3.24.2009

Fish Tacos featuring Halibut...In Season Now


These fish tacos are stuffed with chili-crusted halibut chunks, a shredded cabbage, lime and cilantro slaw, chunks of avocado and drizzled with a warming orange juice chipotle sauce. The result is a very fresh and zesty meal.

According to our authorities at the Monterey Fish Market, halibut is in season and ready to enjoy. It is a mild white fish that is my personal favorite.

Health benefits of Halibut, according to WHFoods: "Halibut are truly a nutrient-dense food. A very good source of high quality protein, halibut are rich in significant amounts of a variety of important nutrients including the minerals selenium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium; the B vitamins B12, niacin, and B6; and perhaps most important, the beneficial omega-3 essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are so named because they are essential for our health but cannot be made by the body; they must therefore be obtained from foods. Cold-water fish like halibut are a rich source of the omega-3 essential fats, a form of essential fatty acids in which the standard American diet is sorely deficient."

Halibut Fish Tacos with Orange-Chipotle Sauce

The Sauce:
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle in adobo (including sauce) more as needed to increase heat
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Bring orange juice, chipotles, and vinegar to a boil in a 1 to 1 1/2 quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a generous 1/3 cup, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

The Seasoning for the Fish:
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

Mix together in a plate or pie tin.

The Fish:
Aprox. 3/4 lb (about 1" thick) halibut fillet or steak will feed 4 people. I never think it seems like enough but it really goes a long way.

A fish steak is a cross-section of the fish, containing the backbone and any other bones that were not removed prior, whereas a fish fillet is taken from the side of the fish, cutting (filleting) the meat off of the backbone and usually attempting to leave out any other bones.

About 3 tablespoons olive oil

Rinse and pat dry fillets. Brush fish with olive oil then press each fillet into spices until completely covered.

Heat skillet over medium heat and add remaining olive oil. Place fish into hot skillet and cook undisturbed for approximately 5 minutes. Turn fish carefully and finish cooking. This will only take a few more minutes. It is done when it is turns solid white and flakes apart easily with a fork.

**Note that you have lots of options for cooking methods. You can grill the fish, broil it or bake it, whichever you prefer. I like to use my saute pan because it gives me the most control.

The Wraps:
Good quality corn tortillas

The Slaw:
1/3-1/2 head green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, rough chopped

Toss cabbage and cilantro together.
Whisk together the juice of 1 lime with olive oil equal to amount of juice.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Toss dressing and cabbage/cilantro mixture.

The condiments:
Avocado-a must.
Optional: I usually put grated jack cheese on my tacos. Black beans go well with these and also salsa. We've even included Spanish rice. Have fun and enjoy! I have served this for company and let people build their own with whatever toppings they like.

To Serve:
Slice avocado into chunks.
Heat tortillas over flame until warm but not crisp. If you do not have a gas stove or grill, you can place them in a dry pan (cast iron is good) to warm them (but do not get them crispy or they will break apart).

If you tortillas are thin, double up on them. Cut the fish into chunks (remove bones if you used a steak and remove skin) and place in the tortillas. Drizzle a little of the sauce over the fish, then add your slaw, avocado (and anything else you have in mind). Have plenty of napkins available and enjoy!

3 comments:

Lorienne E said...

Drake, this looks DELICIOUS! Here in Boulder, halibut is $20/pound. Can you recommend another fish? We get great, locally farmed tilapia from a very clean, sustainable farm. Would that work?

Thanks, Lorienne

Drake Cameron said...

Lorienne, I have actually made it with tilapia and it was good. But, well, what can I say...I still prefer the big chunks of halibut but yes that price is ridiculous. I wait for it to go on sale then buy 1 small halibut steak for 2 people and it's always enough. If you do use the tilapia, as you probably know, the cuts are usually thin so it cooks very quickly. It's really the sauce that makes the whole thing come together. Give it a try with the tilapia and let me know what you think.
Drake

mschirber said...

since i've made these more times than i can count, i think it is time to comment about how A-Mazing they are! the entire family loves them and so do friends. we enjoy them with roasted potatoes. thank you for the fabulous recipe!!