Most of us who like to cook know the love of preparing and enjoying dishes isn't just about our own satisfaction, it's about sharing our sweat (and sometimes tears) with others. Cooking is truly about nurturing and nourishing both the body and the soul and definitely about companionship. As a result, I can't think of a memorable dish without associating my experience with a person or group of people I care about.
When I think of food with family and friends, this is one of the first recipes that comes to mind. A couple of years ago, Jonathan and I visited our friends Miguel and Anna in Atlanta. The pair are truly the most wonderful hosts and do everything they can to ensure your comfort. Since part of this hosting responsibility involves satisfying rumbling tummies, Anna and Miguel definitely didn't let us go hungry. One unforgettable meal from the weekend involved Miguel's fabulous fish tacos (and not because one of the dogs decided to dip his nose in the guacamole on the counter and show all of us his creamy, light green beard).
I'll let you in on a secret - not only are Miguel's tacos excellent because they taste incredible, but because they're super, super simple. The concept is relativey easy - so much so, I'm not even going to prepare a formal recipe for you, just provide you with some basic instructions.
First, you're going to take fresh filets of tilapia (figure 1-1.5 per person), rinse them in some cool water and pat dry with a paper towel. Next you'll decorate the filets by seasoning them heavily with "Old Bay" brand seasoning on both sides and some freshly squeezed lime juice (just cut the lime in half and let your hands do all the dirty work - don't be afraid to get them all citrus-sticky). After you're done doing this, cover the fish in plastic wrap until you're ready to cook, placing them in the refrigerator if you don't plan to grill for a while.
When you're ready to fire it up, grease the grill ("Pam Grilling" cooking spray will do the trick) and pre-heat to medium-high heat. When it's reached the desired temperature, place the fish on the hot grate and cook for approximately five minutes, turning mid-way through and dousing with beer a couple of times during the cooking process (I generally pick a bottle of what ever we have in the fridge. This past time it was Negra Modelo).
When the fish is fully cooked, lightly shred the filets with a fork and put them in a large serving bowl. Then serve them up with some shredded red cabbage, fresh salsa, homemade guacamole (my easy proportions for "perfect guacamole" can be found here) and freshly toasted corn tortillas. And if you're wondering the trick for cantina-style tortillas, heat them on the grill while the fish is cooking and then wrap them in foil until ready to serve.
What could be easier and more delicious? I think you'll be very pleased with the results - and the smiling faces. Buen provecho!