Fish Tacos Bobby Flay Style

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

With the weather starting to warm up and Cinco de Mayo coming up fast, I thought I'd post one of my favorite fish tacos recipe from Bobby Flay. It's labor-intensive because it has multiple components, so this is a weekend meal to do relaxing by the grill with a beer or margarita in one hand and your spatula in the other. But I promise you the payoff is amazing and if you're having guests over, you'll be a Culinary God or Goddess.

This recipe calls for mahi mahi which is an easily available, flaky white fish. Can't find it? Use halibut or even sea bass instead. On a budget? Use a good fresh (not frozen!) red snapper and make sure you buy a little extra to make up the volume.

The flavors of bright citrus in the vinaigrette instantly liven up the smooth, flaky white fish. And the sweet but spicy pineapple-habenero hot sauce is cooled off instantly with the smooth avocado-tomato relish. It's quite literally a perfect dish where every flavor is hit at the same exact time, and your mouth with explode with gratitute and awe. Try it this weekend!

Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw, Tomato and Avocado Salsa, and Pineapple Hot Sauce
4 (8-ounce) mahi mahi fillets
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
citrus vinaigrette (recipe follows)
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas, cut into 2 1/2 to 3-inch circles, and deep fried
red cabbage slaw (recipe follows)
tomato and avocado salsa (recipe follows)
pineapple hot sauce for drizzling (store bought or recipe follows)

Preheat grill.

Brush fillets with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Remove from grill and drizzle with some of the Citrus Vinaigrette. Let rest 5 minutes and then flake with a fork.

Fill each fried tortilla with some of the mahi mahi and top with the red cabbage slaw, tomato and avocado salsa, and drizzle with charred pineapple-habanero hot sauce.

Citrus Vinaigrette:
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 heaping tablespoon honey
1/2 cup canola oil

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute.

Red Cabbage Slaw:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 head red cabbage, finely shredded
1 large carrot, cut into fine julienne
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Tomato and Avocado Salsa:
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, finely diced
1 to 2 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 to 2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gently combine all ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Charred Pineapple-Habanero Hot Sauce:
1 ripe pineapple, preferably Golden pineapple
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
1 container frozen pineapple puree, thawed
2 habanero chiles, chopped
1 cup rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Heat a grill to high or preheat the broiler. Place the whole pineapple (do not peel it) on the grill and grill until the entire surface is completely black and charred. Remove from grill and let cool slightly. Peel the pineapple, remove the core and coarsely chop the flesh.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; add the onion and cook until soft. Add the pineapple, pineapple puree, habanero and vinegar and cook until the mixture is completely soft, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt, pepper and honey, to taste. Strain the mixture into a bowl.
My Notes:
Can't do the pinepalle habenero? Try mixing some pureed pineapple and your favorite hot sauce in a food processor.
And remember when working with peppers make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with water AND SOAP to remove the pepper juices! Especially ladies if you have longer fingernails -- those seeds and juices come through and go right under there. Even if you wash your hands the pepper will still be under there so make sure you take a sponge or brush and get underneath or else next time you scratch or rub your eyes you'll pay for it!
Even better - wear gloves when working with peppers. :)
Serve the tacos with ice cold Corona and limes or margaritas. Enjoy it!

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