Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Rockaway Tacos Rock!

Sun out, hot weather, must head to beach.  Last Friday seemed the perfect day for it.  The sky was clear and it wasn't too windy.  A plus, too, is that on a Friday we would be able to find parking and would, hopefully, avoid some long lines.  So my friend and fellow adventurer, Deborah (of Grapes and Greens fame), made a plan and off we went!

It was gorgeous!  I'm still wondering how I could live in hot, sticky NYC for ten summers and never have gone to this beautiful winding beach with pale sand, crashing waves, and a weathered old boardwalk.  Made famous by the Ramone's song,  Rockaway Beach is making a comeback (or maybe it never stopped being cool?)!  Despite the questionable surroundings with dilapidated blocks intermingled with aluminum-sided condos interspersed with gallant Victorians, there is a burgeoning hipster surfer scene.

The new trendy spots are located roughly on the same block, about a block from the boardwalk.  There was an adorable local vegetable stand that also sold coffees, teas, and plants.  Next to that was Rockaway Taco, selling California-style tacos...maybe the best I have had in NYC.

The walk-up surf shack-style building had hand-painted signs on weathered wood and a cute menu chalkboard. They offered three taco flavors: fish, chorizo, and tofu. They also offered some interesting and traditional quesadillas, both red and green salsa (of course), and a long list of beach-y snacks, including plaintain chips, cucumber with chile and lime and a corn and cabbage citrus salad (???).  Sounds enticing.  Next time I will definitely get a snack and something with plaintain in it...and yes there most definitely will be a next time.

I enjoyed a fish taco deluxe, as well as a refreshing hibiscus iced tea.  What a perfect lunch after soaking in the sun on the beach all day.

Making the perfect taco involves so many elements:  the fried fish or other filling, salsa fresca, salsa verde, smoky and dark ancho sauce, crema, and lettuce and radishes on top.  Choosing my favorite ingredient is impossible since they are so good and work together in unison on the tortilla.  I do have a pull towards salsa verde and Mexican green sauce in all it's forms so here is a salsa verde recipe to get you started taco-ing at home!

Salsa Verde

1 1/2 lb tomatillos, papery skins removed, washed, and quartered
splash of olive oil
1/2 cup chopped white onion
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 T freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 t honey
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t dried thyme
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped for milder, just chopped for spicier
a little sea salt to taste

Preheat oven to 450.  Rub the tomatillos with just a bit of olive oil.  Roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until skins are beginning to blacken and the raw-ness has cooked out a bit.  Let cool for a few minutes before you finish.

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients together, until uniform, but with a little texture remaining and not completely smooth.

1 comment:

Catherine Barker Hoffman said...

Tried them. Addicted. Can't stop putting them on everything!!! Do this, I swear. Just add a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and a dash of sea salt to the mix and it will be perfect.