The Arizona heat has crept up on us this year. The sun’s warmth on our skin is a reminder that Summer will be here before we know it. It’s the time of year when the birds are chirping, the sunshine is warm but the breeze is cool, and the air is fragrant with slight scent of flower blossoms. It’s funny how time can go by so quickly. In Phoenix, Spring comes earlier; while those in some states are watching snow fall, Arizonans are rolling out their beach towels and firing up the grill. Around this time of year (and let’s be honest, also year-round), my fish taco craving kicks into high-gear.
Fish tacos are the staple food of summer for me. Their perfect combination of fresh citrus and a hint of spice lets us think of sunshine and pool time.
We enjoyed these tacos al fresco, with sound of the breeze through the palm trees, reminiscent of sunny days on the shore in Coronado. This recipe combines a tangy green salsa with a smoky avocado cream, a zingy cabbage slaw and fresh marinated cod served on lightly crisped tortillas. We didn’t waste any time before digging in, poolside of course.
Fish Tacos with Chipotle Avocado Cream
Makes 5 fish tacos and plenty of leftover salsa and slaw
Juice of 1/2 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 2 oranges
1 Tbsp Tequila
1/2 Tbsp Adobo Sauce
1/2 lb cod
Spices (chili powder, garlic powder, lemon pepper, paprika, etc.) to your liking.
Combine citrus juices, tequila and adobo sauce and whisk together. Place fish in marinade and refrigerate for at least an hour. Turn the fish over halfway through to ensure even coverage of the marinade.
Remove fish from marinade and sprinkle with spices of your choice. Use an oiled paper towel and a pair of tongs to oil your heated grill. Sear the fish on both sides until done, about 10 minutes total. Alternatively, you can grill it in foil, which keep the fish from falling apart.
Grilled Tomatillo Salsa
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Poblano Pepper
1/2 Sweet White Onion, Quartered
3 Tbsp Cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 Tbsp Lime Juice
1/2 Tbsp Honey
Salt, to taste
Combine poblano, tomatillos, jalepeno, and onion in a metal pan. Rub with olive oil and place on the grill over medium heat. Allow the peppers and tomatillos to char. Once they are done, remove the poblano and place it in a paper bag. Place the rest of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. After about 5 minutes, remove the poblano from the bag and peel the charred skin off of the pepper. Cut the poblano in half and remove the stem and seeds, place the flesh of the pepper into the bowl of the food processor. Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth, tasting for salt. Refrigerate until needed.
Chipotle Avocado Cream
2 Chipotle Chilis (in adobo sauce)
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp Cilantro, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp Shallot, roughly chopped
~1 Tbsp Water, as needed to blend
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. You can add more water to help it along if it gets too thick. Refrigerate, covered, until needed.
Red Cabbage Slaw
1 Tbsp Red Onion, thinly sliced
2 cups Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Jalepeno, minced
1 tsp Brown Sugar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
Thinly slice cabbage and red onion and combine with minced jalepeno. In a separate bowl, dissolve brown sugar in the lime juice and rice wine vinegar to make a light sauce. If you prefer a creamy slaw, you can also add greek yogurt or light sour cream. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until needed.
Toast five tortillas on the grill. Spread a bit of each sauce on the tortillas and top with grilled cod and cabbage slaw. Serve with a lime wedge.
The avocado cream is the most addicting thing I have made in a long time. I whipped up a huge batch for our Bachelor season finale last Monday and everyone was raving about it! Even if you don’t make the tacos, just make the avocado cream. It’s great with chips or any Mexican-style dish. These tacos would also be fantastic with a Watermelon Mojito, don’t you think? You could even adapt it to a Watermelon Margarita!
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