Because I live on the West Coast where fresh fish is readily available, the local restaurants are always coming up with new and creative ways to incorporate seafood into their menus.
Fish tacos, once a rare menu option offered only in a few bold restaurants, have become standard fare here.
In my own version of the now popular fish taco, cumin scented black beans, blackened salmon, and crunchy corn are wrapped up together in a soft tortilla.
To add some pizzazz to this dish, I mix sour cream with spicy, smoky chipotle chilies.
Serve this as a filling lunch or cook up some additional toppings and salsas and have a taco party where your guests can assemble their own tacos.
Chips and Salsa
Leafy Green Salad with Jicama, Avocado, Orange Slices, and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Mexican Beer or Margaritas
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
a 4 ounce can of diced green chilies
a 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
a 12 ounce can of corn, drained
salt and pepper
1 pound fresh salmon fillet
1 cup sour cream
1 chipotle chili (in adobo sauce), minced
6 flour tortillas
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
Add the ground cumin, green chilies, black beans, and corn and cook for another minute or so.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Season the salmon liberally with salt and pepper.
In a non-stick pan, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
Fry the salmon, skin down, for 5 minutes until it develops a nice brown crust on the bottom.
Turn the salmon over and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes or until just cooked through (if your salmon fillet is very thick, it may take longer to fully cook.)
Remove the salmon from heat and set aside.
When cool enough to handle, break the salmon apart into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.
In a small mixing bowl, mix the sour cream with the chipotle pepper and a small spoonful of the adobo sauce.
Taste and add more chipotle if you like it spicier.
When ready to assemble the tacos, cut the avocado into thin slices and heat the tortillas in the oven.
Place some of the salmon pieces inside the tortillas along with a few scoops of the black bean mixture, a dollop of sour cream, and several avocado slices and serve.
Or, for more informal occasions, you can set all of the ingredients out in attractive bowls and let your guests assemble their own tacos.
Makes 6 tacos