As we continued to lounge with our Sandy Cays in hand, there was the discussion, albeit slow, about dinner. Fresh sea bass arrived so we did the simple thing, and chopped garlic and squeezed some lime and baked the fillets for 10 minutes. Since rice and coconuts were in abundance, it seemed that the right thing to do was to make a coconut based rice — somewhat modeled on the lovely Colombian version, which is almost like a dessert and side dish in one. After a few Sandy Cays, and limited resources, our version went like this:
2 cups rice
4 cups fresh coconut water
1 cup coconut meat grated (we just chopped because there was no grater on the island)
Wash the rice.
Heat a deep sauce pan with oil.
Add the rice and chopped or grated coconut to the oil, cook for five minutes, stirring constantly. When the oil is cooked out of the rice-coconut mixture, add the four cups of coconut water and cook until rice is tender.
Author’s note: We used the leftover rice to serve with fish tacos, made with the leftover sea bass.
Another pleasant thing about being on an island was the ability to purchase two essential items for cooking on the main island: Central American sour cream, known as crema, and homemade corn tortillas, which can last very well in any climate. (Mothers are known to actually make and freeze mass quantities of them and bring them stateside to their families). So armed with leftover rice, leftover fish, and the crema and tortillas, it was time to make fish tacos.
Sandy Cay Fish Tacos
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 envelope of Frontera Green Salsa sauce
4 cups of cooked sea bass, chopped and deboned
½ cup crema
Saute the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a teaspoon of oil until the tomatoes start to wilt a bit.
Add the sea bass and let the fish simmer for two minutes. Add the green salsa and simmer for another minute.
Heat the tortillas on the open stove or in a microwave. Place the fish mixture in tortillas (double the tortillas) and serve with a dab of crema on top.
Best eaten with a cold beer of your choice.