FISH TACOS WITH CHIPOTLE SAUCE
FOR THE CHIPOTLE SAUCE:
1/3 cup sour cream, preferably reduced-fat
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise, preferably reduced-fat
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp. canned chipotle chiles (about 1 chile)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. chili powder
FOR THE TACOS:
1 pound grouper fillet, skin and bones removed
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. cornmeal or crushed cornflakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil, more if needed
8 fresh corn tortillas (6- to 7-inch diameter) or 8 baked, folded tortillas
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 to 3 cups finely shredded red leaf lettuce
1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
TO PREPARE THE CIPOTLE SAUCE: Combine all the chipotle sauce ingredients in a blender or small food processor and process until smooth. The sauce will thicken slightly as it stands and will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. If the sauce is too hot for some tastes, offer additional sour cream on the side. Let stand at room temperature while preparing remaining ingredients.
TO PREPARE THE TACOS: Cut the fish into strips about 1 inch thick. In a shallow pan stir together the flour and cornmeal with a pinch of salt and pepper; set aside.
If using fresh tortillas, heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Brush lightly with some of the oil. Briefly dip one tortilla in a bowl of water and shake off excess water. Lay the tortilla in the heated frying pan and cook until barely tinged with brown, 5 to 15 seconds. Turn and cook until limp, 5 to 15 seconds longer. (Use the spatula or your fingers to spin the tortilla while cooking to prevent it from sticking to the pan.) Repeat to cook the remaining tortillas. Stack them on a plate, cover and keep warm in a 2000F oven.
Wipe the frying pan clean. Dredge the fish pieces in the flour mixture, shaking off excess.
Melt the butter with the oil in the frying pan over medium heat. Lay 3 to 4 fish pieces, without crowding, in the pan and cook until browned, about 4 minutes on each side. Transfer the fish to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat to cook the remaining fish, adding more oil as needed.
TO SERVE: Arrange the fish, lettuce, avocado and tortillas with a bowl of chipotle sauce on a large platter. For each taco, spoon some of the chipotle sauce down the center of the tortilla, top with some lettuce and avocado and 1 to 2 pieces of fish. Fold up and eat out of hand.
Pairs Well With
In addition to the zesty chipotle sauce, you might want to serve a salsa alongside as another option for these do-it-yourself tacos. You can also add a slice of mango or papaya, which counteracts the earthy, smoky flavor of the chipotle chiles.
We had these tacos for supper tonight. I used cod to make them. I would only change 1 thing. I'm not much for cornmeal so next time I'll just dredge the fish in flour. I may try a batter instead of dredging. Also after the fish is cooked I think a squeeze of lime juice over the fish would be good. I've always wondered about fish tacos. We liked this and I'll be making it again.