Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baja-style Shrimp or Fish Meatball Tacos

In the hopes of life being a bit less crazy-making and a bit more manageable, I try to make, and shop for, a weekly menu. When I do this well, I am one-step ahead of the daily 'what to make for dinner?' dilemma, and we spend less at the grocery store. I try and balance meals from a dozen basic meal types or types of dishes: pasta, rice, meat and potatoes, soup, sandwiches, pizza, ethnic, crock-pot, vegetarian, beans, fish and shellfish and meatballs. For last week's menu I was torn between making Goan Meatball Green Curry or Baja Shrimp or Fish Meatball Tacos (I shopped for both). Since I made the Goan Curry last week, I'm planning to make the Baja Shrimp or Fish Meatball Tacos this week.

Baja-style tacos invite themselves to be included in my meatball-a-week project. I usually make Baja fish tacos with breaded and pan-fried tilapia fillets, and Baja shrimp tacos with peeled and deveined large shrimp seasoned with chili powder and cumin and lightly sauteed in oil. It is a very small step from shrimp and fish, to shrimp and fish meatballs. If you've never had Baja-style tacos, the basic components are fried or grilled fish or shrimp, warmed corn tortillas, mayonnaise with lime juice, fresh salsa, shredded cabbage or lettuce, and bits of diced onion, jalapeno and cilantro, if desired. This is what I plan to do:

Shrimp and/or Fish Meatballs
1 1/2 lb. minced shrimp (peeled and deveined) or fish such as tilapia (or a combination of the two)
1/2 c. (plus or minus) plain bread crumbs
1 beaten egg
2 T. salsa
1 T. canola oil
1 pressed garlic clove and/or 2 T. minced onion
Form, chill, fry and drain.

Mix: 1/2 -1 c. mayonnaise with juice of 1/2-2 limes

Shred: 1/4 head of cabbage or iceberg lettuce

Warm corn tortillas: one at a time, wet hands and rub on both sides of a corn tortilla to just barely moisten both surfaces. Place on a warm-hot griddle and cook just till blisters a bit and begins to change color but do not cook crisp. Stack on a cloth on a plate until all are cooked allowing 3-5 tortillas per person.

Purchase or make a fresh Pico de Gallo tomato salsa.

Finely dice: 1/4 - 1/2 (preferably sweet) onion, 1-2 jalapeno peppers (fresh, or fire-roasted small can), and cilantro leaves -optional but I almost always include one or more of these additions.

Assemble or fill warmed corn tortillas with shredded cabbage (or lettuce), meatballs, salsa, optional additions if included, and drizzle with lime-mayonnaise. Serve with corn chips and more salsa.

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