Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fish Tacos a la HEB and Cilantro Lime Rice with homeade tortilla chips and guac

Most people hate grocery shopping, but I actually look forward to going to the wonderful HEB Market at Bunker Hill, off of I-10. Since early on, R has accompanied me to the grocery store, which makes it all the more fun. My #1 favorite part of grocery shopping is SAMPLES, which this store is fabulous about. The sushi station passes out samples, the cheese shop, the bakery, the wine section, the "Central Market on the Run" deli... but the best one is the Cooking Connection station where they whip up easy, quick meals and let you taste and take the recipe card. The caveat here is that it generally involves their gourmet salad dressings and/or seasonings so it can be a bit pricey but it's worth it... and sometimes those "pricey" (5.99-8.99) items can be used on more than one meal.

Any-hoo, after our excursion to Corpus Christi this weekend, we stopped off at HEB on the way back to my apartment so I wouldn't have to make another trip out. I didn't have a list prepared, but crossed my fingers that the Cooking Connection would be preparing something tasty that I could do at home for dinner. I was in luck!

Fish tacos are one of my favorite things to order (ever since I was introduced to them at La Bodega, back when I was a college kid at good ol' Texas A&M - whoop!) at Tex Mex places, but I had never attempted to make them at home. Plus, R has turned up his nose at the mention of this delicious dish until he actually tasted them today. He had been wanting a good seafood dinner when we were in Corpus but ended up eating steak at the only "real" meal we had while we were there, so it was an even better choice for tonight.

Richard's guacamole and baked tortilla chips (learned this trick from my good friend Eva)

For the guac, he mashed up two avocadoes, threw in 1 chopped roma tomato, and added a little salt and mixed together... yum! Love those monounsaturated (heart healthy) fats!

For the tortilla chips... I hate to buy the standard chips because I'll eat them as long as the bag is in my pantry, plus they're high in saturated fat and calories. My fellow nutrition fiend, Eva, gave me this great hint for making baked chips: Preheat the oven to 400-425. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Cut CORN tortillas (depending on how many you want, probably 2 tortillas per person) into quarters and spread out on the tray. Coat lightly with the non-stick spray and then lightly salt the tortillas. Put them in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Voila! 10-13 calories per chip (depending on the tortilla, look at the package for calorie count per tortilla, then divide by 4) and very little fat as opposed to an average of 20+ calories and 1 gm fat PER CHIP of the standard kind... seems small but it adds up, because who eats only 4 chips? Not me. (Probably Eva!)

Cilantro Lime Rice - so yummy at Mission Burrito and Escalante's, I had to try to recreate it!

Google is a great tool :) I figured this must be pretty simple to make, so I just used to recipe I found on Rockin' Robin's Note that the recipe calls for basmati rice, and although you can substitute regular rice, the basmati is really yummy.

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup basmati rice (you can use regular white rice, just follow the directions on the package)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I didn't have this so I used water. The recipe was already on the salty side, so I imagine it would have been even more so had I used the broth)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
zest from one lime
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. salt (I think you could get away with 1/2 tsp)

Add the oil to a sauce pan and heat on low. Add the garlic and rice to the oil and saute for 2 minutes on medium heat stirring frequently.
Add the chicken broth (OR WATER), salt, lime juice and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes or according to rice package directions.
When the rice is done, add lime zest and chopped cilantro and stir to mix in. Serve immediately.
If you are using regular long grain rice, follow the cooking directions on the box regarding the amount of liquid to use and the cooking time.

Now the star item: Seasoned pan-fried tilapia
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat (didn't specify amt, I used about 1 Tbsp). Season 4 fresh filets (I used 3 filets, about 1.1#) on any fish (tilapia is relatively inexpensive and very good in this) with a rub (recommended Adams Southwest Ancho rub, they sell this at HEB and I have also used it on steak and chicken - I imagine any steak rub would work, maybe even Tony Cachere's). Add seasoned fish to hot pan and cook 3-4 minutes per side.

Delicious cole slaw made with Red Jalapeno Dressing

Mix together 1 jar of creamy salad dressing (recommended Chef Dean Herring Red Jalapeno Dressing 12 oz - I used this but probably only 7 oz of it) and 1/2 cup of sour cream. Then add pico de gallo (HEB conveniently pre-packages this, but you could make your own, probably about a cup). Mix in 1 bag of cole slaw.

To put the tacos together, heat tortillas (I prefer corn and they are lower in calories and carbs) in a dry skillet and fill with fish and then cole slaw. Serve with rice and chips/guac as desired!
There was alot of cole slaw left over and probably 1/3 of the fish - I had two tacos, R had 4 (he was stuffed!) if that helps you to gauge the quantity it makes!
Love, B


  1. I'm going to try and not hold the fact that you blogged about a seafood meal that is of NO USE TO ME against you :) Ha ha juuuust kidding!

  2. This looks awesome! I am definitely going to give this a try:o)