Saturday, September 10, 2011

Serendipity or Accidents that turn out well

Staying in a vacation rental property means that while one can prepare one's own meals - what you want, when you want it - it also presents challenges: it is not your own kitchen with your own utensils, spices and other ingredients. Often the prep resources are very limited particularly condiments, herbs and spices.

So you try to plan and purchase what you need at the store - what you need without buying in volume that you will never use in a week or less.

We had bought some wonderful wild-caught Pacific Blue Marlin. I did Marlin steaks one night and was trying to think how to prepare the Marlin again. Terry had a great idea: "Why don't we do Fish Tacos, with the Marlin?"

We had some Maui Gold Pineapple that I had cut up (had used some at breakfast) and the rest would make a great base for a salsa. We stopped at the store on the way home from snorkeling (sandy, salty and tired) for tortillas, cilantro and jalapeno for the salsa and Chinese cabbage for the 'greens' in the tacos. I normally do a green cabbage slaw for fish tacos, but buying an entire head of cabbage just for a cup or less of shredded greens seemed a waste.

Me (looking at the Chines Cabbage in the produce aisle): "Do you think this will work?"
Terry: "Sure, why not?"
Me: "It can't hurt. Let's try it - it is the right size."

We got back to the condo and realized the one thing we had forgotten was sour cream or some sort of crema.

Sandy, salty and tired, I did not want to drive back to the store so we decided to do without.

I made the salsa and chopped the cabbage when Terry said:

"Why don't we use some of the creamy poppy seed salad dressing we already have for the crema?"

Terrific idea.

I coated the Marlin with toasted sesame seeds and fresh ground black pepper and cooked on top of the stove in a Sesame Oil marinade I had.

So after showers and pre-dinner champagne, the tacos were spectacular at dinner. The Chinese cabbage and poppy seed dressing were not a 'poor relation' substitute for my normal ingredients but a wonderful alternative that I will make again.

Serendipity - accidents that turn out well.

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