We decided to do something a little different for our latest recipe post. While we have gathered quite a collection of fruit recipes over the years, seldom have we tried the recipes ourselves and commented on their taste, accuracy, and use of our favorite ingredient, fruit. As food connoisseurs and fruit experts, we feel it is our duty to provide insight on how to best use our fresh fruit. Plus it is a whole lot of fun!
This time around, we chose Baja Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa. This fun, fresh treat is a great way to start the summer. It was 75+ degrees in Hood River Oregon yesterday, so I am hoping the rain, ice, and snow are finished and summer is upon us. Even if you are not a fan of fish tacos or mango, I beg you to try this recipe. It is rich in flavor, but none of the ingredients are over powering. It is light, healthy, easy to make, and considering that the recipe makes 24 tacos, it costs about $1 per taco.
The core of this recipe is the salsa, and a big part of capturing the flavor is making sure you have great mangos. You want to make sure the mangos are ripe yet firm so that they chop easily. The skin should give slightly when you press on it, and the flesh should be a rich yellow to orange color. I actually brought home a couple extra mangos so I would be sure to have enough of the right firmness. If you do this, use the extra mangos to make our Starfruit Mango Smoothie for a dessert or breakfast drink.
Once you have chosen your fruit, you may be wondering how to cut a mango. They have a large flat seed that can be daunting at first to cut around if you have not done it before. About.com has a great how-to on cutting mangos if you need help. Check it out here.
The rest of the salsa is very easy and the ingredients should be simple to find at any local grocery store or market. I do recommend using fresh lime juice if you can, which I think has much better flavor. For photographic purposes I chopped the mango and peppers, but dicing them smaller would have worked better on the tacos.
I did adjust my cooking method slightly for the fish. I wanted the fish to have a crisp texture and not fall apart for the photos, so I cut the cod into strips and placed them on aluminum foil. I used the same spices, baking temperature, and time listed on the recipe, and actually think that the flavor and texture might be better with this method. This is a personal preference however. If you would like your fish a little softer, the packet method listed on the recipe will retain much of the moisture and the fish will flake easier.
The only other thing I adjusted was using Sharp Cheddar Cheese on the tacos. The recipe calls from Cotija, a very tasty crumbled Mexican cheese, but you could easily use Monterey or even regular Cheddar as well. The cheese is not the main element however, and could even be left out as the mango salsa is so rich. Trust me; you will not miss having loads of cheese, sour cream, or grease on your tacos.
I hope you have enjoyed this commentary on an absolutely great dish, and we welcome any comments, ideas, or suggestions for future recipes. Enjoy!
3/4 cup minced red bell pepper
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 green onions, sliced (green tops only)
3 small jalapeno peppers, stem, seeds and membrane removed
3 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic salt
24 corn tortillas, warmed
6 cups shredded green or red cabbage
1 1/2 cups crumbled cotija cheese (may substitute shredded Monterey)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Stir together mango, bell pepper, lime juice, cilantro, onions and jalapeno in a medium bowl; set aside. Place cod on 2 large sheets of parchment paper. Stir together dry seasonings in a small bowl and sprinkle over cod. Bring edges of parchment paper together and fold twice. Fold ends under to enclose fish. Place packets on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Open packets carefully to let steam escape. Place equal amounts of cod in each tortilla and top with cabbage, cheese and mango salsa.
Serving Size: 12