Fish Tacos with Avocado Crème and Spicy Chipotle Salsa
Reprinted with permission from Cooking My Way Back Home: Recipes from San Francisco’s Town Hall, Anchor & Hope, and Salt House by Mitchell Rosenthal, copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photo credit: Paige Green © 2011
- Servings: Makes 12 tacos; serves 6.
From Cooking My Way Back Home, Recipes from San Francisco's Town Hall, Anchor & Hope, and Salt House. By Mitchell Rosenthal.
- Chipotle Salsa:
- 6 dried chipotle chiles
- 1/2 pound tomatillos, papery skins removed
- 1/2 pound tomatoes
- 2 jalapeño chiles, split lengthwise and seeded
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- Avocado Crème:
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
- 3/4 cup crème fraîche
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- The Tacos:
- 1 1/2 pounds firm-fleshed white fish fillets such as grouper, tilapia, or bass
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon pure chili powder
- Pinch of salt
- 12 corn tortillas, about 6 inches in diameter
- 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
- To prepare the salsa, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a dry frying pan, lightly toast the chipotle chiles over medium heat for a few minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer the chiles to a heatproof bowl, pour the boiling water over the top to cover, and set aside.
- Place the tomatillos, tomatoes, jalapeño chiles, garlic cloves, and onion slices in a large, ridged stove-top grill pan or cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. Roast the vegetables, turning often, for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are nicely charred. Remove from the heat and then let cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooling, remove the chipotles from the water. Chop off the stems and scrape out the seeds.
- Remove the skin from the tomatoes only, and then place the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Add the remaining roasted vegetables, the seeded chipotles, the salt, oil, water, and vinegar and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- To prepare the avocado crème, place the avocado in a bowl and mash it into small chunks with a fork. Transfer the avocado to the food processor, add the crème fraîche, lime juice, cilantro, and salt, and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Prepare a medium-hot fire for direct-heat grilling in a charcoal or gas grill. While the grill is heating, cut the fish into 12 equal portions (about 2 ounces each). In a bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, chili powder, and salt. Add the fish and toss well.
- Grill the fish (or see below for cooking on a stove), turning once, for 3 to 4 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness), or until just opaque at the center. At the same time, place the tortillas around the edge of the grill rack and heat for 30 to 45 seconds on each side.
To assemble the tacos, place a piece of fish in the center each tortilla, add a spoonful of salsa, some sliced cabbage, and a dollop of the avocado crème fraîche. Serve 2 tacos to each diner.
Author's Note: I prefer grilling, but you can also cook the fish in a frying pan. In a large frying pan, heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the fish and cook, turning once, for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side (depending on thickness), or until just opaque at the center. Heat the tortillas in cast-iron frying pan over medium heat at the same time.