Posts Tagged ‘ holidays ’

The Prodigal Child Returns….Just In Time for Labor Day


The Prodigal Child....

Coming home from college I was sad to realize that my cousin Ashley and I would not be seeing much of each other anymore because she was moving to NYC.  With her being gone it did give me more time to focus on cooking and my life in general LOL!  Well it came time for Labor Day weekend and my family and I decided to have a big blowout at my grandmothers house.

To the family’s surprise Ashley was coming home for the holiday, but that meant we had to revamp the menu because this was her Vegetarian Month.  Normally Labor Day is filled with my uncles grilled meats, baked beans, potato salad and corn.  But this year we decided to stray away from the usual suspects and make a menu to remember.

I was in charge of creating a fish dish that convert all the meat eaters and satisfy all of those so-called vegetarians.  I searched far and wide for a recipe and decided to channel one of my favorite chefs on television Giada De Laurentiis for a recipe that could satisfy all.  I had made the recipe before and I knew that it was the perfect blend of big bold flavors.

Normally fish tacos are bogged down with too many toppings and a bg flour tortilla that can take over the simplistic flavor of the fish, but this recipe really showcases the flavor of white flaky fish.  Giada’s recipe for fish tacos is both easy and EXPLOSIVE!  The dish came out as perfect as could be and was a family favorite and Ashley was quite pleased.

Fish Tacos

Ashley enjoying the fish tacos....leave some for the rest of us

Below is the recipe for the whole shebang, my only words of warning is that you watch out for the Wasabi Cream because it is not as subtle as you think!

Recipe Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Tilapia Fish Tacos


Wonton cups:

  • 12 (3 1/4 by 3 1/4-inch square) wonton wrappers*
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • tilapia fillets (about 8 ounces total), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted and flesh cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • mango, peeled and flesh cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped baby arugula


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • Kosher salt

Creme fraiche:

  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


*Can be found in Asian markets

Special equipment: a 12-count nonstick muffin pan

For the wonton cups: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a pastry brush, brush each side of the wonton wrappers withcanola oil. Gently press the wonton wrappers into the bottom and sides of a 12-count muffin pan. Bake until lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Gently lift the wonton cups out of the pan and cool completely, about 10 minutes.

For the filling: In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Drizzle the tilapia fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the fish in a single layer in the pan and cook until the flesh is flaky and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool slightly.

For the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the lime juice. Season with salt, to taste. Add the avocado, mango, green onions, and arugula. Toss until all the ingredients are coated.

For the creme fraiche: In a small bowl, mix together the creme fraiche, wasabi powder and salt until smooth.

To assemble the tacos: Put the wonton cups on a platter and divide the avocado mixture into the cups. Top each with 3 to 4 pieces of fish. Spoon about 1 to 2 teaspoons of the creme fraiche mixture on top of the fish and serve.

Cook’s Note: The wonton wrappers can burn very quickly in the oven so check them after 5 minutes.