In the last few years, mexican food has undergone a renaissance of sorts. Yep, there is only so much yellow “cheese” sauce and chili con carne one region could take! Now we are seeing more authentic Mexican restaurants come to the metro. They are flexing their food muscles and showing that true Mexican food is so much more than plain fajitas or greasy enchiladas. One of the signature dishes you will find is fish tacos. These sound intimidating, but they are actually quite simple to make.
My secret to making memorable fish tacos is selecting the freshest fish possible. I prefer mahi-mahi, but any firm fish is really what’s needed. When it comes to the “pile ons,” fresh vegetables and fruit are phenomenal and the right combinations create a truly memorable taco. As to cheese: I believe less is more. Use a Mexican cheese like queso fresco that crumbles so that you can control the amount you put on each taco. A little goes a long way with a bossy cheese! For the shell, there is only one option: corn tortillas. Do not even think of using flour. The taco gods would frown upon you. Plus your grilled fish and “goodies” would just turn it into a soppy mess!
Fish Tacos with Cilantro Crema
4 mahi-mahi filets
2 T Daddy Hinkle’s spicy pepper
1 t paprika
½ t cumin
1 package shredded cole slaw or cabbage
1 c fresh mango, chopped
1 c queso fresco, crumbled
1 avocado, sliced
8-12 corn tortillas, warmed
¼ c mayonnaise
¼ c sour cream
¼ c milk
1 T cilantro
Combine the Daddy Hinkle’s seasoning, paprika and cumin in a small bowl to make a rub for the fish. Coat the filets with the seasoning blend and allow to sit for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
To make cilantro crema, simply stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream and milk until smooth.
Add in the chopped cilantro. Pour into a squeeze bottle for easy serving.
Preheat a grill or grill pan to high heat. Brush with vegetable oil. Reduce heat to medium high. Take fish filets from the refrigerator and squeeze lime juice over the top. Place filets on the grill and cook for approximately five minutes per side. If you try to flip the fish and it’s sticking, that means it is not ready and you should stop and wait longer to flip. It will release when it has a good crust. When the fish is done, remove from heat.
To assemble your tacos, place two tortillas on a plate. Layer a handful of cabbage, about half a fish filet (depending on size), a sprinkle of queso fresco, avocado and fresh mango into each tortilla. Drizzle with cilantro crema and garnish with fresh cilantro. Play with other flavor combinations like red onion and tomato until you find your favorite – you can’t go wrong with this fresh take on Mexican food!