Not a Five, a Ten

July 18, 2011

Even in college I considered myself a foodie.  How can you not be in Athens?  Not only does the Classic City have a plethora of bars, but the restaurant selection is amazing.  So are the prices.  An added bonus is you can pretty much go anywhere in jeans and a t-shirt.

So when I was at UGA and local chef, Hugh Acheson, was featured on the cover of Food & Wine as one of the best new chefs of 2002, I knew that I needed to visit his restaurant immediately.  Now, this post is not a review of Five and Ten {which is ah-mazing BTW} but when his recipe for Fish Tacos popped up on my weekly email from Saveur, I knew I needed to make them.  This recipe (tweaked a bit), like his restaurant, did not disappoint.

Roasting veggies for salsa

Roasting veggies for salsa

Homemade Salsa

Homemade Salsa

Fish Tacos

Yummy Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos with Roasted Tomato Salsa

Printable Recipe

  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1 serrano chile
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • One packet of Splenda
  • 1 cup canned pinto beans
  • 16 6″ corn tortillas
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 2 boneless, skinless flounder or halibut filets
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Make the salsa: Heat a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, tomatoes, serrano chile and bell pepper and cook, turning occasionally, until charred all over. Transfer vegetables to a plate and let cool. Peel the garlic and stem and seed the serrano chile. Transfer vegetables, 2 tbsp. chicken broth and 1tsp cilantro to a small food processor and process into a chunky purée; set aside. Season salsa with salt and Splenda, transfer to a bowl, cover, and set aside.

Make the tacos: Put beans into a small pot and heat over medium heat until hot; cover, remove from heat, and keep warm. Heat a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Pour oil into a 5-qt. pot to a depth of 2″ and heat over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, season fish with salt and chili powder and dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Add fish to the oil and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fish to a rack set in a baking sheet. To serve, use1 tortilla per taco. Divide beans among tacos; top beans with fish, avocado, the remaining cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and a tablespoon of salsa. Serve warm.

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Cinco de Julio

July 10, 2011

Order at the counter, then take a seat

Last Tuesday we went to grab a bite at Don Pedro on Lawrenceville Highway in Lilburn.  OMG.  Probably the best Mexican food I’ve had in a long time.  A friend discovered their sister restaurant (same name, different location) on Buford Highway recently and has been raving about it.  The Lilburn location was a little closer to our house, so we decided to check it out.  I’m so glad we did.

Not only is Don Pedro’s home to the $.99 taco, but they have all you can drink Horchata, which is one of Jim’s favorite summertime drinks.  Also, be sure to taste the Jarrito — a fruit flavored Mexican soda.  They have an orange/mango flavor (we weren’t sure which it was) and pineapple.

Obviously, you can’t go wrong with a $.99 taco, but all the varieties we got were delicious and included: Asada (steak), Pastor (a spicy pork) and Picadillo de Pollo (shredded chicken).  Our friend also tried the Lengua (tongue) and said it was very yummy.

In addition to the tacos, we tried the Mulitas (two tortillas laid flat with steak, avocado, cheese, onions and cilantro), Chicken Tostadas and the Tortas, a meat and veggie filled sandwich pocket.  We also enjoyed a side of Rice and Beans.  Between the four of us that went for dinner, we couldn’t agree on what we like best, but it was a toss up between the Mulitas and the Tortas. (For the record, my vote is for the Tortas.)

We couldn’t stop thinking about their tasty fare, so Jim went back yesterday and picked up a to go order for dinner :0)

You may have heard of a little stretch of beach known as the Redneck Riviera.  That would be Panama City Beach, FL.  A town known for its abundance of spring-breakers, hairy backs and keg stands.  After enjoying a to-go lunch staring at the sea, I believe it should also be known for its fish tacos.

The Mahi Mahi fish tacos at Schooners in PCB are the bomb.  The grilled fish rests in flour tortillas and is topped with shredded cheddar-jack over a bed of key lime slaw.  Get the black beans and yellow rice on the side, stick your feet in the sand and enjoy the sound of the ocean. 

(Did I mention you can order them to-go and wait on the beach?  They’ll call your cell when it’s ready.  Oh, and ask for Wayne.)