Fish Tacos

Post-vacation depression (PVD) affects an estimated 97% of vacation goers annually. It can occur as early as your last day on the trip and linger for months, sometimes lasting until your next vacation. After returning from my honeymoon in Hawaii, I developed a severe case of PVD. It struck when I least expected— walking through hot bus exhaust set off memories of warm tropical breezes and even a dripping air conditioning unit induced flashbacks of sipping fruity cocktails in the swim-up bar. Needless to say, the transition back to reality has been rough. What can I do to cope? Fish. Taco. Therapy. In Hawaii, I ate some of the most insanely delicious fresh fish. The fish tacos were particularly unreal. Fresh ono nestled in a flour tortilla with shredded cabbage and served with pineapple salsa. It was a thing of beauty. Unlike beef tacos, fish tacos are more refined and don’t really require as many fixings. Fresh salsa, shredded cabbage and guac is all you really need. He me iki ia (you’re welcome).

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picstitch-15Fish Tacos with Pureed Tomato Salsa

(Serves 2)

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PVD set in early…

1 lb tilapia (feel free to use any white flaky fish such as mahi mahi, snapper or cod)

1/8 tsp ground coriander

1/8 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper

olive oil

4 medium sized tomatoes, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small onion, chopped

1 jalapeño, sliced

1/4 cup cilantro

1 lime

hot sauce (optional)

shredded green cabbage

Guac

Sour cream or Greek yogurt

Heat a frying pan with about a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Rub a little oil on your fish and sprinkle with spices and salt and pepper. Cook fish about 3-5 minutes per side, or until it flakes nicely.

Pureed tomato salsa:

Adapted from Bobby Flay

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Sautee garlic and onions in about a tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes and jalapeño and cook for about 10 minutes. Add cilantro. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender. Add the juice of 1 lime, salt and hot sauce if you’re feeling frisky. Serve tacos with warm tortillas, shredded cabbage, guac, sour cream and a wedge of lime. Alcoholic beverage accompaniment encouraged.

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Vegetable Soup

With the snow rapidly falling here in New York, I had soup on the brain in a big way. And maybe a tropical beach vacation too. When my brother, Andrew, told me he was making my mom’s famous vegetable soup on his snow day, I knew I had to follow suit. Trudging through the snow, I made my way to the market to purchase the essential veggies and 45 minutes later it was soup time. Carrots, zucchini, potatoes and cabbage all in a rich tomatoey-beef broth will have you coming back for seconds. And thirds. This soup is really quite special and should not be overlooked when plotting your next pot. Add your favorite veggies, omit the ones you don’t care for, and throw in the ones already in your fridge. SOUP there it is!

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Vegetable Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrots (2 carrots)picstitch (47)
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery (2 stalks)
6 cups beef broth
2 cups canned diced tomatoes, including the liquid
1 cup peeled, diced potatoes
1 cup diced zucchini
1 cup chopped cabbage or spinach
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 tpsp pepper
salt to taste
Briefly saute onion, carrots and celery over medium heat until they start to sweat a bit. Add the rest of the ingredients, minus the cabbage, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 35 minutes. Add chopped cabbage and cook at least 15 minutes longer, or until cabbage is tender. It’s very important to taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to your liking. I added more beef broth, salt and pepper and even a bit more of the canned tomatoes.
I told you I was dreaming about vacation. Does drinking this out of a stemless wine glass make it classier? Don’t answer that.

I told you I was dreaming about vacation. Does drinking this out of a stemless wine glass make it classier? Don’t answer that.