Sometimes date nights don’t need to be dinner and a movie. Sometimes they can be something you least expect, like perusing the farmers market. This Saturday, thunder clouds loomed in the distance but the sun shined over Providence. We decided to take advantage of the cooler day and the sunshine by checking out the local farmers market. When we arrived, our first stop was Harvest Coffee for some strong cold brew (the way we like it!). With coffee in hand, the next stop was Humble Pie Co for something sweet for me and something savory for my husband. We took our peach pie and quiche lorraine, grabbed a bench, enjoyed the sunshine and people watched.
Once the pies were consumed and the coffee was no more, we took in each booth one at a time, admiring the heirloom tomatoes the size of small cantaloupes, purple peppers and giant sunflowers. In California, farmers markets for the most part carry the same veggies and fruits year in and year out. However, living in the land of seasons brings excitement with the changing fruits and veggies, from root veggies in the winter to the vibrant fruits and veggies during the summer. After exploring every booth, we ended up bagging freshly caught red fish, zebra heirloom tomatoes, purple bell peppers, fresh cilantro, a rainbow of hot peppers and Napa cabbage. Feeling like we hit the jackpot of fresh ingredients for fish tacos, we hurried back to the kitchen to get cooking.
The Pico De Gallo
Though this isn’t a traditional pico de gallo recipe, the green heirloom tomatoes (green zebra heirloom in our case) bring a bright acidity and a tangy sweetness to make this fresh salsa unique and flavorful.
- 2 green heirloom tomatoes
- 2 small purple bell peppers (if you can’t find these, orange bell peppers have a close flavor profile)
- 1/2 a medium purple onion
- 1/2 a small bunch of cilantro
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
De-seed and dice tomatoes, dice the bell peppers and the onions and add to a bowl. Remove the cilantro leaves from the stem, chop and then add to the same bowl. Depending on how spicy you would like the pico de gallo to be, you can remove the seeds from the jalapeno (more mild) or dice the seeds along with the rest of the pepper (more spicy). We found some other fun peppers at the farmers market that we added to the salsa. Combine the jalapeno, the salt and garlic with the rest of the ingredients and set aside to allow the flavors to combine.
The Sriracha Aioli
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons of sour cream
- 1 tablespoon of Sriracha
Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and Sriracha together in a small bowl until all three are completely mixed together. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the tacos.
- 1.5lb red fish
- enough cajun seasoning to completely cover each piece of fish
Red Fish is a small fish more commonly referred to as rock fish. To cook this part of the dish all you will need is enough fish for your guests (about .4lb – .5lb per person) and generous amounts of seasoning. For this dish we used a cajun seasoning (Emerill’s Essence in this case but any will do) to provide a smokey spicy flavor. Before you cook, you’ll need to de-bone the fish which can’t be done with tweezers (we tried). We recommend just cutting the bones out length wise in the center of the fish. Once you have coated the fish with the seasoning, heat a pan up to about medium/high heat with enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom. Place the fish in the pan and flip once the fish is cooked about 2/3 of the way through. Then leave in the pan until it reaches the desired texture.
- Small soft flour tortillas (check out our easy homemade tortilla recipe)
- 1 cup shredded cabbage (Napa cabbage pictured)
- 1 cup shredded jack cheese
If you haven’t made your tortillas from scratch, heat your tortillas on the stove using a medium frying pan on high heat at one to two minute per side, or until they slightly brown. Place your tortilla on a plate and begin stacking: layer the cabbage, then the cheese, then the fish and then the pico de gallo. Finish your taco by drizzling the Sriracha sauce on top and repeat until all tacos are assembled! You’re now ready to enjoy locally sourced, summer baja style tacos from New England.