Monday, March 5, 2012

Grilled Steelhead Trout Tostada

Growing up in Texas, Mexican food was really our native cuisine.  I cut my teeth on Tex-Mex and that WAS Mexican food as far as I knew.  I added hot sauce and jalapenos to my food even as a preschooler.

It wasn't until my husband and I were at a resort in Mexico and happened to see the workers eating something different than was on the buffet for breakfast that we truly discovered Mexican food.  They were eating fried tortilla strips coated in a thin verde sauce and crumbly white cheese.  (Chilaquiles...I now know the name of the dish...YUM!) We asked them to make it for us and upon the first taste, our search for authentic Mexican food began.

Not having Food Network at the time, PBS was my food network.  I found Rick Bayless' shows and was hooked.  I bought one of his books.  I  found others at the library.  I read Diana Kennedy's books.  I studied it all and though I have not been back to Mexico, I have relearned what Mexican food really is.

Surprisingly, to my Tex-Mex honed tastebuds, Mexican food isn't all carbs and cheese.  There are loads of fresh fruits and veggies.  Tropical fruits, jicama, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, chiles.  Grilled meats and seafood abound in the coastal areas.  Just as with the US, the middle states tend more towards meat and carbs due to being landlocked which also explains the Tex-Mex phenomenon.  It started on the border which is completely landlocked.

Now in California, I've discovered Cal-Mex which is where the fish taco/burrito thing started.  And I've learned more about the importance of fish to the Catholic Lenten season.  So this is the perfect, seasonal time for this recipe.

This recipe is a nod to Cal-Mex with the white sauced cabbage on top, but the salsa is more on the Mexican side since it's cooked.

I've used Steelhead Trout because it has many of the same benefits as wild salmon, but it's a bit less expensive.  It's also a best choice (download the pocket guide for more info on all fish)for seafood.  You can use wild salmon, mahi mahi or any other "best choice" or "good alternative" firm, flaky fish.

Seasonal Items - cabbage, cilantro, garlic, onion, steelhead trout

The List Items - canned tomatoes, chipotles, corn tortillas, peanut oil, brown sugar

Grilled Salmon Tostada

1 lb steelhead trout
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp each ancho chile and cumin
1 tsp sea or kosher salt
1 tsp each smoked or regular paprika
1 can whole tomatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
1 chipotle chile in adobo
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 small head cabbage, shredded
1/2 yogurt or sour cream
1 tsp cumin
salt to taste
1/2 lime, juiced
8 corn tortillas
peanut oil to shallow fry

Preheat grill to high.  Remove any pinbones from salmon.  Mix sugar, spices and salt together.  Coat the salmon in the rub then grill until salmon is firm and flaky.  Remove skin and any remaining bones then flake fish.  Keep warm.

Blend tomatoes, chipotle and onion together.  Heat 1 tbsp peanut or olive oil in a pan.  With a lid ready pour part of mixture into pan and cover quickly.  Reduce heat and when spattering has subsided, add remaining mixture.  Cook for 5 minutes then turn off heat.  Add garlic, cilantro and sea salt to taste.

Toss cabbage with yogurt, cumin, lime juice and salt to taste.  Set aside to meld for a bit.

Heat 1" of peanut oil in a skillet large enough to comfortably hold at least one tortilla at a time.  With tongs shallow fry the tortillas until crisp.  Salt lightly and let drain on a paper towel.  Repeat with all 8 tortillas.

On each tostada, layer salmon, cabbage mixture and salsa.  Enjoy with a Pinot Noir, beer, or margarita!

Print Page Copyright 2011 Christi Flaherty, Cook What You've Got

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