Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Salmon Tacos!

There are a few restaurants in Anchorage that I'm downright in love with.  One of them is Bear Tooth, and they make the world's best tacos and burritos.  They have all kinds of other delicious things as well but I love the tacos the most.  The best part is, you can eat on the restaurant side, or be served in a dark theater while watching a movie on the big screen.  That's a quick way to win me over!  The minute I tried their salmon tacos, I was rarely able to order anything else. I just couldn't get enough.  Now that we're living a billion miles away I have been thinking about those darn tacos non stop and have been eager to try recreating them.  We have a lot of farmers market veggies that need to be used (cabbage, garlic, tomato, onion, jalepenos) so I thought last night would be the perfect time to try.  While they didn't taste exactly the same (do they have some sort of secret ingredient?) they were darn close and damn good, and I'll definitely be making them again!  For something like tacos I thought I'd give the general idea (not really a recipe) of what I made so that you can follow along if you want, but tweak things to fit your own preferences. If anyone out there ever wants more specific details though, I'd be happy to give them!  When I cook for our family, I always ask Eric to be very honest about what he likes and doesn't like, and I also add a few extra ingredients for him sometimes to fit his spicy-craving tastebuds. I just enjoy getting the honest feedback.  So I'll include the things he'd change just in case you'd like to try his way!
Here is how I prepared them:

You'll need:
-Crunchy taco shells (I've had some awesome fish tacos in soft flour tortillas too!) 
-Fresh salmon fillets ( I got two small ones, about 8 ounces total which was enough for 3 tacos (not a lot fits in a little shell!) each and salmon on the side for Henry.   
-Creme Fraiche (found near the sour cream)
-Cabbage (I used purple but green would be delicious too)
-Tomato (I had a handful of various cherry sized ones from the Farmer's Market)
-Sweet chili sauce 
-Jalepenos (optional) 

I started with sprinkling the salmon with salt and pepper, and baking on a sheet at 400 degrees for about 14 minutes or so (until it was opaque and flaked with a fork).  I threw the taco shells on the sheet for the last couple of minutes just to get them nice and hot.
Meanwhile, I shredded half of a tiny purple cabbage (you really don't need much since the shells are so small) and pushed it to the side.  I chopped and mixed together half of a small white onion, two cloves of garlic, a handful of small tomatoes, a handful of cilantro, and half of an avocado.  The original salmon tacos from the Bear Tooth don't have avocado but I think it makes any meal better.  I sprinkled it all with salt and pepper and tada!

When all that is done...
While the taco shells are still hot, put a smear of creme fraiche in the bottom ( a little bit is plenty.  Eric preferred it without any, as it has a little sweet flavor to it so leave that out if you don't like the mixture of sweet and savory!) I like the slightly sweet creaminess mixed with all of the other flavors. 
Then layer on a few chunks of salmon into the shell, squirt a little sweet chili sauce over the top, next comes a little of the cabbage and then the tomato salsa!  Squeeze some lime on top.
Eric put a crazy amount of chopped jalepeno on the top of his.

I served fresh Iowa corn on the cob alongside it, and a cold beer. Yum.  Oh, and the meal was toddler approved which is always a bonus!  Henry usually eats whatever we do, but he can't chew the cabbage and such, so he had the salmon, corn, and some avocado.  He ate about 1/3 of a whole taco too after insisting on it.

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