Friday, July 6, 2012

Blackened Fish Tacos With Spicy Citrus Slaw

Fresh, tangy flavor with a spicy kick!
I’m a big fan of grilling out. Mainly because I don’t know how to turn on our BBQ, which means that I’m not the one doing the cooking.

There are a lot of blackened fish recipes out there. This dry rub is a hybrid of several I’ve seen in the past few months. It can be adjusted to your taste or changed up a bit depending on what you have on your spice rack. I use equal parts of all spices, however, if spicy isn’t your thing, cut back on the cayenne a little.

I had to rely on the hubs to supply the cooking time/temperature etc. And I asked him about it a week after we tried this recipe. Point is, these are approximations. If anything sounds fishy (I couldn’t resist!), please adjust based on your likely superior barbecuing knowledge.  Safe cooking temp for fish is 140 degrees. You can tell it’s ready when it flakes easily and appears opaque.

Blackened Fish Tacos With Spicy Citrus Slaw

Serves 2-3

2-3 boneless, skinless white fish fillets (I used tilapia)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (use 1/8 teaspoon for a little less heat)
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon cumin powder
4-6 small soft tortillas (I used white corn)
dollop of salsa (optional)

Rinse fish fillets and pat dry. Place fish on a large plate and drizzle with olive oil. In a small bowl or ramekin, mix together all dry rub ingredients. Massage half the dry rub mix onto one side of the fillets, then flip over and use the remaining rub to coat the other side of the fish.

Preheat grill to high (around 400 degrees). If you have one, place fish in grilling basket. (These are GREAT because they keep fish and veggies from falling down into the grill. I found mine at HomeGoods and several online retailers sell them for under $20.) If not, you can slice a few lemons and place those on the grill under the fish, so the fish doesn’t stick. This method also gives the fish a nice citrus flavor.
Sear fish on high heat for about 2 minutes on each side. Reduce grill temperature down to medium-low (around 300 degrees) and cook fish for an additional 7-9 minutes.

If desired, warm the tortillas on the grill or in the microwave. Fill tortillas with a little Spicy Citrus Slaw and drizzle with Spicy Sauce (recipes below).  You can also add a dollop of salsa if you’re so inclined.
Alternative Cooking Method:
I’ve never made these in the oven just because they turn out so great on the grill, but if you don’t have access to a BBQ, you could preheat the oven to 400 degrees, place the seasoned fish in a baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake 15-20 minutes until fish flakes easily.

Spicy Citrus Slaw


1 (10-ounce) package of tri-colored slaw (broccoli, green & red cabbage, carrot)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 lime, juiced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/8 teaspoon for a little less heat)
½ teaspoon chili powder
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss well. If desired, place in the refrigerator to chill before serving. (Note: You can make your own slaw by purchasing carrots, cabbage, and broccoli and shredding/julienning the veggies, but it can be time consuming and I’m all about making life easier.)

Spicy Sauce


2-3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
½-1 tablespoon Sriracha hot chili sauce

Mix sour cream and Sriracha hot sauce together and drizzle over fish tacos. (Note: These measurements are completely flexible. More Sriracha for a spicier sauce, less for a creamier, mellower taste. You can even just use one or the other. Totally up to you!)

We had this for dinner last weekend when the in-laws were over. And we all love spicy food so these were a big hit. WARNING: Cayenne pepper really takes it up notch in the heat department so if you don’t like spicy foods—or if you are making this for the little ones—cut WAY back on the amount of cayenne you use.
We had refried beans on the side (with a little jalapeño jack cheese melted in) and put out the flames with my latest summertime obsession: Starborough Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region in New Zealand. It’s crisp and refreshing and a perfect complement to this muy caliente meal. Enjoy!
Until next time,

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