Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday Night, Fish Taco Night

Last night, instead of the usual ground beef tacos, we made Mahi Mahi tacos. I must say, they were damn good. My Dad grilled the fish to perfection (He has redeemed himself from past follies and can resume his role as Grill Man). The accouterments we served were fried corn tortillas (or you can heat them in a dry pan over medium heat) shredded red cabbage, avocado, sliced red onion, cilantro, Mexican crema (or use sour cream) and lime wedges. The Mahi Mahi was mild enough so that the tacos weren't overly fishy tasting, and had a nice tender texture. I made a corn salsa that paired nicely with the sweet, smokey fish.

Corn Salsa, makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup roasted red pepper (now you can buy these or make your own. Cut the pepper from around the stem and core (discard stem and core). Roast pepper pieces skin side down over a flame (or under the broiler) until black and put in a paper or plastic bag and let steam for 20 minutes. Remove peppers from the bag and peel off the charred skins. There you have it, roasted red pepper, from scratch!)
1 jalapeno, halved and roasted like red pepper
1 handful or cilantro ( the tender tops of the cilantro stems taste like the leaves, so I just tear off the leaves and any stems that come along), chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic puree (for instructions, please check out Great Guacamole, not bad for a white girl)
Olive oil, fresh lime juice and salt to taste

Heat a skillet over high until smoking and throw in corn. You may be tempted to move the pan, but don't. You want the corn to get a bit black on the one side so leave it for two-three minutes. (Don't worry, because the corn is frozen the moisture will melt and prevent the corn from really burning). Once the corn is charred to your liking put it in a bowl. Add diced onion, minced jalapeno, diced red pepper, garlic puree and chopped cilantro. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lime (about 1 tablespoon) and drizzle the corn relish with enough olive oil (let's say, 2 tablespoons) so that each corn kernel is shiny. Sprinkle with salt and taste. What does it need? It should have a nice balance of sweetness and smokiness from the corn and peppers and heat from the jalapeno. The garlic, along with the lime and olive oil, shouldn't be overwhelming, just something that you taste on the periphery. As with guacamole, let the relish sit for an hour or so to let the flavors marry. Before you serve, taste to check the seasonings.

The fun thing about relishes and salsas is you can add and substitute a variety of ingredients. Why wouldn't black beans be a nice addition? If you don't like red peppers, add some diced tomatoes. Instead of red onions add some sliced scallions. Substitute the jalapeno for a few dashes of Chipotle Tabasco. Why not totally blow their minds? Leave out the corn and add diced mango. Now won't that go nicely with the sweetness of the Mahi Mahi? Have fun and remember, this cooking thing isn't rocket science!

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