Posts tagged ‘fish’

Chipotle-Rubbed Salmon Tacos

Grilling and summer go hand-in-hand. Even though we’ve had some pretty stormy (and sometimes chilly) days here in Montana, I have been determined to fire up the grill and get in the summer groove!

chipotle salmon taco 1

My favorite way to prepare salmon is on the grill and I’ve had my eye out on new ways to enjoy my favorite fish. When I was assigned the lovely Bewitching Kitchen for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal, at first I was torn on what I wanted to make. Sally’s blog is chock-full of creative recipes – including Brazilian dishes, ethnic recipes and an extensive list of homemade breads – with about 20 different recipes calling my name! I ultimately opted for her Chipotle-Rubbed Salmon Tacos with a unique salsa for a fresh and grill-friendly flare…YUM! chipotle salmon taco 2I make a few adjustments based on my pantry and preferences…I increased the lime juice a bit and pumped up the seasoning in the rub by adding some sea salt. I LOVE strong flavors so I upped the amount of vinegar a tad and added lime juice in the salsa, but I’ll even add a fresh herb like cilantro next time for that extra punch. I wound up using a small, peeled typical cucumber (instead of English), honey and coconut sugar in lieu of the white sugar and homemade mayonnaise in place of the yogurt to keep it dairy-free. 

A note on the salmon– The fattier the fish, the better in my opinion. I ADORE salmon but sometimes the Sockeye variety doesn’t turn out as buttery and succulent as I was going for. Since I was looking for wild-caught salmon, I wound up using Sockeye instead of Alaskan due to availability.

chipotle salmon taco close

Chipotle-Rubbed Salmon Tacos
Gluten-free, Grain-free option, Paleo-friendly option, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Soy-free

2 Tbsp yogurt, mayo, or sour cream (use mayo or Vegenaise for dairy-free)
2 tsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp chipotle chile powder
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 tsp coconut palm sugar (or other granulated sugar)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 pound skinless wild Alaskan salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 corn tortillas (substitute salad greens or lettuce cups for paleo/grain-free)
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Hass avocado, mashed with a generous squeeze of lime juice
salt and pepper
1 cup finely shredded cabbage

for salsa:

1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 English cucumber or , cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 ripe tomato, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and deveined, finely diced (optional)
1 + 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tsp agave or honey
salt and pepper to taste
fresh chopped cilantro, optional


1. Prepare the salsa by mixing in a bowl the apple, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, and onion (if using). Add the vinegar and sugar, season with salt, and reserve. It can be prepared hours in advance to intensify the flavors.

2. In a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the lime juice, season with salt and pepper, and reserve. In another small bowl, combine the chipotle powder with the orange zest and sugar. Rub each piece of salmon with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and then with the chipotle–orange zest mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes.

3. Heat the tortillas either in a low oven, wrapped in foil, or on top of a flame (my method of choice), until they are softened and heated through.

4. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan. Season the salmon with salt and grill over high heat until nicely browned and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Gently break each piece of salmon in half. Spread the mashed avocado on the warm tortillas and top with the salmon, Apple- Cucumber Salsa and the cabbage. Drizzle each taco with the lime/yogurt and serve right away.

chipotle salmon taco handFor other recipes in this month’s reveal, click here!

June 23, 2013 at 10:00 pm 16 comments

Poached Hake in Thai Coconut Sauce (Secret Recipe Club)

It’s that time again for another Secret Recipe Club reveal! I sat out last month with the start of our frozen yogurt store but I am excited to be back in full swing :)

I was given Dena’s blog Oh! You Cook! for this month’s assignment and couldn’t wait to start deciding which recipe I wanted to make. She has so many recipes that I kept drooling over but the one I kept going back to was her Broiled Haddock with Thai Coconut Sauce. I happen to love anything Thai and I’ve been searching for a savory dish that incorporates (one of the many cans of) coconut milk I purchased on sale recently – waalaa, this was the one!

