Baja Slaw: No Tacos Required

Baja-Inspired Spicy Slaw, delicious with or without tacos.

Just this past weekend, your intrepid co-bloggers met up in a fabulous whirlwind weekend on the Oregon Coast. Somewhere between the excursions to Mo’s for clam chowder and the s’mores over the bonfire at the beach, we managed to do a little cooking. We needed something that would:

  1. Appeal to all in general
  2. Be customizable to individual preferences and needs
  3. Be fairly quick
  4. Be manageable to throw together in our rental cottage kitchen
  5. And, preferably, include some fresh seafood, because: Oregon Coast.

Fish tacos was the brainstorm.

I love how seamlessly Donna and I work in the kitchen together now. In our early years, I often felt a little nervous cooking around her, worried about whether she’d like my dishes, anxious I’d screw something up massively, or just plain worried that my skills would come off as clumsy or slow. The anxiety was only heightened if we were making something together. “She wants me to dice these potatoes. Am I making them too small? Too big? Wasting too much of the peel? Is this taking too long? What will she think of me?”

Nowadays, we’re old hands, and totally familiar. Thinking back on how I tossed this slaw together, I realized I couldn’t recall making a lot of active choices in who did what for those tacos – it just fell into place as we unloaded our groceries. With the help of our sous chef Jake, Donna’s youngest son and my brother, we would check in on an item here and there (“Will you cut that mango if you get a sec?” “Did you get limes too? Uh oh!” “Wow, the fish is already grilled? Awesome!”) but our various tasks were all harmonious with barely a conscious thought.

But back to the food: the end result was a hit, of course (come on, fish tacos, hard to go too terribly awry), and I particularly liked the spicy slaw, which is probably my favorite part of fish tacos. I ate another plate of the slaw all by itself, admiring the resulting pretty pink sauce paired with the purple shreds and accents of green, and thought it was worthy of writing up as a dish on its own. 

BAJA-INSPIRED RED CABBAGE SLAW

1 head red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
juice and zest of 2 limes
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon garlic salt
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 or 2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa or 1-2 teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce

Toss the shredded cabbage together with the juice of 1 of the limes. Set aside for a few as you stir together the remaining ingredients, including the remaining lime juice, then toss everything together with the cabbage. Adjust at will for desired spiciness/creaminess.

Serve. Tacos optional.

— posted by Anne

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