I LOVE fish tacos. When most people hear about fish tacos the first time they give you a very funny look. I know that I did, I didn’t believe it. But then Ben took me to Wahoos Fish Taco (one of my very favorite restaurants) and I was hooked. I always get the combo with a fish taco (blackened, not fried), carne asada burrito with green sauce (which I really want the recipe for), rice and black beans. Yum. It is making me very hungry thinking about it.
I was writing to Ben asking what he wanted for dinner, and pretty much all we had was tilapia or chicken. Then the inspiration for fish tacos came. I didn’t know what to do for seasoning the fish, so I looked up a recipe. I found a great one on allrecipes.com. I really like the website, it is recipes by real cooks, reviewed by real cooks. I used a combination of tilapia and cod. I realized I didn’t have enough tilapia, so when I went to get the other things at the grocery store, I was going to get more. But they were out. So I got cod. It’s still light and a good white fish.
If you’ve been to Wahoos, you know that one of the best parts of the taco is the salsa fresca. It is always so fresh and refreshing. It is very easy to make. Kind of ridiculously easy really. I know that tomatoes are not in season, but it has been so warm and lovely, that I had to get some to look forward to summer. Tomatoes have an interesting history. They are indigenous to Peru, where they are a vining plant with little green berries. Historians think that they were taken to Mexico, where they became closer to the tomatoes that we know today. Aztecs ate them with peppers, corn and salt. The name even comes from the Aztec name “tomatl” meaning “swelling fruit”. Tomatoes were probably taken back to Spain and the Caribbean by the conquistadors. The funny thing is that tomatoes, which are a new world food, were not eaten raw in Europe until probably the 1500s. Can you imagine Italian food without tomatoes? I’ve often thought that it must have been awful. The Spanish spread the fruit first across Europe and then around the world. The Spanish introduced it to Asia, where now China grows the most tomatoes in the world. The fruit was introduced to the middle east by British colonialists, specifically by John Barker at the turn of the 19th century. Now there are tons of different types of tomatoes, varieties of all shapes and colors. We grew a purple one last year that was delicious. You will be seeing a lot of tomato recipes as we get into the summer.
Salsa Fresca is wonderfully easy to make. All you do is take your ingredients, put them in a the food processor, and then eat. It is important which order you put them in to the processor, but other than that, so simple and delicious.
The following recipe is in 3 parts. The first is for the fish, the second is for the dressing, and the third is for the salsa. They are all very easy to do, and fast as well. Oh, and quick plug. We had beer with it, it seemed appropriate. We tried the Tommyknocker brand Tundra Beary Ale from Idaho Springs. It may be my favorite beer now. It is brewed with berries that gives it a light, delicious flavor. It is so refreshing. It went fantastically with the tacos.
- 1 lb of white fish, like tilapia
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 2 T white vinegar, or rice vinegar
- Juice from 1 lime
- Zest from 1 lime
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp seafood seasoning powder (which is unsuprizingly difficult to find in Denver)
- 1 tsp hot pepper sauce
- Combine everything but the fish. Mix well. Pour over fish inside a ziplock bag, and let marinade for at least 30 min, can be up to a few hours.
- Either grill or bake the fish until it flakes apart easily, about 8-10 min. If you bake, do it at 375.
Chipotle Lime Dressing
- 1/2 c fat free sour cream
- Adobo sauce from a can of chipotles packed in adobo sauce. This is a little jar in the hispanic section of your grocery store. Mine was on the top shelf. Be careful, this stuff is very hot.
- Lime juice to taste, probably 2 tsp.
- A little bit of lime zest
- A dash each of cumin and chili powder
- Couple of dashes of seafood seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix together the sour cream and everything but the adobo sauce. Then add the adobo sauce a little at a time. It is very spicy and it gets hotter as it sits. You may want to wait to put alot of the sauce in after it has sat for a bit. Ours was very spicy, which is why I warn you.
- Refrigerate while everything else cooks
Ingredients: Note all the ingredients depend on how much you are making
- 1/4 onion
- 1 Jalapeno
- Garlic to taste (I used 2-3 cloves)
- Handful of cilantro
- 1 box of cherry tomatoes, or several normal tomatoes, whatever is freshest
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Some salt
- It is important that you layer the ingredients properly. The lower down they are the smaller they will get chopped up. So the things that you don’t want huge chunks of, like onion and jalapeno, put at the bottom.
- Chop the onion into large chunks. Even just halving the hunk is enough.
- Seed and membrane the jalapeno. Cut into quarters and put in the processor.
- Add in the cilantro and the tomatoes. and garlic and juice If you use large tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters.
- Push on. Push off. Enjoy.
- Added happiness: use the left over corn tortillas to make chips. Just spray with olive oil, and then cut into 1/6ths. Put in the oven on the top rack at 400 for about 5-8 minutes, until crispy.
Accessories: Eat your tacos with the following
- Corn tortillas
- Salsa Fresca
- The dressing
- Shredded cabbage (trust me)
- Black beans (we didn’t use them, but you can)