Every time I return from the East Coast, I get nostalgic about seafood.
Technically, I live in the wrong place for my pallet. Here, you get treated to local cattle, wild game and treats like morel mushrooms, almost everywhere you go. Menus are laden with buffalo, elk and heavy on the meat options.
But do I eat any of those things? Sadly, no.
At any given dinner party in Jackson, unless the person knows all of my annoying dietary restrictions, I am bound to have fewer options than the rest of the guests. I quit eating most meat when I was eight years old and have never wanted to start again. And, in addition to that nuisance, I am quite picky.
When I lived by the ocean, this was rarely an issue though. The proximity to seafood generally offers more seafood-friendly events. And for some reason, seafood dishes don’t tend to have the things I hate (like mushrooms) in them.
Last week I attended a wedding on Cape Cod. It was a non-meat eaters dream. In fact, there were more seafood options than meat, and I was in heaven!
My first meal, of course, was a traditional lobster roll. It was delicious. Close to perfect, in fact. But things just got better from there. Friday night was filled with course after course of the freshest seafood you can get your hands on: oysters, mussels, swordfish, lobster, fish, shrimp and probably more I can’t recall. It just kept coming and every course, it seemed, was better than the last.
While many weddings in Jackson, including mine, wouldn’t dare serve seafood, the main course at this one had a delicious fish and crab entrée option. I didn’t have to fake full until I got home, as often happens, or stuff myself on salad. And the food was incredible.
While the proximity to seafood is not enough of a draw to make me move away, it sure does make me want to find a way to get my hands on fresh seafood more often. One of the things I do think you can get as fresh as anywhere else is tuna. And tuna, while often expensive, is great in many dishes. I really like it in fish tacos, so I wanted to play around with making really good fish tacos when I got back from the wedding.
For me, tacos can be amazing, but it is all about creating the right combination and not overdoing it. Like when making pizza, often less is more.
I created this slaw recipe that combines a bit of heat from the chipotle with avocado to cool it down a bit. The cilantro adds a great flavor and carrots a crunch. I love it on fish tacos, but you could also use it as a side dish too.
A perfect fish taco would have two strips of grilled tuna, a pile of this slaw and a splash of green salsa on top. If you make it in advance, be sure to drain off any excess liquid do your tacos don’t get watered down.