Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Grilled Fish Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Grilled Fish Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Grilled fish tacos have long-been one of my favorite Mexican dishes, but I've yet to make any at home that blew me away.  Until now, that is.  Cook's Illustrated touts these as "Really Good Fish Tacos," and I counter with "The Best Fish Tacos You'll Ever Make."  I don't make such claims often, so trust me on this.  They've got just the right amount of spice, a touch of sweetness from the pineapple, which is grilled, thus also giving you a touch of smokiness.  And then they are wrapped in a warm tortilla (which I highly recommend you make from scratch), topped with some fresh and crisp lettuce and creamy avocado.  This is good stuff here.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa 

The fish of choice is swordfish, but I think any firm white fish would be fine.  The spice paste is what makes the fish tacos really stand out in my opinion, so don't skip that step!

I'm also a big fan of fruit salsas, and now I'm an even bigger fan of grilled fruit salsa.  Perfection.

I know that for some, grilling season is winding down, but I beg of you.  Make these fish tacos this weekend.  Make a big pitcher of margaritas.  Have yourself a fish taco fiesta.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa 

Grilled Fish Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa
barely adapted from Cook's Illustrated, Sept/Oct 2014
serves 6
  • 3 Tbs canola oil
  • 1 Tbs chile powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder (or 1 tsp chile powder + 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 6 Tbs fresh lime juice (from about 2-3 limes)
  • 2 lbs skinless swordfish steaks, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips
  • 1 pineapple, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored
  • 1 jalapeño chile
  • 18 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 Tbs minced fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 head iceberg or romaine lettuce, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
  • lime wedges
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat in an 8-inch skillet.  Add the chile powders and, cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and some bubbles form, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the oregano, coriander, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and continue to cook an additional 30 seconds.  Add the tomato paste, and use a spatula to mash it with the spice mixture until it's well-combined.  Stir in the orange juice and 2 tablespoons of the lime juice.  Cook, stirring constantly, until thoroughly mixed and slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the spice mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes.

Add the swordfish to the bowl and stir gently with a rubber spatula to coat the fish with the spice mixture,  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.

Prepare grill by heating over high heat until hot, about 15 minutes.  Lower the heat to medium-high.

Brush the cooking grate with a well-oiled paper towel, then brush the pineapple and jalapeño with the remaining tablespoon of oil.

Place fish and the pineapple on the grill.  Grill everything for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it all begins to brown.  Use a thin spatula to flip it all over. Cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the jalapeño and pineapple are well browned, and the fish registers 140 degrees.  Transfer the fish to a large platter and cover loosely with foil.  Add the corn tortillas to the grill and cook 30 to 45 seconds per side.  Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with a dish towel or foil.

Use a fork to flake the fish into bite-sized pieces.

Transfer the pineapple and jalapeño to a large cutting board.  Peel the jalapeño, remove the seeds and ribs, and finely chop.  Finely chop the jalapeño.  In a medium bowl, combine the pineapple, jalapeño, bell pepper, cilantro, and remaining 4 tablespoons of lime juice.  Season to taste with salt.  

To serve, top tortillas with fish, salsa, lettuce, avocado, and cilantro.  Serve.


Josie said...

I am with you. I love fish tacos, but I find I am picky. I haven't made ones at home either that I am excited about. I pinned this because maybe this THE one. The best ones I had were in a small town in Hawaii.

Josie said...

I'm totally drooling over these tacos, Josie! Truly gorgeous photos! I'm in love with fish tacos and I can't wait to try this version.

Josie said...

Please don't take summer eating away from me!!!! I don't think I've ever eaten any grilled fish tacos that I've been particularly blown away by, but that spice blend sounds very yum.

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