Summertime means watermelon at my house, where the super-sized fruit becomes a condiment that turns standard meatless fare into a special hot-weather meal.
Zesty lime and watermelon salsa is a tasty summer twist on the ubiquitous tomato salsa and a perfect combination with freshly grilled fish tacos. Even for those kids (or grownups) who’d rather have meatless tacos of beans and cheese, watermelon salsa will wow them!
My first taco feed was at the church Youth Group Night when I was eleven. Back then, tacos were the classic ground beef and cheese variety, and I fell in love with them. That very weekend I made Mom, Dad, my sister, and my four brothers their first tacos. A big hit! Now you understand why I’m comfortable making tacos for a crowd of people—I’ve been doing it for 50 years.
Even though our kids are grown and away from home, they all come for dinner about once a month, and they still love my tacos. Why deviate from tradition when tacos are a healthy family reunion food?
Almost every summer during July or August, the taco feed includes fish tacos with watermelon salsa because the local watermelon is SO good. This year, my middle step-son surprised me by arriving early to help with the chopping. I prepared the slaw and corn salad, and he made the watermelon salsa. (You can make the slaw, salsa, and corn salad the day before and refrigerate.)
Once your salsa and salads are ready to go, just light up the grill for the fish, or pan fry it if you prefer. Heat your favorite beans if you have someone who doesn’t like fish, pop your tortillas in the microwave or oven, set everything out on the counter—and there’s your “Taco Feed Bar.” Family members and guests can make their own tacos. Or, for kids who are too young to make their own, you can create and place a variety of tacos on a tray for selection. Happy summer!
Summer Taco Feed
Summer Taco Feed Grocery list:
1 to 2 lbs. white or black cod (or whatever white fish is available)
1 box blue taco shells (I always have a combination of pre-made shells, some crispy, some soft)
10 red or yellow corn soft taco shells
1 small to medium seedless watermelon
5 ears of corn
1 box cherry tomatoes
1 English cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper (optional)
1 bunch of green onions
1 bunch cilantro
1 package of chopped slaw mix (your favorite)
1 red onion
1 large avocado
1 small can sliced black olives
1 can of favorite beans (cannelloni, pinto beans, or refried)
12 oz. cheese white and yellow (grated)
1 bag of chips for dipping
Method for Watermelon Salsa:
2 cups coarsely chopped seedless watermelon
1 English style cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup finely cut green onions
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
2 TBP chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Store in Tupperware container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Use the rind for your serving bowl.
Method for corn salad side dish:
Boil 5 ears of corn. Cool in ice water. Cut from cob (or 2 1/3 cups of frozen corn, thawed)
1/4 cup red onions, finely chopped
1 large avocado, cut into 1/2-in. cubes
1 large clove garlic, pressed
1 small can sliced black olives
2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Stir all ingredients gently in a serving bowl. Store in Tupperware container in the refrigerator or serving bowl until ready to serve.
Prepare chopped salad mix or pre-chopped coleslaw:
Follow package instructions. Store in Tupperware container in the refrigerator or serving bowl until ready to serve.
Preparation for tacos:
1). Heat 1 TBS olive oil in skillet or nonstick pan and add beans. Add /4 cup of red or green salsa and ½ tsp cumin (Optional). Keep warm.
2) Heat tortillas in the microwave or oven for 7 or 8 minutes. Keep Warm.
3) Grill or panfry 1 to 2 lbs. white fish. Place on a serving dish. You can flake he fish with a fork or cut filets in tacos-sized pieces.
4) Set taco shells and tortillas on tray along with plated fish, beans, grated cheese, coleslaw, and salsa for your Taco bar.
5) Set out bowls of corn salad, coleslaw, and salsa with serving spoons. Provide chips for dipping.
6) Partially fill tortilla with fish. Add a spoonful of coleslaw and top with salsa. (Fish tacos don’t have cheese, and are a great option for those who are lactose intolerant.)
7) For bean and cheese tacos, fill tortilla with beans, cheese and chopped salad (or lettuce) and salsa.
Copyright 2017 Catherine Hamilton