Friday, March 29, 2013

Red Snapper Tacos

I will be the first to admit that these tacos were initially conceived of as a guacamole-delivery system.  The thought process went something like this - I wanted to make guacamole, tacos taste good with guacamole, so I should make fish tacos.  And that my friends was how lunch was planned.  I have always had a soft spot for fish tacos.  When my mother and I went to San Diego a few years ago for a mommy-daughter bonding weekend I gorged myself on fish tacos of all kinds.  One night we went to happy hour at a restaurant called South Beach Bar & Grille on a recommendation from a friend of mine and it had perhaps the best fish tacos I have ever tasted.  They were so fresh and delicious.  I love baja fish tacos (lightly battered and fried fish with a crunchy cabbage topping) and theirs were totally perfect, but I also liked their grilled fish tacos.  Every once in awhile I decide to make fish tacos at home and when I do they are always grilled.  I have tried a number of different types of fish including tuna, mahi mahi and snapper (and my usual seafood taco default is shrimp because it's cheap and easy), and they have all worked well.  I totally believe that certain types of fish lend themselves better to fish tacos than others.  Salmon and swordfish are both too meaty and heavy for me.  When I want a grilled fish taco I want something light and fresh.  These red snapper tacos fit the bill perfectly.  We have several different types of chili powder in the apartment so I picked two and seasoned the fish lightly before grilling.  I wanted to top the tacos with something (in addition to the Mango Pomegranate Guacamole) and we had some cherry tomatoes in the kitchen so I threw together a quick tomato salad.  It all came together relatively quickly and easily.  I'm not saying that these fish tacos can in any way compare to those at South Beach Bar & Grille, but they weren't half bad for some lazy fish tacos in an UWS apartment.

Recipe after the jump!

Red Snapper Tacos

6 corn tortillas
1 tbsp red onion, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tbsp cilantro, minced, plus additional for garnish
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 lb red snapper fillets
1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 lime, quartered, for serving

Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil, in 2 packages of 3 tortillas each, and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the chopped onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Preheat a gril pan over moderately high heat.  

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F and place tortilla packets in the oven.

While the grill pan is heating up, season the tops of the snapper fillets with the chili powders and s&p. Drizzle with vegetable oil.

Place snapper fillets on the grill pan, skin side down, and grill for 4-5 minutes, until the skin is golden brown and a crust has formed. Gently turn them over. Grill for 3-4 minutes more, until the center is just cooked through.
Transfer the snapper fillets to a cutting board and allow to cool slightly. Cut snapper filets into thick slices.  Place fish on a serving platter (or platters) with the tortillas, tomato-onion mixture, cilantro and quartered limes.


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