I can’t believe I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest for 10 years and I just made my first trip to Portland, Oregon. I’ve been everywhere else in this part of the country but for some reason a visit to Portland just never seemed to happen.
So, because we were highly intrigued, Ranger Craig and I recently visited Portland for a long weekend. It was a road trip. Much to my husbands dismay. He hates driving longer than 30 minutes at a time.
We were going to fly Charlie, our Cessna, but the weather wasn’t as cooperative as we’d like. Or, let’s just say it wasn’t as cooperative as I like.
We thought about the train, but I had the bright idea of a road trip. We should have taken the train.
Traffic, traffic and more traffic. I knew we’d (Ranger Craig) need a pint or two once we got to Portland. And we were in luck! We found Rogue Brewery in the Pearl District. Whoo Hoo!
As we were enjoying our pints of refreshing beverages, I spotted the famous Powell’s Bookstore down the street. I couldn’t finish my pint fast enough. I just had to browse this famous Portland landmark.
They say (Powell’s) it’s the largest bookstore in America. And large it is. Ranger Craig and I were in book heaven browsing that gigantic store. I barely made it out of the gardening, food and cooking section to sneak a peak at the mysteries.
After an hour (probably more like two) I found Ranger Craig in the main aisle. As I walked toward him juggling 7 books in my arms, Ranger Craig looked at me with those eyes that said… “how in the heck are you going to carry all those books back to the hotel”?
So, I put a few books back (actually three) but left the fabulous bookstore with my four favorites. (Ranger Craig carried them back to the hotel. 🙂 )
Of course a visit to Portland isn’t a visit unless you dine at one of the many fantastic restaurants in town. I admit, I hadn’t done much planning for this impromptu Portland visit and regretted my “see where the wind takes us” attitude. I remember my Grandma saying to me once “Little Miss, you always fly by the seat of your pants. You may regret that one day”. I think she was right in this case.
I couldn’t get reservations at Little Bird, Gabriel Rucker’s new restaurant, or a few other delectable restaurant’s I’d heard about. So, we dined in various small, but tasty, restaurants that provided the most divine oysters, seafood, fresh salads and fabulous wine. I couldn’t complain a snippet!
All delicious, fresh, locally sourced and mostly organic. That’s what I love about Portland. Attention to local, attention to quality and of course lots of creative flair. Creative flair, truly unique, and as one building sign stated “weird”. I love weird. 🙂
Simple Halibut Tacos with Spicy Slaw
1 ½ lbs Halibut (or other white flaky fish)
Salt and Pepper
Drizzle of high heat oil (safflower, sunflower, etc)
Spicy Slaw (recipe below)
Crumbled Cotija cheese if desired (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Assemble the Spicy Slaw (recipe below) and set aside.
Place the Halibut in a baking dish and squeeze juice of one lime over the fish. Then brush with oil.
Season the fish with a healthy sprinkling of Chile powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Seasoning as much or as little as you like.
Place the fish in the oven and roast for about 8-10 minutes, or until the fish is flaky and cooked through. Typically, fish will cook 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.
Remove the fish from the oven and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Then flake the fish gently to fill the tacos.
While the fish is resting prepare the tortillas. I like these tacos served with freshly steamed or warmed corn tortillas. I usually steam my tortillas in a stove top steamer, microwave steam bowl or the top rack of my rice cooker.
Add the flaked fish to the steamed tortillas and fold like tacos, layering on a platter. Next fill each taco with some spicy slaw and serve with lime wedges and crumbled Cotija. Enjoy!
2-3 cups thinly shredded Napa or savoy cabbage
¼ cup packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup thin sliced green onions
¼ cup (or a little more if you like your slaw well dressed) Mayonnaise
½ – 1 teaspoon Sriracha or Tabasco or any other hot sauce you have on hand
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together the mayonnaise, sriracha, lemon juice, sugar salt and pepper. Place the cabbage, cilantro and green onions in a medium bowl and toss with the dressing.
Serve on tacos or pulled pork sandwiches. Yum!
- Moroccan Roasted Fish (karistaskitchen.com)
- Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos with Chipotle Aioli Sauce (muybuenocookbook.com)
- Spicy Cilantro Slaw with Cabbage and Carrots (emmycooks.com)