Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fish Tacos w/ Mango Salsa

Fish tacos are my absolute favorite Mexican, well Mexican-American, food. They are so light and fresh, and they don't leave you with that horrible/wonderful brick-in-your stomach feeling you get when you eat other Mexican food. I had them for the first time while I was visiting my aunt in California when I was in middle school. Fish tacos were pretty hard to find on the east coast back then, but now you can get them at Baja Fresh or my favorite in D.C.--Taqueria Nacionale. This is a little recipe for fish tacos I cooked up last night. They were so good, I ate the leftovers for breakfast this morning while I was writing this post. The spicy, flaky fish tasted awesome with the cool, creamy cabbage salad and the hot and sweet mango salsa. And the fish cooks so fast that the whole meal can be thrown together in less than 20 minutes, especially if you enlist a second set of hands to prep the toppings while you cook the fish.

The family we stayed with in Alaska this summer showed us how to make this amazing blackened halibut after we caught a bunch. It is really simple and delicious and perfect for fish tacos. If you don't have halibut though, you can use a comparable white fish and cook it the same way.

For mango salsa
1/2 large mango, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded
2-3 sprigs cilantro
2 cloves garlic
a few spoonfuls of regular store-bought salsa
season to taste, I used:
pinch paprika
pinch chili powder
pinch cayenne pepper
pinch cinnamon

For cabbage salad
bagged coleslaw mix (not premade coleslaw, just the shredded cabbage)
plain non-fat yogurt (I use Greek yogurt, but any plain yogurt will do)
low-fat mayonnaise

For halibut
cajun/blackening seasoning

taco shells (soft or hard)

-Throw all of the salsa ingredients into a blender (or if you're lucky enough to have one, a food processor). Blend until smooth. (Makes about 2 cups of mango salsa.)
-Mix enough yogurt with the shredded cabbage just to keep it stuck together. Add a dollop of mayonnaise, lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
-Preheat skillet (cast iron works best) on medium-high. Fillet the fish about 1/2 inch thick, and cut into 2"X2" squares. Season both sides of each piece of fish with cajun seasoning. Melt a few tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Cook fish until first side is blackened. Flip and finish cooking. The fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Drain fish on paper towels.
-Assemble tacos!

An ongoing debate in our apartment: Is it salsa or hot sauce? Nic calls everything hot sauce, I say only tabasco-like products are hot sauce. Thoughts?

1 comment:

johanna said...

i am definitely going to try this. i had fish tacos yesterday at the hospital--although they were tasty, they were very unhealthy (deep fried). hey its a hospital, you know, return business and all. Thanks for the shout out to your California trip. I got lots more places to try next time you come.