This recipe was amazing, many thanks to Dena for posting this entree that inspired this oh-so-flavorful dinner! I made a few tweaks though to suit my needs and what I had on hand. I decided I didn’t want to dirty a second dish and heat up the oven so I poached the fish in the coconut sauce instead of broiling it first. I added mushrooms for more veggies, increased the amount of bell pepper, used Thai green curry paste in place of the Sambal Oelek, replaced brown sugar with coconut nectar, substituted hake (white fish) for the haddock, unrefined coconut oil in place of the sesame/olive oil to add to the coconut flare along with coconut aminos for the soy sauce and used fresh ginger for that extra ginger punch.

I had never eaten or heard of hake prior to my recent visit to Costco, but they were taste-testing these skinless, white fish fillets and I couldn’t pass them up! Skinless fillets are easier to deal with plus they were wild-caught and individually frozen for easy portioning :) If you don’t have hake, feel free to substitute your favorite white fish – tilapia, haddock, halibut or cod.

I even had a bit of leftover sauce; it was delicious over steamed kale and cooked quinoa for a light vegetarian meal! I love dishes that are easily adaptable and this sauce is really versatile depending on your preferences — serve over baked tofu cubes, sauteed or poached chicken, or use as the cooking liquid for cubes of potatoes and vegetables.

Broiled Tilapia with Thai Coconut Sauce (adapted from Broiled Haddock with Thai Coconut Sauce)


2 tsp coconut oil (butter, ghee, oil can be subbed)
1 Tbsp fresh ginger (or 1 tsp. ground ginger)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced (white or baby bella), optional
3 scallions, diced
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp Thai green curry paste (or Sambal Oelek chili paste)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp coconut aminos (or gluten free soy sauce, tamari or Bragg’s)
1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar
1 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (if you hate cilantro, you can leave this out but it adds brightness to the dish)
3 (6 oz) skinless hake fillets or other white fish such as tilapia, haddock or halibut
4 lime wedges

cooked grain of choice for serving (brown rice, quinoa, millet, etc)

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; stir for 30 seconds.  Lower heat if garlic starts to brown.
2. Add curry powder, curry paste and cumin; stir for 1 minute to bring out their flavor and aromas.
3. Add red pepper, mushrooms and scallions; stir for 1 minute then add coconut aminos, coconut sugar and coconut milk. Stir to completely mix and bring to a simmer (do not boil).
4. Add fish to the sauce, cover and simmer until cooked through, about 6 minutes (flesh is white and no longer transparent).
5. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro. Serve fish and sauce over a bed of rice or your favorite cooked grain. Serve with a lime wedge for added brightness (this adds a nice freshness, I wouldn’t skip this) and enjoy!

*For a grain-free dish, serve this over cooked potatoes and/or a bed of sauteed spinach to soak up the sauce.
*For a vegetarian friendly meal, substitute 1-inch cubed potatoes or tofu for the fish.

April 30, 2012 at 10:00 am 18 comments

Grilled Fish Tacos

I used to turn up my nose at grilled fish tacos. Must have been something in the South that made me think that fish tacos weren’t delicious unless they were battered and fried. I’m not saying that fried fish tacos aren’t tasty but I am not a big fan of fried food (except for good ol’ french fries).

And then Wahoo’s Fish Tacos came along.

For the first two years I lived in Denver, I wouldn’t even try out the restaurant because it never sounded appealing. When I finally gave in and ate there for dinner, I only ordered the chicken tacos or chicken enchiladas (which are delish!). Chris ordered the fish tacos from day one and never looked back…I should have done the same. Since he graciously gave me a bite of his own, I’ve gladly ordered grilled fish tacos off menus from Wahoo’s and other various restaurants and loved them. It was only a matter of time before I made my own!

Here’s an easy marinade recipe with bright flavors from the lime, hints of smoky cumin and a little kick from the chipotle chili powder. Cook the fish in a grill pan or an outside grill and serve with the fixin’s and a side of blacks beans and/or rice. YUM!

