Fish Tacos when I first heard of fish tacos I thought my friend was crazy. Fish with salsa and sour cream sounded absolutely disgusting and I had no desire to even walk into a restaurant that had fish tacos on the menu. Thank god my friend was bossy and made me go, fish tacos have become one of my favorite meals. They are delicious, good for you and so very very easy to make. I am going to give you two basic recipes but feel free to change the fish or the toppings or the cooking method. Once you get familiar with the dish there are endless combinations and the only thing stopping you will be your imagination.
1. The “classic” fish taco
You want a firm hardy fish, about six ounces a person. Try halibut or talipia.
Season the fish – use a blend of Mexican spices, Cinnamon, cumin, hot pepper, paprika anything that sounds good. Season the fish on both sides
Grill the fish – you can do this on an outdoor grill or in a cast iron pan. If using a grill make sure you wipe it down with a little oil before you start so the fish does not stick. If you are using a case iron pan make sure that it is nice and hot. Either cooking method means you have to place the fish over the heat and leave it there for about three minutes and then turn. The fish should feel firm to the touch when it is down and be white.
Avocado – the fresher the better – mash it up into a paste or cut it into chunks whatever you prefer. Squeeze a little lime juice over the avocado.
Fresh salsa or pico de gallo.
Flour tortillas. You can use corn tortillas, but it is my opinion that the flour tortillas are better. They have a mellower taste so the freshness of the fish and other ingredients can shine.
All that is left is to put it all together. A couple ounces of fish, a few tablespoons of the fresh avocado with lime juice, the fresh salsa and cilantro. Roll it up and enjoy. Serve it with beer or a margarita or fresh brewed ice tea. Say a prayer of thanks and take a big bite. YUMMY
2. Blackened Fish Tortilla – these are so good you may not be able to talk while you are eating
Once again you need a nice sturdy and hardy fish. Halibut or tilapia works well. You want a fish that can stand up to being cooked and not flake, but also one that does not have a strong taste
Season the fish with blackening spice. I like Paul Proudhon’s. It can be found in any decent grocery store in the spice isle and he has one especially for fish. You can also make your own. Basic ingredients are Cayenne pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion, paprika, white pepper and some star anise. Feel free to add or delete anything. Always remember that recipes are suggestions and you are the cook.
Season the fish on both sides and cook it in a case iron pan. Make sure the pan is hot hot hot. It should be smoking when you put the fish in so make sure the fan is on as you do not want to set off your fire alarm. Once again your fish should be cooked in 7-12 minutes depending on the size of the fish and the temperature of the pan.
The topping for this is an apple, pear and chipolte honey sauce. Very easy to make and so good you may want to make a lot because it is possible that you might just consume the whole thing standing at the stove “testing it”. For a basic batch, peel, chop and core two apples and two pears. It is important to peel the fruit otherwise the skin may be really chewy and hard to eat. Put the apples and the pears in a pot with a few tablespoons of water and a few tablespoons of honey. Just enough to make sure all the fruit is covered. You can always add more if needed. Next add a jar of chipolte peppers. Before you add the peppers drain the jar and chop up the peppers into small pieces. Chipolte peppers are jalapeno peppers that have been smoked. The smaller the pieces the better. Also buy a small jar. You want about a 1/3 of peppers to the apple/pear ratio. Let it all cook and simmer together for about 10-15 minutes and remove from the stove. Test it – depending on the time of year you may need to add a few teaspoons of sugar. If you do put the sugar in, put it in slowly and make sure it dissolves.
In this recipe you really want to use the flour tortillas. They mellow everything else out a little. If you are trying to up the vitamins and nutrients you can garnish with some FINELY chopped cabbage – make sure it is FINELY chopped. It will give your taco a little more texture and is also very good for you.
Once again you are ready to assemble.
Tortilla – fish – chutney – cabbage if desired and then a prayer of thanks a big bite and a bigger sip of beer.