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Drizzle this Magic Sauce On All Your Summer Tacos (and Grain Bowls, and Eggs...)

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If there's something Californians know well, it's avocados. We partnered with California Avocados to tap 3 different chefs and cookbook writers to share stories and recipes that are dear to them.

As a recipe developer, blogger, cookbook author, and personal chef, my work is mostly solitary. In large part, I cook for my immediate family and share recipes with acquaintances I know only from behind a screen. One would think having friends over for dinner would be easy and frequent—my days are full of food—but I can come up with a handful of excuses not to do it: time, money, young kids, cleaning, etc.

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But, given the expectation from what I do for work, the one thing that holds me back the most is worrying about making a meal that people will really enjoy: Can I get everything out warm? Will it look pretty? Does said guest like spicy things? Oh crap, they don’t eat dairy.

My self-conscious self will reel trying to make sure everyone is happy and it ends up being more stressful (for me) than enjoyable, which is far from the glory of gathering friends around your table. So lately, because I want to practice generosity and hospitality and community in our home, I decided I would just simplify the menu and cool it.

Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Sauce
Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Sauce

I host mostly in the spring and summer so we can be outside and the kids can run free. We’ll make hamburgers, veggie burgers, roasted potatoes, and I’m always up to practice my grilled pizza techniques with different toppings and a big green salad. But, my favorite meal to make is grilled fish tacos and a pot of black beans. There is aways plenty of wine and I delegate the dessert. To me, holidays and parties are for overthinking the menu, but for a dinner in the backyard, I am in a season of life where it just needs to be mostly wholesome and uncomplicated—all I want is good company.

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Since wild salmon season has started, so I find any way I can to work it into our dinner routine. And since I’ve never me a child or adult who doesn’t like a good taco, these grilled salmon tacos have become a recent favorite. The salmon is great on its own, and even better with creamy avocado sauce, salty cheese, crunchy vegetables, and wrapped in a tortilla. The sauce is key, as it goes with any taco or burrito bowl, and the one I make for these tacos doesn’t disappoint. I’ll make double and use this flavorful magic sauce to put on any grain and vegetable bowl, whip up with eggs, or thinned out slightly as a salad dressing. It is dairy free and free of allergens so it suits everyone.

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The avocado blender sauce for these tacos can be drizzled on anything, like grain bowls and eggs.

Don’t have or don’t care to grill? I like to season salmon with salt and pepper, and roast it around 325°F until just barely cooked through so it stays nice and tender. If you don’t like salmon or it is out of season (the farmed stuff is NOT the same), this equation works with chicken, carnitas, or shrimp, as well as with black beans and fajita vegetables for vegans and vegetarians. The sauce can be made a day or two in advance, and then you are down to cooking your protein and some assembly, making it ideal for a quick family dinner or allowing you to be present while entertaining. Watch the video above to see how I do it, and the let us know what you're stuffing into tacos this summer in the comments below.

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Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Sauce

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Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon muscavado or light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • lime juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds wild salmon fillet
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed
  • 1 large lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems mostly removed
  • 1 handful italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 medium California avocados
  • 2 cups finely shredded cabbage
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • feta cheese, for garnish
  • thinly sliced radish for garnish
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If there's something Californians know well, it's avocados. We partnered with California Avocados to tap 3 different chefs and cookbook writers to share stories and recipes that are dear to them.

Tags: california avocados, fish tacos