This is a recipe that has evolved over time. Originally, my fish taco filling was simply broiled fish with spices. Recently, I have started making chicken fajita tacos—seasoned chicken with sautéed peppers. Jan is always encouraging me to be more vegetable forward—less meat, more healthy vegetables. I decided to try mixing the peppers with the broiled fish. It has turned into a frequent weekday meal at our house.
Note: The push to post this recipe came from my diabetic pharmacist. Last week, I had taken my lunch medication which increases my insulin production. I had a lunch of the leftover fish taco filling, about two and a half tortillas of corn chips and some cheese—i.e. fish nachos. An hour later I had a low blood sugar crisis. The pharmacist said that he had a lot of patients who would really like to be able to each nachos and still have low blood sugars. No guarantees implied or stated.
Karl’s Fish Tacos with Sautéed Peppers
3+ Tbs. Karl’s Fish Taco Spice Blend
½ Tbs. California chile powder
½ Tbs. Hungarian paprika
½ Tbs. Poblano chile powder
1 tsp. New Mexico chile powder
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 tsp. cumin, ground
1 tsp. coriander seeds
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 lb. rock fish or cod
1 Tbs. corn oil
1 small yellow onion
½ tsp. Kosher salt
2 Anaheim chilies
1 small green bell pepper
1 small red bell pepper
2-3 tortillas per person
1. Put the spice blend in a spice grinder and pulse to mix.
Tip: My rule for toasting the cumin and coriander seeds first. If the spices are going to be added to a wet cooking environment I toast the seeds in a dry pan. If the spices are going to be sprinkled on the surface of the meat and grilled or broiled I do not.
Note: Put the cumin and coriander seeds in the grinder and process them to a powder before add the rest of the herbs and spices.
2. Rub the oil all over and then sprinkle the spice blend—liberally—over all surfaces of the fish.
3. Lay the fish fillets on a Pam-ed small lipped baking tray.
Tip: A sheet of aluminum foil makes for easy cleanup.
4. Set the fish aside to meld for 15-20 minutes.
5. Slice the onion—pole to pole—into thin half moons.
6. Cut the top off of the Anaheim peppers and then slice them in half lengthwise.
Note: Many cooks would roast the peppers to remove the skins, I do not mind the skins—they do not add that much bitterness and—with the strong spices over powering it—it is simply too fussy.
7. Remove the seeds and slice them—cross wise—into ¼ inch match sticks.
8. Put the peppers in a bowl and reserve.
9. De-seed the bell peppers and cut them into match sticks, about the same size as the Anaheim peppers.
10. Put the bell peppers in the same bowl with the Anaheim’s.
11. Dice the Jalapeño finely and add it to the bowl.
Note: I always use half a Jalapeño in making my salsa fresca, and I have to do something with the other half.
12. Set the fish under the broiler and sear the fish for 10-15 minutes.
Tip: Until a knife inserted at the thickest part flakes the fillet easily.
Note: Pay attention towards the end so that you do not burn the spices on top of the fish.
13. While the fish is broiling, heat the oil in a pan, over medium high heat, and sauté the onions until just starting to pick up some color, about 6-8 minutes.
14. Add all of the peppers and continue sautéing until the peppers are tender, about another 5-7 minutes.
15. Remove the fish from the oven and break it into large-ish pieces with two forks.
16. Pour the fish and any spicy liquid left in the baking tray into the peppers.
17. Toss the fish with the peppers to coat them with the spices and to break up the fish just a bit more.
Tip: Ideally the fish pieces should not be broken down to a mush.
18. Transfer the fish and peppers to a serving bowl.
19. Serve warm with tortillas and your favorite toppings.