Pan-Seared Fish Tacos with Spicy Mango Glaze, Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream

Spicy Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

I love tacos, especially those stuffed with fresh Louisiana seafood. I just don’t care for the ones filled with battered and fried fish. While that may be considered the “true” way to cook fish for fish tacos, it’s not for me. The coating, however thick or thin, tends to get in the way of that wonderful seafood flavor I crave when I order or cook them. I also find the deep-fried ones way too heavy when combined with flour or corn tortillas. A highly seasoned, pan-seared fish is more my style, especially when it’s dressed with Spicy Mango Glaze, crisp Cilantro Slaw and cool Avocado Cream. Those contrasting toppings send the juicy, flavorful fish over the top. They’re so inviting, in fact, that I tend to fix them several times throughout the winter months. The bold, bright flavors also remind me of summer and always put me in a good mood. These tacos will transport you there too so long as you don’t let the four separate recipes discourage you. There are no fancy cooking techniques involved and two of the toppings don’t even require any cooking. What’s more, everything can be prepared in advance, although the fish will taste best the day it’s seared. So don’t stress. There’s plenty to play around with here. Make substitutions where you need to (shrimp for the fish, fruit salsa for the glaze, sour cream for the avocado cream), add what you like, eliminate what you don’t, have fun and enjoy!

Pan-Seared Fish Tacos Recipe

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1 to 1 1/2 pounds skinless mahi mahi fillets (or other white flaky fish)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Spicy Mango Glaze, see recipe
Cilantro Slaw, see recipe
Avocado Cream, see recipe
8 6-inch corn or flour tortillas

Cut fish into 1-inch strips; arrange in a single layer in a shallow dish.  In a small bowl, combine lime juice, oil, chile powder, cumin, salt and pepper; brush over fish.  Chill for 15 minutes.   Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and preheat over high heat.  Once skillet is hot, reduce heat to medium-high and add half the fish.  Sear fish until cooked, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Repeat with remaining fish. While fish is cooking, warm tortillas by placing them in a dry, hot skillet until slightly charred and soft, about 20 seconds per side (or wrapping them in waxed paper or damp paper towels and microwaving on high for 40 seconds).  Divide fish among tortillas and top with Spicy Mango Glaze, Cilantro Slaw and a drizzle of Avocado Cream.  Serve immediately.  Makes 4 servings.

Spicy Mango Glaze Recipe

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1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh jalapeno peppers
1 teaspoon ginger puree*
1 ripe mango, peeled and pitted (or one cup frozen mango, thawed)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine vinegar, sugar, peppers and ginger puree. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick and golden brown, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl.  Cool at room temperature. While glaze is cooling, puree mango in a blender or food processor; add to glaze.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  May be prepared up to two days ahead, covered and refrigerated.  Bring to room temperature before serving.   Makes about 1 cup.

*I use the Gourmet Garden ginger spice blend puree that comes in a convenient tube located in the refrigerated produce section of most grocery stores.

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay’s Bold American Food.

Cilantro Slaw Recipe

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1 16-ounce package coleslaw salad mix
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine coleslaw mix, green onions, cilantro, peppers, canola oil and lime juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve cold as a side dish or as a garnish for Pan-Seared Fish Tacos.  Makes about 4 cups.

Avocado Cream Recipe

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1 ripe Hass avocado, halved and pitted
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons milk
Salt to taste

With a tablespoon, scoop flesh of avocado into a blender or food processor.  Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.  Made be prepared one day ahead, covered and refrigerated.  Serve cold.  Makes about 1/2 cup.


Category: Fish, Main Dishes, Seafood  Tags: , ,
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