Grilled Fish Tacos


1 lb white fish, such as wahoo, halibut, mahi mahi
3 Tbsp olive oil, canola oil or grapeseed oil
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
juice from 1 lime
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 to 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder (could sub 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder or 1/2 Tbsp regular chili powder)
salt to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp honey or agave, optional

For serving
Corn or gluten free flour tortillas, warmed*
Shredded white or red cabbage
Thinly sliced white or red onion
Chopped cilantro leaves
Chopped tomato
Slices of lime
Sour cream, avocado sauce, avocado chunks and/or hot sauce, optional
1. In a small bowl, combine oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt, chili pepper, cilantro and honey/agave (if using). Place fish in a medium-size dish and pour marinade over the top, set aside and let marinate for at least 15 minutes (up to 20 min).
2. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium-high heat or grill pan to medium high. Place fish flesh side down on preheated grill or pan and let cook for about 4 minutes. Flip fish over on skin and cook another 4 to 6 minutes or until fish is no longer opaque and flakes easily. Gently remove from grill with a spatula and let rest a few minutes then break up fish with a fork.
3. To serve, top a warmed tortilla with cabbage, onion, fish,  cilantro, tomato and a squeeze of lime. Garnish with optional sour cream, hot sauce and/or avocado sauce and serve hot. Enjoy!

*I warm my corn tortillas in the oven at 275F for about 15-20 minutes. When serving, I double up my tortillas for these tacos since I use a lot of filling and fish but one works fine too :)

Makes about 8-10 tacos

September 19, 2011 at 8:00 pm 7 comments

Halibut with Summer Saute

Since yesterday was quite busy, I was in a pinch for dinner last night and need something I could quickly pull together. I bought some beautiful halibut fillets that were on sale at Sprouts and couldn’t wait to cook them. I originally had a different, more time-consuming idea in mind but I changed my plans on a whim for a fast meal that was on the table in 20 minutes. I’m usually a big planner, so do I get extra points for being flexible?

Since I didn’t premeditate this dish, it was one of those evenings I wasn’t sure how everything was going to come together…but it turned out to be a delicious summer meal that was very easy and light…meaning I had room for another bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert :)

Although I used halibut, I think any mild fish such as mahi mahi or tilapia or even grilled chicken would be a good protein accompaniment to the simple “summer saute”.  You could grill the fish – if you refuse to turn on the oven this time of year – or if you choose to use a different fish or protein, just note that the baking time may vary. For example, tilapia fillets are not as thick and would cook in about 9-11 minutes.

Since we eat with our eyes first, I grabbed fresh veggies with a variety of color for a more appealing presentation but you could easily substitute your favorite summer vegetables (yellow squash, any color bell pepper, tomato, etc) for a different twist. I didn’t use too many seasonings to allow the fresh corn, fish and vegetables to really shine yet the hit of citrus from the lime brightens up the flavors, don’t skip this! This recipe made two good-size portions but the ingredients could be doubled or tripled if needed.

Halibut with Summer Saute


For Fish 

2 halibut fillets (about 1 inch thickness)
salt and pepper to taste (I was generous with the seasoning)
1 tsp melted butter or olive oil
Lime slices for serving

For Vegetable Saute

1 tsp butter or coconut oil or olive oil
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 small onion, chopped (I used sweet onion)
1 small zucchini, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3 mushrooms, chopped
1 ear of sweet corn, cut off the cob
salt and pepper to taste
couple shakes of smoked paprika (love the smoky taste!)
2 tsp fresh lime juice (lemon would probably work here too)


1. Preheat oven to 425F. Tear off medium size parchment paper for each fillet. Place fillet in the center of the paper, drizzle with butter or oil and season with salt and pepper. Gather all 4 ends of the paper and fold over once to crimp to make a loose packet or a tent (next time I will take a photo!). In a small baking pan (I used 8×8), place two packets of fish and bake for 15 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flakes easily.
2. When the fish has about 10 minutes left to cook, preheat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add butter/coconut oil/olive oil and let melt. Add onions and garlic and saute 1 minute or until onion starts to become translucent. Add zucchini, bell pepper and mushrooms and saute for another 2 or 3 minutes minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn kernels, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Stir and saute another 2 minutes until corn is cooked but still crisp. Remove from heat and drizzle with lime juice for freshness.
3. When fish is cooked through, remove from oven and discard skin before serving. Serve fish over a bed of the summer saute, drizzle with extra lime juice and more salt and pepper to taste (if needed). Enjoy!

June 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm 3 comments

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