Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Recipe: Fish Tacos on the Menu

I thought about crabcakes with the Steelers hosting Baltimore and all that, but there are no finer crabcakes in all the world than the ones at the Cross Street Market in Baltimore, so why even bother? It did get me thinking about some delicious goodness from the sea. With complex spices. And maybe some crunch.

Fish tacos, of course.

I turned to a veritable pantheon of knowledge and wisdom in the arena of tacos, fish: Bobby Flay. I don't know how much Flay knows about football and he's probably a Giants fan anyway, but fish tacos? The guy rocks those out.

I sort of culled various elements from a couple of Flay's recipes. I'm serving it with two salsas, one from his "Throwdown" and the other salsa and the fish marinade from Flay's original fish taco recipe. On with the actual cooking.

I got freshly made tortillas at La Reyna in the Strip, both flour tortillas and corn.

The elements:

Fish Marinade:
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 limes, juiced
1 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Place fish in a medium size dish. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, ancho, jalapeno, and cilantro and pour over the fish. Let marinate for 20 to 25 minutes.
Here I've deviated from Flay's instructions. He calls for a fish like Mahi Mahi and then grills it, but the flounder looked good when I was at the market, so I got flounder, which is too delicate to grill, so I'm going to quickly pan fry it. I am still using the marinade above because, seriously, yum.

Tomatillo-Avocado Relish:
2 large tomatillo, husked and rinsed and diced
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and diced
1 or 2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, finely diced (depending on how spicy you like it)
2 limes, juiced
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the tomatillo, avocado, jalapeno and lime juice in a medium bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil, add cilantro and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Pureed Tomato Salsa:
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves roasted garlic
2 cups roasted tomatoes
1 serrano chile or 1 jalapeno, sliced
1 tablespoon hot sauce - I'm partial to Cholula.
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper

Again, I'm deviating here. Flay calls for fresh tomatoes, but I just roasted some tomatoes and garlic** so I decided to use those instead and adapted Flay's original instructions.
Heat oil in medium saucepan, add onions and cook until soft. Add chili(s) and cook for about 5 more minutes. Add the roasted tomatoes and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. Toss it all into a food processor or blender until smooth. Add the hot sauce, oregano, cilantro and lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Garnish with --
Shredded white cabbage
Hot sauce
Crema or sour cream
Thinly sliced red onion
Chopped cilantro leaves
Pureed Tomato Salsa and
Tomatillo-Avocado Relish.


** I roast tomatoes per Tom Colicchio's recipe as follows:
Core tomatoes and cut in half crosswise, along the equator, as it were. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and many cloves of garlic (unpeeled) was well as several sprigs of thyme.
Lay on baking sheet so that they are flat side down and roast for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Drain as much juice as you can and peel off the skins. Return the tomatoes to the oven for another hour at 275 degrees.
Drain the juice again and return to the oven for about another hour still at 275.
When you are done, you will have amazing tomato broth that you can use in sauces and soups, plus a batch of roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves.