes. I am the Adele. It was perhaps our only sister trip ever without any other family members. We’ve spent years, wonderful years working, raising families and then caring for our aging parents. This was our moment.
The trip began, as if our first boot camp challenge, with rain, sad news, a grumpy old bellman Doug who scolded us, and Biblical herds of tiny frogs dotting all walkways, making us killers who squash God’s creatures and ruin good shoes. “In the arms of an angel…”
Day 2 improved with desert excursions, a little more rain, a massage, only a brief scolding from Doug about directions and then, then we got lost and I laughed so hard with her, in the pouring rain, while standing on the crushed shoulders of tiny frogs that I wet my pants and felt 12 years old again. Now that’s what I came for. To laugh and to feel young and to connect.
Something in us, perhaps the risk of a Doug chiding, but we powered through six classes in a day. It was not without ridiculous amounts of inappropriate laughter like when she asked our pilates waif how far along she was after we were certain the girl’s little bulge was a baby. Guess it was oatmeal. Horrified and laughing. I learned about contrast water therapy from a 65 yearold naked lady in a hot tub. After alternating hot tub soaks with 60 second plunge in a 50° cold dip pool, my muscles recovered without pain. My shame of naked running between water sources has not healed.
Sister trips are essential. Sisters are the people who have known us the longest, know us the best and share our history better than anyone. I’m the lucky one who got Lollie for a sister and the nickname Shay.
At this point, I’m wondering if all this talk about nakedness, crushed frogs and wetting pants has built up your appetite for fish tacos?
fish tacos, sweet slaw & avocado cream
The list of ingredients looks longer and more arduous than it really is to make. Many of the seasonings used for the fish marinade are also used for avocado cream. I love this cream sauce and suggest you use leftover, if any, for soups or salads.
preptime: 30 min (do ahead) 3-4 servings
cooktime: 5-6 min
- 1 lb firm white fish, such as tilapia, snapper, cod, mahi mahi, or catfish
- 2 medium limes, halved
- 1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus more pan or grill
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 small head of green or red cabbage (about 14 ounces), cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- segments from 1/2 seedless orange (navel, cara cara, etc), chopped into 1/2″ pieces
- 6 to 8 soft (6-inch) corn tortillas
- Avocado Crema (recipe below)