Thursday, February 10, 2011

Salmon Tacos with Tomatillo-Avocado Slaw


Do you love trying something new in the kitchen?  A new recipe?  A new technique?  Using a new tool?  Experimenting with a new ingredient or flavor combination?  Certainly, I am not the only one who thinks of such things as a fun adventure!  Leave a comment below sharing what you love to do in the kitchen!

We have loved fish tacos for several years now.  When I saw the idea of using salmon instead of white fish one day while I was browsing recipes on the internet, I knew that I had to include this on my next menu!  The consensus?  We loved the salmon tacos more than our regular fish tacos!  Who would've thought?!

The new ingredient that I used for the first time was tomatillos.  Tomatillos are related to tomatoes, and they are a staple in Mexican cuisine.  They are surrounded by a paper-like husk.  I really liked how they added a nice dimension of flavor to the slaw mixture.


The new technique I discovered was related to the corn tortillas.  I use corn tortillas exclusively for my favorite chicken enchiladas, but they fall apart every time.  The messy appearance doesn't have any adverse effect on the flavor, but it bothered me nonetheless.  I was delighted to discover the "trick" to keeping corn tortillas from crumbling!  The secret is described below in the directions!

If you haven't tried fish tacos yet, I dare you to put aside the name and make these.  Think instead of it being a nice piece of delicious fish or salmon tucked inside a flour or corn tortilla topped with a delightful combination of fresh flavors.  This combination starts and ends with "yummy" every time!

RECIPE FOLLOWS THE JUMP!


Salmon Tacos with Tomatillo-Avocado Slaw
Adapted from Food and Wine

For the dry rub:
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon finely ground coffee
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Two 8-ounce skinless, center-cut salmon fillets
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

For the sauce and slaw:
2 tomatillos, husked, cored, and quartered
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeño, seeded and quartered
1 garlic clove
6 tablespoons sour cream
1 ripe Haas avocado—halved, peeled and pitted
1 package of coleslaw cabbage
8 corn tortillas, prepared according to directions below
hot sauce and lime wedges, for serving

Directions:
In a small bowl, stir the cumin with the chili powder, brown sugar and coffee. Season generously with salt and pepper. Brush the salmon fillets with olive oil and dredge them in the spice mixture.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, puree the tomatillos with the cilantro, jalapeño and garlic until smooth. Add the sour cream and process until smooth, then add the avocado and pulse until creamy. Transfer the dressing to a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cabbage and toss to coat.

Preheat the oven to 300°. Preheat a grill pan.

Corn tortilla prep tip:  Lightly brush one side of each tortilla with olive oil. Stack the tortillas and wrap them in foil. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush the grill pan with olive oil and grill the salmon fillets over high heat, turning once, until nearly cooked through, 8 to 9 minutes. Transfer the salmon to a plate and flake with a fork.

Fill the tortillas with the salmon. Top with the cabbage slaw and serve right away with the hot sauce and lime wedges.

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