Fresh From Nancy's Garden

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A "Street-Style" Fish Taco Party

The first thing Jake wanted to eat when he came home for Spring Break was Mexican food. New Orleans may be known for its great food and fabulous beignets, but Jake assures me they just don’t have good Mexican restaurants. And even if you could find a great Hass avocado to make your own guacamole, it would cost a lot more than our current price of 2 for $1.

So I decided to surprise him with a “Street-Style” Fish Taco Party. I knew he was bringing home a school friend from China and at first I wondered if Rundong (we called him Ron) would like Mexican food as much as Jake. I shouldn’t have worried.

I would have never guessed that the big hit of the evening would be my “secret sauce”! 

Everyone wanted to know how I made it. I’m a little embarrassed to tell you the ingredients, but here they are:

Secret Sauce for Fish Tacos
(sorry but I didn’t measure)

mayonnaise–enough to fill that white bowl in the photo below
a big squeeze of sriracha
a shake or two of hot La Victoria Salsa Brava
a shake or two of Crystal hot sauce
a big spoonful or more of Pace Chunky Hot Salsa
the juice of a lime

Mix all together to your taste, then put in fridge for a few hours.

Jake and Rundong sample the secret sauce.
Now for the fish! A big thank you to Mike and Sharon Hardy who supplied the fish that Mike caught in Alaska last summer. It was so good! First I sprinkled it with a dry rub and refrigerated it for about 4 hours. 

With the dry rub.

Dry Rub for the Fish
(I usually double the amount and store it in my pantry)
4 TBS chili powder
2 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS paprika
1 TBS crushed red pepper
1 TBS dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 TBS onion powder
1 TBS garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

My friend, Jonna Stoykos, gave me the idea for this marinade. I knew I wanted a wet marinade for the fish but didn’t have any white vinegar. She told me she makes her guacamole with tequila, (I’ll share her recipe on Cinco de Mayo) so I grabbed the Patron and made up this marinade. If you don’t want to use tequila, I think vinegar will work. 

Tequila-Lime Marinade for Fish Tacos
(I actually measured)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
1 medium lemon, fresh squeezed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 jalapeno, chopped (more if you like)
2 TBS Dry Rub (see above)
a dash of hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

About 30 minutes before grilling, pour marinade over fish and refrigerate. Take out about 15 minutes before cooking. Grill over medium high heat, but don’t overcook. Remove from grill, squeeze fresh lime over it and cover with foil while you get everything else ready. 

Here’s what it looked like when I brought it in and used two forks to break it into taco-size pieces.

Taco Toppings
Cilantro, chopped
Green onion, chopped
Salsa Verde
Lime wedges
Red onion, chopped
Red and green cabbage, shredded
Tomatoes, chopped
Red salsa
“Secret Sauce” (see above)

Jake made a huge bowl of his famous guacamole. (See my May 8, 2011 blog for recipe).


I harvested a red cabbage.

And used my mandoline to shred it…

 …and a green cabbage.

I rounded out the menu with corn on the cob that I dabbed with butter, salt and pepper, then wrapped in foil and grilled.

What’s a taco party without rice and beans?

And for the health-conscious, I made a spinach salad.

I heated flour and corn tortillas on the grill.

And it was time for everyone to build their own taco!

And that’s what I call a successful “Street-Style” Taco Party.

And now…for the favorite part of my week..welcoming my newest readers. Here’s my big Laguna hello to China, Poland, Austria, Chile, Romania and in case I haven’t mention you before, all of the UK! Welcome and thank you for all your great comments and emails. And don’t forget, you’ll find this first at

Categories: Cinco de Mayo, Fish, Holidays, Main Dishes

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1 reply

  1. That looks amazing! Love your secret sauce recipe. And can't wait for Cinco de Mayo for that tequila guac recipe! What a great welcome home for Jake and Ron! Lucky boys!

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