Thursday, 18 August 2011

The Taco Bar Part 3

The Actual Taco Bar

So today, for Part 3 of The Taco Bar, I thought I'd take you through my list of things I served on my birthday taco bash, including a couple of quick throw together recipes. The great thing about having a taco bar is that everyone can go for what they like best, and you don't have to worry about someone hating a particular food. I wanted to make it more interesting than your standard beef tacos with hard taco shells (although, that's ultimately what I ended up eating all night since my hubby doesn't love those so I rarely eat them even though I LOOOOOOVE them). Here's the spread I put out:

  • Soft flour tortillas
  • Crunchy taco shells
  • Tilapia Tacos (See recipe below)
  • Citrus Pork Tacos (See recipe below
  • Good Old El Paso Beef Tacos
  • Refried pinto beans heated with a handful of sharp cheddar and a few big spoons of salsa (so much tastier that way)
  • Guacamole (See recipe below)
  • Full-fat sour cream
  • Salsa
  • A variety of hot sauces
  • Grated sharp cheddar
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sliced red onion
  • Sliced green onions (also called shallots pronounced sha-LLOTs in some parts of Canada including my house, but don't get me started on that discussion)
  • Finely shredded Romaine lettuce
  • Finely shredded red cabbage tossed with some lime juice, honey, olive oil and salt
  • Rice with greens in it
  • Corn on the cob
  • I think that's it....
Ok, so like I said, I wanted a variety of tacos, and I ended up with four: Tilapia, Pork, Beef and Bean. I feel the need to capitalize them for some reason. As my 3rd grade teacher would have said, they are very important tacos...  The recipes are more just throw together type recipes, but here they are:

Tilapia Tacos:

A word on fish tacos: Awesome. I actually prefer Mahi Mahi, but I had Tilapia on hand. Any firm, white fish will do. About 1 filet per person.

  •  Season raw fish with salt and pepper. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a caste iron pan to about medium, and fry up the fish. When it's fully cooked, sprinkle with 1 or 2 tablespoons of lime or lemon juice, and a small amount of chopped fresh cilantro. I like to put it in the serving dish and sort of slice it with the end of my spatula, since it's so soft anyway. Easy-peasy. Nothing complicated here folks, but just awesome fish taconess. 
Seriously though, everyone in Quebec seems to scrunch up their faces when I tell them about fish tacos, but it is the $#!+ in California and Latin America.... Sorry, I don't swear on my blog, but it really is. I serve mine with cabbage, tomatoes, red onion, sour cream and salsa.

Citrus Pork Tacos

This was a last minute decision to make this, because I was looking at my Tilapia and I new it wouldn't be enough.
  • Marinate 1 1/2 lbs of any port that you would eat after cooking after a short time (tenderloin, pork chops, etc) in about equal parts orange juice, and about 2 tbsp fresh oregano, salt and pepper. Let sit for a couple of hours.
  • Fry the pork, again in a caste iron pan if you have one. Let it rest for about 10 minutes, and slice it paper thin across the grain. That's it! Very tasty. 
Easy Authentic Guacamole

There is a tendency, at least in Canada, to over-complicate guacamole. Guacamole spice mix, adding cream cheese or sour cream, putting in salsa (actually I admit I sometimes do that), you name it. I mean, not to say that any of these are bad, I actually like them fine. I have a friend who makes a great guac by adding a huge whack of cream cheese to it. I don't think I've ever met a guacamole I didn't like. But why make things harder than they need to be? I don't think anyone in Mexico is going out for a last minute trip to the market because they forgot the guacamole mix......Here is a very basic, but authentic recipe. Actually, you can even make it with the first 4 ingredients and it will be great.

Mush together:
  • 4-5 ripe avocados
  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic
  • 1 or more tbsp lime (or lemon) juice
  • salt
  • finely diced jalepeno pepper or a few dashes of tabasco
  • some finely diced tomato
  • about 1 tbps fresh chopped cilantro (optional- I know lots of people hate it)

    That about wraps it up (ahem...pardon the pun) for Part 3 of The Taco Bar. Tune in tomorrow for the 4th and final part of this segment: The Dessert Taco...

    Have a great day! 


    1. I love tacos! These are all great ideas.

    2. Now that's a Taco Bar!! Thank you so much for linking to It's a Party!

    3. Ahhh... my favorite cuisine! I have been thinking of giving it a try at home but it's still under consideration. You have inspired me to get started.

      Thanks for linking up at Tea Time Thursdays @ Kreative Korner and adding to the fun. The party for this week is going on... hope to see you there again :)