Tag Archives: tacos

Summer living shrimp tacos

It’s been awhile since I posted a recipe! Life’s been too crazy with social media and writing to think about food. Who am I kidding… I’ve still been loving food, but I guess I’ve been a bit too pre-occupied to write about it here. If you’re ever missing my food posts, be sure to follow me on Instagram or follow me on Facebook, where I break a cardinal rule of social media and post a ton of pictures of my food :).

Summer living shrimp tacos - from jessicaquinn.ca

Summer living shrimp tacos… enjoy them in the sun!

On Friday I heard all about my friend Rosemary’s shrimp tacos, so that evening I had to come home and make my own. They were delicious and went down just right with a Corona on my shady back deck. They’re super quick and easy, and totally versatile – meaning many of the ingredients are interchangeable so you can really just use whatever you have on hand. Here’s how I made them, with some ingredient choices.

Shrimp – saute in:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • seasoning you like (I used a mixed cajun rub I found in my cupboard)

Guacamole – mash all this together:

  • an avocado, pitted and mashed
  • half a lime, juiced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, finely chopped
  • sea salt (a few good turns of the grinder… can always add more!)
  • red pepper flakes (for some kick)

Spicy mayo – mix together:

  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • a couple squirts of Thai hot sauce (sriracha) or any hot sauce (more if you like it hot!)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

Other ingredients:

  • greenery – I used spinach and bean sprouts. You could use pea shoots, lettuce, arugula… really anything you have on hand
  • red onion
  • tomatoes, or salsa (preferably homemade) (optional)
  • anything else you want? Go crazy!

Decorate all this on your whole grain tortilla and wrap it. Pop open your beer and you’re all set!

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Beach side fish tacos

fish taco

Beach side fish tacos

If you know me — or if you’ve visited this blog before, even once — you probably know that I will eat or make any recipe that has the word “taco” or “burrito” or “enchilada” in the title. Mexican food is my absolute favorite and has been ever since I could stick a frozen burrito into the microwave.

Happily for me (and luckily for my husband!), my palette has matured past frozen burritos and I spend enormous amounts of time in the kitchen preparing my own healthy and delicious spins on Mexican cuisine.

We’ve been eating a lot of fish lately — probably 3-4 times per week. The omega 3 fatty acids is in our little ocean loving buddies are so good for your heart and brain that it’s important to eat at least a couple times per week. But I find plain old fried/baked/grilled fish with a side salad to get boring after awhile — so hey, why not stick it in a taco and serve with a side of margarita? ;)

Ingredients (serves 2)

For the fish:

  • White fish (tilapia, cod or snapper are my most frequent fishies) – aim for two fillets per person
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a good handful of cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • one lime, juiced
  • sea salt

For the guacamole:

  • an avocado
  • half a lime, juiced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • red pepper flakes (for some kick)

For the salsa:

You’ll also need whole grain whole wheat tortillas (I like the small ones for this dish) and spinach or shredded cabbage.

Prepare your fish first. Put them in a dish while you make the marinade. Add the oil, cilantro, garlic, lime juice and sea salt together – I like to smash it all together in a mortar and pestle to get the flavours popping and mixing together nicely. Once it’s combined and smelling amazing, pour it over the fish, making sure to rub it into both sides. Set aside.

fish marinade

Fish marinade

Make your guacamole. Put the green flesh of the avocado into a bowl and mash it with a fork or potato masher. Add the lime juice, garlic, onion, sea salt and red pepper flakes, and mix together. Taste test with a tortilla chip… mmm! Set aside.

guacamole

Guacamole – a Mexican night staple

Make the salsa in advance as well, so it’s ready to go when your fish is done.

Heat a skillet (or two, depending on the amount of fish) on medium heat. Add your fish and pour any remaining marinade over it. Cook until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork — about a few minutes on each side.

fish

Fry the fish until nice and flaky

Warm your tortillas in a skillet (or the microwave, who are we kidding?) and put the spinach or cabbage down first, place a piece of fish on top and then add your guacamole and salsa. Serve with an icy cold margarita and you’re ready to dream of the beach!

[PS. Please forgive the bad quality of the photos – they’re taken with my iPhone, and I won’t be doing that again!]

Home, warmth and love live in my slow cooker

crock pot

Halfway time to what smells like it will be delicious!

You know when you come home after being away for a couple hours and you had put some food in the slow cooker before you left, and when you walk back through your door, the smell hits you like, “Boom! I’ve been doing amazing things while you’ve been away and you get to eat me later!”? That right there is a moment that I cherish. It’s home, it’s warmth, it’s love. You gotta love those small things, you guys.

Today I’m making a really great looking recipe from a blog that has really become one of my favorite cooking blogs – Eat, Live, Run. The recipe is for slow cooker beef carnitas tacos, as as you all know, I typically find recipes and then alter them to make ’em my own, but this recipe (as are all that I’ve tried from Jenna) looks simply amazing and I didn’t change a thing!

I came home to this most savoury smell a couple hours ago – and I still have two more hours to wait to taste them! It’s slowly killing me, but I think it’ll be well worth it!

Recipe: Pulled pork goodness

Is it just me or is pulled pork everywhere these days? And it came on quite suddenly. Someone somewhere said, “let’s make pulled pork a thing,” and so it was. But have you ever tasted the perfect pulled pork?

