Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Grilled Fish Tacos

So Eric spent the better part of last week in Columbus Ohio at a show and Charisse insisted that he bring her home some sort of present. After tooling around Columbus on his way back to the hotel, Eric ran into North Market, an indoor farmers market type place chock full of good food and wonderful surprises, namely North Market Spices, a small spice shop that somehow cost us 150 bucks in “presents”. We think you’ll agree that the price was worth the spices we ended up with. Powdered Wasabi, Mace Blades and Powdered Hibiscus just to point out a few. Eric even brought home a book “Herbs & Spices” which is all about… you guessed it, herbs and spices. Reading it on the plane, the smell of all those spices emanated from the pages and pushed Eric to will the plane to go faster so we could hit the kitchen and start coming up with yummy foods and awesomely full stomachs to go with the wonderful smells emanating from the book’s pages. Charisse was home, completely unaware of the culinary storm that was fast approaching, instead enjoying watching her dad Pat play the drums with his blues band. Getting home was almost like Christmas morning, spices flying out of their wrappers and lots of "oooh! ahh!" sounds. Now that the storm has passed here, we’re going to make you wait a little longer to see what we conjure up with all this loot, instead we still need to show you last Tuesday’s recipe: Grilled Fish Tacos. Booyah. Fish tacos are one of those uniquely South American dishes that always seems refreshing, especially at the end of a long, tiring day. We spent most of last weekend getting the yard cleaned up and getting benches put in around the edge of our patio, so we were pretty beat. We decided to fire up the grill, invite Charisse's parents over (actually Pat called and asked "what's for dinner?", so we made extra) and threw some wood in our outside fireplace. The tacos hit the spot and were generously helped down by an outstanding martini. Okay, maybe more than one. Hit the jump though for the Grilled Fish Taco recipe and Eric’s personal view on what makes the perfect Martini. We think James Bond would agree.
Printable Recipe
This guy was playing the Banjo in front of the North Market in Columbus. He was pretty good too!

Grilled Fish Tacos
What you Will Need
2 tsp. ground ancho chile powder  
1/2 tsp. ground cumin 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 tsp. kosher salt  
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper  
2 Tbs. olive oil  
3 lb. firm-fleshed whitefish fillets (halibut, snapper, mahi-mahi, cod)  
2 dozen 6-inch corn tortillas 
5 cups shredded green cabbage  
lime-cilantro sour cream sauce
Pico de Gallo  
4 limes, quartered 
Mix together ancho powder, cumin, garlic, s&p into a smallish bowl. whisk in the oil until you get a nice paste, which should be somewhat loose. Take your fish, rub in the paste and put it in the fridge for a couple of hours (no less than 30 minutes!). 
Oil up your grill, and heat it to medium high. On a charcoal grill, spread your mound and wait for 1/2 ash. Toss on your fish for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, then chop somewhat coarse (remove from grill first). Wrap your tortillas in aluminum foil and set on the grill for indirect heating (gas grills often have a heating rack built into the lid, or the outside of edge of your charcoal grill. Let sit for about 5 minutes to heat through. 

For each taco, spread some sauce, toss in the fish, some pico de gallo and cabbage. Squeeze a lime wedge over top and fold in half. Eat. Enjoy.

lime-cilantro sour cream sauce
What you will need

1 cup sour cream  
1/2 cup mayonnaise  
3 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro 
Grated zest of 1 lime  
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice 

Mix everything together in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to eat. 

World's Greatest Martini
What you will need

Frozen Vodka or Gin
Dry Vermouth 
Martini Glass
Garnish (Olive or Twist) 
Martini Shaker

First, you should always keep Gin and Vodka in the freezer. Period. You'll notice that Eric doesn't use measurements, he just guesses. Easiest way to make sure you have the right amount, pour the vodka in the glass first, then pour that into the shaker. 

Pour an inch of Dry Vermouth into each martini glass, swirl and pour out. This is the exactly right amount of Vermouth. 

Pour Vodka or Gin into a shaker with ice (Use different shakers for each!). The ice should raise higher than the liquid does. He suggests that you use a towel to hold the shaker, otherwise your likely to get frostbite! 

Violently shake the hell out of it for 4-8 minutes. Pour and garnish. You should have a near solid layer of ice on the top of your drink. Enjoy.

Tacos adapted from Fine Cooking. Martini adapted from years of experience


  1. Love your blog & fish tacos...looked great. check out us at http://acoupleoffoodiesintacoma.blogspot.com seems we have a similar theme!

  2. Great post! I love bringing home new and exotic spices and then trying to find ways to use them....your fish tacos look delicious!

  3. I am such a sucker for fish tacos and these fish tacos look delicious! I have some on my blog too that have a creamy lime guacamole and cabbage slaw. I think with temperatures warming up everyone wants to get out and grill :-)

  4. I melt when fish tacos are mentioned or placed in front of me. These sound fabulous! Thanks for sharing..

  5. What a great spice shop. I think I would have had to buy a few 'presents' for myself too! Love the fish tacos. It's not the first filling I think of when making tacos but it certainly will feature in my next taco meal.

  6. I love spice shops and grilled fish tacos. Cilantro cream is a nice addition. Nice recipe.

  7. I l-o-v-e fish tacos. They are the only things I order when we go out. I love the freshness of them and I love that they are not so heavy. Yum! Definitely one of my favorite foods right now and I am definitely going to try yours!

  8. I have a coworker who is a martini-snob. I think he would lose confidence in me if I did not comment on Eric's method of making a martini. One does not shake a martini, but stirs. If you shake a marktini too violently or for too long, you simply end up with watered-down vodka or gin. There, I've said my piece (this is coming from someone who enjoys dirty martinis, which are, to him, an abomination). :P

    I love fish tacos; simply the best!

  9. P.S. It's my coworker's husband, to whom I am referring in my comment above, and he's not really a snob, but more like a purist. Anyway, I'm done commenting. :)