My blogging motivation disappeared on me a few months ago. It makes a brief appearance every few weeks, though. I keep waiting for it to return full force. Actually, this summer has presented loads of stress as I handled some home renovation projects (still in progress), so blogging has dropped on the priority list. I haven’t cooked nearly as much as I usually do as a result of the projects.
However, last night hubby came home from a three-day fishing trip with some fresh yellowfin tuna. Perfect time to try the grilled fish taco recipe in the recent issue of Cooks Illustrated. What a winner of a recipe, too!
The marinade, along with a couple of chile spices, includes the sweetness of orange juice and the tang of lime juice. Although it intrigued me, I wasn’t sure how hubby would react. Rather than our usual toppings of cheese and tomatoes, this called for a pineapple/red pepper/jalapeño salsa. I’m the one usually not open to unique toppings like that, but for some reason, my taste buds were in the mood for something new and different. But hubby? I thought for sure he would nix this idea.
Turns out we both really really liked this variation of our usual fish tacos. We dubbed it the Sweet and Spicy Fish Taco recipe. It provided a palatably pleasurable change of pace from our usual fare.
Sweet and Spicy Fish Tacos
- Rather than buy expensive bottles of the chile powders, I found small bags for much less cost near the spice section at the market.
- Leftover fish easily freezes for another taco meal. Just place in resealable bag and remove as much air as possible before freezing.
- This works well as a salad, too. Just omit tortillas and toss other ingredients.
- 2 pounds of a skinless, meaty, dense fish, such as swordfish, mahi-mahi, tuna, or halibut
- 16 (6-inch) tortillas
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp. ancho chile powder
- 2 tsp. chipotle chile powder
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 cup orange juice (from 1 large orange)
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- optional: I included the zest from the orange and lime
- 1 pineapple
- 1 jalapeño
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 4 tbsp. lime juice
- 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
- 1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced (or use any lettuce you prefer; original recipe calls for iceberg lettuce)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- cilantro, minced
- lime wedges
- Fish prep: Cut fish into one-inch thick slices and one-inch wide strips. Place in bowl or resealable bag; place in refrigerator until marinade is ready.
- Marinade: Heat oil and both chile powders in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring continuously until fragrant and bubbles begin to form, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add oregano, coriander, minced garlic, and salt; stir for 30 seconds more.
- Add tomato paste, mashing it into the spices.
- Whisk in citrus juices (I added a bit at a time to fully incorporate it and reduce any clumping). Cook mixture for about 2 minutes, until slightly reduced, then allow to cool for 15 minutes. When cooled, add to container with fish, stirring gently to coat fish. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- Salsa: In a small pan, roast the jalapeño, turning until charred on all sides. When jalapeño cools, remove membrane and seeds (unless you want the heat); finely mince the jalapeño. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- Add diced red pepper, lime juice, and minced cilantro.
- Cut pineapple in half, then into quarters. Cut each quarter in half. Lightly oil each strip of pineapple, then grill for 3-4 minutes per side. I grilled on the stovetop using a grill pan. However, original recipe calls for outdoor grilling. Dice grilled pineapple and add to salsa.
- Grilled fish: Grill fish steaks until cooked through. Grilling time will depend on how thick your slices are and what type of fish you used. I cooked yellowfin tuna for about 4-5 minutes per side. When fish is cooked through, transfer to a large plate and flake into pieces.
- Toppings: Prepare toppings before grilling or during grilling. Thinly slice cabbage. Cut avocado into slices. Cut lime into wedges. Mince more cilantro.
- Heat tortillas if desired. I like to heat tortillas in a pan on the stovetop.
- Fill tacos with fish, salsa, cilantro, avocado, and cabbage. Squeeze with a bit of lime. Enjoy the burst of flavors!
SOURCE: Cooks Illustrated (Sept./Oct. 2014 issue)