I hope you guys are having just the most amazing Memorial Day weekend. I know I am! Any weekend I get to spend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a good one in my books. I’m such an ethanol junkie. AND my favorite driver ever in the history of the sport finally won his first Indianapolis 500. I’m a happy, happy girl.
We hung out at my sister’s house (conveniently located a mere 15 minutes away from the speedway) all weekend long. We’ve been having a lot of laughs, a lot of beer and a ton of great eats. I really can’t think of a better way to honor all the men and women of our military, past and present, than to spend a weekend with the people I love, enjoying life and our freedom. I’m so grateful to be free to drink beer, hang out with my family and watch fast cars drive around an oval for hours, and I recognize that little things like those are what we so often take for granted and are the exact kind of things that so many men and women have lost their lives to protect. I’m not always proud of the things my country does, but I am always proud to be an American. And rarely more-so than on Memorial Day weekend standing in the South Vista of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. You should have seen me bawling my eyes out during the national anthem yesterday. Total. Cry. Baby.
Although, admittedly, I tend to cry a lot more when Mr. Gomer Pyle sings “Back Home Again in Indiana” right before the race. What can I say? I’m a Hoosier, through and through. And I’m just now realizing how weird of a tradition that is. Whatever, we <3 Jim Nabors here in Indiana. I shook his hand once when I was at the track a few years ago. I’m totally famous now by association.
Anywho, I figured since Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer around here (I usually consider race day the first day of summer in my world), I’d post for you guys maybe one of the most summer-y recipes I’ve ever made. It’s a recipe that begs to be eaten at a table out on the back deck with a frosty cold beer alongside. And maybe a glass of milk if you happen upon a batch of particularly spicy jalapeños like I did.
I let out a little squeal (okay, a big squeal) when I saw two big, beautiful boxes of strawberries in our CSA last week. They were ugly as sin (as local, organic produce often is—especially fruit) but man, they were insanely delicious. We started popping them into our mouths on the drive home. Yum! Fresh, locally grown strawberries shouldn’t even be put in the same food group as the hard, barely-red berries you find in those little plastic containers on store shelves. There is just something so explosive about the flavor of the small, dark crimson ones you can get locally around here.
Once we’d had our fill of eating the berries fresh, I decided to turn the extras into an interesting sweet and savory combo salsa to top fish tacos. Instead of your traditional tomato/pepper/onion combo, this salsa uses strawberries, cucumbers and a nice little kick from some jalapeño Not only does it look beautiful, but the combination of sweet and spicy is an incredible complement to the flaky, marinated fish.
I mentioned this earlier in the week, but it’s worth mentioning again—that fish right there? It’s our own! Craig caught it out of our lake, cleaned it, filleted it and I marinated it and cooked it for our tacos. We’re not exactly sure what kind of fish it is (we are both rotten with fish identification) but it sure was delicious! Having our own hyper-local source of a lean protein is incredible. Not to go all doomsday prepper on you guys (seriously, some of those folks are off their rocker) but it gives me the warm and fuzzies knowing that if something terrible did happen, we could at least eat fish and veggies for the foreseeable future.
It also comes in handy for the days when I don’t feel like grocery shopping. Ha!
We’re home now and slowly coming down from the high of an incredible weekend. I tend to crash hard the day after the race, so my plans for the rest of the day include my Kindle, the hammock and maybe a nap. Big thanks to the men and women of the military for fighting to protect this blessed life of mine. I’m so grateful.
Fish Tacos with Strawberry-Cucumber Salsa
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Makes: 4 Servings
For the marinade
- 8 ounces white fish (cod or tilapia would be great)
- Juice and zest of one lime
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the salsa
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 1 green onion, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- Juice and zest of one lime
- 1/2 jalapeno, minced (use the whole if you like it spicy)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the tacos
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Avocado slices
- Minced cilantro
- Place the fish and all the remaining marinade ingredients in a large ziptop bag. Close bag and toss gently to coat fish in marinade. Place in fridge for 20-30 minutes, flipping over once.
- While the fish is marinating, combine all the salsa ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until evenly distributed. Stash in the fridge while the fish cooks.
- To cook the fish, toward the end of marinating time, preheat the oven to 400°. Place the fish on a greased baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flaky. Remove from oven.
- To assemble tacos, layer fish with salsa and then top with avocado slices and minced cilantro.
Serving Size: About 2 ounces of fish and 3 tablespoons salsa | Servings Per Recipe: About four
Note: Nutritional info does not include the tortillas, avocado, cilantro or any additional toppings.