TRAILER FEASTS | Fish + Shrimp Tacos
You've seen the #trailerfeast posts on Instagram, but how do we make such delicious masterpieces in an RV mini-kitchen? The "Trailer Feasts" series will show you. First up is an easy-to-make-on-the-road and hard to resist recipe: Fresh Fish + Shrimp Tacos.
The one thing we (happily) could not escape as we drove around Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and the Québec Maritime was seafood. As two extreme seafood lovers (and one undecided toddler whose culinary tastes vary by mealtime), this made our Canadian loop a happy, happy place.
After one meal out at a seafood restaurant, where our bill equaled at least two nights in a campground despite attempting to 'order light,' we decided that eating out was 99% outlawed from then on (the 1% being small, cheap indulgences like poutine or pastries in Québec). Which meant getting creative in the mini-kitchen.
Luckily for us, pescaderies (fish markets) littered the coastline as we drove along, so enjoying the seafood that surrounded us was totally doable as long as we prepared it at home. Our first trip to a pescaderie totaled only $32 (Canadian) for two pounds of mussels, a trout filet, a cod filet and some shrimp, which is an insane bargain! From then on along the Canadian loop, we stopped lamenting the inability to eat out at a restaurant and started brainstorming (and Pinning) recipes to create and impress ourselves.
After an insane dinner of mussels and crusty bread (I'll share that also-very-easy recipe next!), we were craving tacos, so we committed the cod and the shrimp to the cause.
During the day, as we hiked around Île Bonaventure off the beautiful little town of Percé, I schemed and daydreamed a #trailerfeast of fish and shrimp taco accoutrements based on the random smorgasbord back in our little fridge. We had cauliflower, carrots, brussels sprouts, jalapeños, garlic and red onion, three leftover store-bought tortillas and, of course, the seafood.
On the way home, we bought a can of plain corn kernels and some lemons and limes to supplement the menu; not much more was needed since I decided to supplement the three store-bought tortillas with my own homemade ones (thanks to my wannabe-Latina HouseMom training).
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 1 small white fish filet (we used Cod)
- 1/2 lb. baby shrimp
- 1 head of garlic (mince it all, it's used throughout the main attractions and accoutrements)
- Brussels sprouts, shredded (we used about 10 sprouts)
- Carrots, shredded (we used about four medium-large carrots)
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 1 TBSP spiced rice wine vinegar
- 1 TBSP sesame oil
- 1 tsp. maple syrup (PURE, don't even joke around with not-real syrup)
- Lemon juice of one lemon
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 small can of corn (plain kernels, not creamed or otherwise)
- 1/2 red onion, chopped finely
- 2 TBSP. greek yogurt
- 2 TBSP. red chili paste
- Cayenne pepper
- Maseca flour mix for tortillas (find in a Latin foods store)
- Hot sauce/extra salsa of choice
- 1 avocado chopped up, or guacamole
- Fresh lemon and lime (we used one of each, scale up for larger serving sizes)
After pondering how I could combine these ingredients for the day, I landed on this menu:
WHAT YOU'LL DO:
I find that I don't have to make many compromises in our little RV kitchen as long as I am thoughtful about the order in which I prepare and cook everything. I have a small countertop, plus a cutting board that sits on the stovetop, so I always start with preparation: the chopping, dicing and mixing of anything that can be set aside out of the way, as well as preparing anything that will need the stove or oven so that it is pan-ready. Then I take the cutting board off the stove and get to work, cooking in the reverse order of what items need to be absolutely hottest on the table.
So, in the case of this menu, I diced everything and pulled out the spices I would need. I made the slaw and the spicy sauce first so that the flavors could sit and blend while I worked on everything else. Next I fired up the stove and made the tortillas (kept warm under a cloth), then the "rice" and corn salsa. Last I cooked up the shrimp and fish.
How? Well, it couldn't be easier and aside from the slaw and spicy sauce, simply required a lot of different sauté combinations.
First, though, the tortillas.
It's more than fine to use store-bought tortillas, in which case, just heat them in a damp paper towel for thirty seconds. If you are pressing your own, mix the Maseca flour, water and salt according to its directions, press on a tortilla press and cook in a very hot pan (no oil or butter!).
Then the hot side dishes.
CORN AND RED ONION SALSA
This required only dicing up red onion (I used half for our serving proportions) and sautéeing it in butter until it is browned to the point of caramelizing, but not burned. Add the corn, salt and pepper and cook until the corn is just warmed up (if it gets a little charred, even better). Remove from heat and toss in a bowl with fresh chopped cilantro.
DELECTABLE CAULIFLOWER RICE
Cut your cauliflower head into small pieces and quickly pulse in a Nutrilbullet or food processor (just pulse, don't blend it to a paste!) until the cauliflower looks like little pieces of rice. Note that this will not work unless the cauliflower pieces are small. Melt coconut oil in a medium hot pan and sauté the cauliflower and the garlic (again, to taste) at the same time, since neither will be in the pan too long. Cook to your desired firmness. We cooked until the "rice" was very gently browned but still a bit firm.
And last, the main attractions.
GARLICKY SAUTÉED SHRIMP:
Spray the pan with sunflower seed oil and quickly sauté the shrimp until they are cooked through (about a minute for each side), toss in the garlic, salt and pepper and cook until the garlic is lightly browned.
SPICY FRIED COD
Again, spray the pan with sunflower seed oil and cook the fish for about a minute on each side. It's not important that it's completely cooked through at this point, because it will remain in the hot pan for a few more minutes. Use your spatula to chop up the fish in the pan, and add garlic (to taste, we added a lot!), salt, pepper and a dash of paprika and cayenne pepper (I pulled out a bit of non-spicy fish for my daughter before I fully spiced the rest).
While I was cooking all of the warm goodies, the slaw and the sauce that I made first were marinating into goodness. How did I make those?
BRUSSELS SPROUTS SLAW
First, use a cheese grater to shred your brussels sprouts and carrots (if you have a tough time with the sprouts, just dice what escapes into shreds). Mince up a jalapeño pepper (remove the majority of seeds unless you have super spice lovers in the mix). Stir it all together with salt and pepper to taste. Cover with a marinade made of the rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, maple syrup, lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.
CREAMY, SPICY CHILI SAUCE
Mix together the greek yogurt, red chili paste, and salt, pepper and a dash of paprika to taste. That's it!
From there, add what you'd like in a taco! We didn't have an avocado in the trailer (nor were there any in the small grocery store we visited), but the dish would have been even better with a smooth green avocado. If you like tomatoes, or other taco sides, add them! That's the beauty of tacos in a trailer: use what you've got and throw it all in a tortilla (it could have been any meat or meat substitute instead of fish and shrimp).
What is your favorite taco combination? Please share in the comments below, and if you try these fresh fish and shrimp tacos, let me know what you think!