I don't consider fish tacos terribly labor intensive or time consuming. But they do typically require a little advanced planning to ensure everything's on hand when the dinner bell chimes. That is, unless, you are forever referring to yourself as the Make Ahead Mom... in which case you look for ways to make quick and easy meals, even quicker and easier.
Before we left for church this morning, I started the prep for Sunday lunch. I had purchased a beautiful grass-fed beef roast from EarthFare and couldn't wait to get it in the oven. As I'm sure you can imagine if you've ever purchased really high-quality, grass-fed beef, this roast was no "economy purchase." But I'm a big believer in paying farmers a fair price. They feed this country. Period. And they deserve to be paid for their work.
High quality meat deserves a high quality price tag, IMO.
And frankly, it makes me all the more aware of eating only a modest portion and saving the rest for another use... and no waste. I think if we all had to grow our own livestock for every roast, taco & hamburger we'd all be a little more mindful of what's going on the plate & in the garbage. But that's a discussion for another day.
Anyway, after browning off the roast before popping in the oven, I pan sauteed in the same pan some previously frozen fish that I had thawed overnight (Make Ahead Mom hates extra dirty dishes). While fresh fish is of course always best, I'm the Make Ahead Mom and some days, that's how I roll.
I popped the cooked fish in the 'fridge, headed to church and let the rest of day unfold. After a nice freak-out session outside of Williams-Sonoma where I realized son #2 had dropped my keys and they were NO WHERE TO BE FOUND, the day unfolded into terror, blazing heat & finally intense relief when the WS gals talked to their neighbors at Banana Republic, who had my keys.
I rushed home to make the last preparations for dinner. Thank you pre-cooked fish. I diced a peach, an avocado and a mango, who were just a day or so before being past their prime, added some fresh cilantro from our budding garden, added a squeeze of fresh lime juice, olive oil, cumin and salt & pepper. And because I AM the Make Ahead Mom and always let my freezer do double duty, I grabbed the remainder of a can of rinsed black beans I had frozen previously & 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce. I gave them a quick whirl through the micro to thaw & done - Fish Tacos with Avocado, Mango, Peach & Black Bean Salsa.
Two lessons to be learned here:
-Fresh taste can happen even with the use of some not-as-fresh ingredients (thank you freezer)
-Never, ever let a 17 month old hold your keys no matter how entertaining he finds them
Question - what are your favorite "get ahead ingredients?" Those foods you always have on hand in the pantry or freezer that make dinner a snap?