Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sunshine on My Mind Fish Tacos and Citrus and Mango Salad

It's difficult to keep embracing the promise of "April showers bring May flowers" when the rain is spitting in your face as you try to go about your run-around day.  And in these days of increasing concerns about future water shortages I am thankful for our rain as much as I do wish for sunshine.  When it's grey outside, my inclination turns to comfort food.  A hearty stew, a roasted chicken, a braised osso bucco.  But when it's April, these foods don't seem so comforting, they seem... weighty.  
Fish tacos make me think of Sayulita and cervezas.

I had True Cod on hand having made an initial slight lean towards fish and chips.  I made a salad dressing and the marinade for the fish at the same time, using similar ingredients. For the dressing, I combined olive oil, fresh squeezed orange juice, champagne vinegar, honey and freshly ground pepper.  For the marinade, I combined olive oil, fresh squeezed orange juice, lime juice, honey, chopped cilantro, chopped garlic, freshly ground pepper and chili powder.
Cut fish into 3-4" strips and place in marinade 15-20 minutes before cooking.  With the cod being a light, flaky fish, I was afraid of grilling it on the outdoor grill.  So, I brought up my cast iron grill that lays on top of the stove burners.  I heated the grill to smoking hot and seared the fish on each side for 1-2 minutes.

Our favorite sauce for this is just a chili crema made of sour cream and Tapatio hot sauce.
I prefer flour tortillas to corn.  Heat the tortillas in a pan or griddle.  Place the fish along with some shredded cabbage, cilantro sprigs, chopped scallions, diced bell peppers and the chili crema.

For the salad, I used a spring mix, to which I added mangos, slices of Cara Cara orange, pieces of grapefruit and some toasted pistachios.  Toss with dressing.

As I was thinking of how to prepare this meal, the sun made an appearance.  The fish was delicate, the flavors bright and clean.

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