We love the tastes of Mexico and have enjoyed a variety of special dishes throughout our many trips to the country. One of the things that we enjoy about Mexican dishes are the various spices and peppers that they use in them. This dish has spice, but it isn’t at all spicy. Achiote is made from a hard seed that is ground up and provides a deep red color to whatever it is prepared with. We made a simple paste from the Achiote, which comes as a thick block with the consistency of clay. Using fresh lime juice brightens up the dish and makes it even more savory. We chose to marinate salmon, but it would work well with any other firm fish and even pork or chicken. It is definitely a simple meal to prepare.
2 Salmon Filets – about 6 ounces each
1/6 cup Fresh Lime Juice
1/3 of a 3 1/2 ounce package of Achiote
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Combine the lime juice and the achiote paste in a food processor and mix it until it creates a smooth paste. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the paste onto both sides of the salmon, making sure to coat it evenly using the back of a spoon. Let the fish marinade for about 15 to 20 minutes. Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Place the salmon in the pan, skin side down, and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until the skin gets crispy. Flip the fish and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes until the salmon is cooked through. Serve with your favorite side dish.
When we’re traveling, we love eating at restaurants that use a lot of fresh herbs with an abundance of taste. People don’t often use fresh herbs as much as they should at home, but we try to as often as possible. We grow several different herbs and enjoy using them in many of the recipes that we prepare. One of the herbs that we have been growing is Mexican tarragon and we wanted to find a way to incorporate that into one of our meals. We decided to make a cream sauce and have it with some breaded tilapia. It was a very light and refreshing dish.
3 Tilapia Filets
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Large Egg – whisked
1 tbsp Whole Milk
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 clove Fresh Garlic – minced
2 to 3 sprigs of Fresh Tarragon
Juice of 1 Lemon
3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
1/2 pint Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Chicken Stock
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Strip the tarragon off of the stems and chop the leaves. Combine the cream, butter, lemon juice, chicken stock, minced garlic, salt and pepper, and 2 sprigs of chopped tarragon in a small sauce pan and heat just to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Cook until the sauce reduces and thickens. Create a dredging station with three shallow bowls. Put the flour on the first bowl, whisk the egg and milk together on the second bowl, and mix the panko with one of the sprigs of tarragon, the garlic powder, and salt and pepper in the third bowl. Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet to medium-high heat. Dredge the tilapia through the dredging station, coating with flour first, then the egg wash, and finally coating them with bread crumbs. Sauté the fish in the skillet until the breading browns and the fish is fully cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Serve with the cream sauce and your favorite side dishes.
Like any resort town, there are a lot of restaurant choices in Breckenridge, Colorado. You can also find just about any type of food that you might desire, but the vast majority of them are what we’d consider to be western in style. We consider western style to be a lot of steaks, burgers, and chicken, but also a lot of gamier meats such as elk, duck, trout, and even things like rattlesnake. When people come to Colorado, they associate it with ranches and cowboys, which is absolutely correct, so that is the type of food they often want to eat.
One thing that you find about restaurants in Colorado, and especially in the resorts, is that they are quite casual even if the food is upscale. When you come to the mountains, you wear blue jeans to any restaurant that you visit, no jacket or tie required. Also, many of them have outdoor seating that allow you to enjoy the wonderful views of the mountains and they use heat lamps to ensure that the scenery can be enjoyed even in the winter months. We really enjoy eating in such a relaxed atmosphere with the views of nature all around us.
We had our fair share of traditional western food, but we also ate a few other things as well. One of our first meals was an American style meatball sandwich that certainly didn’t skimp on the meat and cheese. We ate a wonderful BBQ chicken with spicy chicken andouille and potato salad, very western. Even a pizza in Breckenridge can be a western adventure like the one that we ate with rattlesnake, elk, and Italian sausage with red peppers, onions, and jalapenos. We did enjoy a seafood dinner with fresh oysters (not Rocky Mountain oysters), scallops with capers and a roasted corn relish, and fresh mountain trout.
Needless to say, since it is Colorado there was no lack for options to quench your thirst. We went to the Breckenridge Brewery where we enjoyed a flight of beers with four different styles. Even when not going to a brewery, every restaurant carried a variety of locally brewed beers as well. A perfect way to unwind from a long day of hiking. Breckenridge certainly had plenty to offer as far as restaurant choices and everywhere we ate was truly wonderful.