A good pulled pork sandwich should specifically be a few things:

  • Enormous! You should need to really stretch those jaw muscles to get your mouth wrapped around it.
  • Juicy. It should be oozing juicy, bbq saucy pork goodness over your fingers and down your arm from the very first bite.
  • BBQ-y. Even if it’s not on cooked on the bbq, it should taste like it is.
  • Southern. I’m from the Canadian north, have never been to the southern states where they make what I’m sure is delicious southern food, and don’t profess to know what that tastes like. But I’m fairly certain pulled pork should taste like it.

After some research and some kitchen testing, I created what I think is a pretty damn good pulled pork recipe. And with only a little hesitation, I’ve decided to share it with you. Lucky you.

Pulled Pork Goodness

A selection of the ingredients required for perfect pulled pork.

Combine in your slow cooker (measurements depend on the size of your crock pot):

  • 1 large pork butt (it’s the shoulder, but it’s called a butt. Don’t ask me.) Poke a dozen or so cloves into the meat first.
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped in large pieces
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coriander, ground with your mortar & pestle
  • 1 tbsp. fennel
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • A few dashes of liquid smoke (3-4 tbsp. or so. Excuse me, I’m not much one for measuring).
  • Several dashes of worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Red pepper flakes, if you like it spicy
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2-4 oz. whiskey or bourbon
  • Fill to a couple inches from the top with water

This is what it’ll look like when it’s ready to start slow cooking.

Slow cook on low for 10 hours. (I usually do this overnight, but be prepared for insane dreams, brought on by the permeating smell of pork wafting down the hall, into your room, onto the bed and into your nostrils. You will also continually wake up incredibly thirsty, likely due to the dreamy meat-sweats. Also note that I once cooked it for only 8 hours and the meat did not fall off the bones like it should at the end, so 10 is highly recommended.)

Remove meat to a large cutting board (juice will spill over the edges, so be prepared) and strain the remaining juice from the crock pot into a bowl. Discard what’s in the strainer and any bone or fatty bits you don’t want. Let cool for an hour or so.

Delicious, delicious pulled pork goodness.

Pull the pork. This is the most time consuming part. I usually put my laptop on the table and watch a movie while I’m doing this. I’m a tad picky though and all the fatty bits go into a discard bowl. It’s quite simple to scrape the fat off with a butter knife and the rest of the fleshy meat bits can be ripped apart with your fingers and put back into the slow cooker.

Once done pulling it all apart and it’s back in the pot, add a couple cups of the left over juice and as much bbq sauce as you want (1/2 to a full bottle). Mix it up and set the slow cooker to high for another 1-2 hours. Feel free to test for quality control at this point. Then try to stop.

That’s it! I usually serve with giant buns, chopped up cabbage, mayonnaise and cheese and then chow down.

Pulled pork carnitas.

As this makes a lot(!), I usually make pulled pork carnitas for dinner the next night. These are small tacos and go something like this:

  • Take a small round soft tortilla shell and heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds.
  • Add cabbage, a heap of pulled pork, avocado, homemade salsa (recipe to follow in coming days) and cilantro. Other toppings could include black beans or corn. Either way – delicious!

Enjoy! If you try this at home, please do let me know what you think!

Quesnel Farmers’ Market & Food Truck Surprise

Forcing yourself out of bed at 7am on a Saturday morning is no easy feat. But with the promise of a sunny day, and a small road trip with my good friend, Nicole, ahead of me, that’s exactly what I’m doing today.

We have planned an excursion to Quesnel, about an hour and half’s drive from Prince George, to visit their community Farmers’ Market, which I’ve heard is quite impressive. Promising locally grown fresh produce, along with locally grown friendly smiles, I’m told Quesnel’s Market isn’t to be missed. So we pack our reusable grocery bags and a thermos full of home brewed coffee each and hit the road.

Quesnel, known as “Gold Pan City,” is quite a bit smaller than Prince George, but boasts a market about twice as large. We find it in the center of town, outside the Helen Dixon Center, on a nice stretch of grass that is as green as the sky is blue. Luckily for us, this day is one of the nicest that we’ve had all Summer.

The amount of vendors for the size of Quesnel surprises me – but nothing leaves me wide-eyed more than the selection! A handful of produce stands, several tables of fresh bread and baking, homemade granola, crafts, flowers – even fresh samosas. I try not to rush through, but as soon as I hit one stand, I see another I want to visit that second.

Nicole and I take at least three tomatoesstrolls around the market grounds, noticing something new with each turn. My reusable grocery bag certainly gets heavier as I load up on bright red tomatoes, long green beans, fragrant cilantro, a thick-skinned zucchini and a fresh loaf of cinnamon raisin bread.

We leave the market with some freshly made samosas, intent on finding a nice spot to sit and enjoy them for lunch before heading back to Prince George.

I’ll preface this next part by saying that I’m obsessed with the Food Network. Love the shows, love the recipes, love the amazing food. One of my favorite shows is Eat Street, where they profile food trucks — traveling providers of a delicious array of amazing street meat — all across North America.

So imagine my reaction when I see what’s parked not twenty feet from my vehicle – nothing other than a taco food truck! Taco Gypsy, in fact. [Another very important side note: I love tacos.]

Samosas all but forgotten, we immediately head for the food truck and I ask for whatever they recommend. I’m presented with two pulled pork carnitas, which I immediately devour and decide that this is the best Mexican food anywhere north of the Mexican border.

Bellies full of delight, we pack our veggies into the back of the truck and turn it due North. Quesnel is an hour and a bit away from Prince George, but I find myself wondering why I don’t venture down here more often. People drive farther than this to the office on a daily basis in the big cities of BC.

We decide we will be back. For the Market (and the tacos) – for the food.