1. Blackened Fish Tacos by Tommy Bahama Restaurants & Marlin Bars
(Makes 4 servings)
Pico de Gallo
• 2 (Roma) plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/4-in. dice
• 1 tbsp minced white or yellow onion
• 1 tsp minced fresh cilantro
• 1 tsp fresh lime juice
• 1 tsp olive oil (not extra virgin)
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lime Sour Cream
• 1/2 c sour cream
• 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Chipotle Aioli (Makes about 3/4 cup)
• 1/2 c mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp minced canned chipotles in adobo
• 2 1/2 tsp fresh lime juice
• 1/8 tsp kosher salt
Cajun Seasoning (Makes about 3 tbsp)
• 2 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
• 1 1/2 tsp granulated onion
• 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
• 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tsp kosher salt
Asian Slaw (Makes about 8 cups)
• 1 c mayonnaise
• 2 tbsp rice vinegar
• 2 tbsp drained and chopped pickled ginger for sushi
• 1 tsp celery seed
• 1 tsp sugar
• 1 small head green cabbage, cored and shredded, about 6 c
• 2 c peeled and julienned jícama (use a V-slicer or mandolin)
• 1/2 red onion, cut into thin half moons
• 1/4 c coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
• Hawaiian pink or kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
• 4 cod or basia fillets, about 6 oz each
• 4 tsp Cajun seasoning
• 4 tbsp canola oil
• 12 corn tortillas, heated
• 2 cups Asian slaw (see below), drained well
• Lime wedges, for garnish
• Special equipment: 2 food-service plastic squeeze bottles
Pico de Gallo: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
Lime Sour Cream: Whisk the sour cream and lime juice together in a small bowl until combined.
Chipotle Aioli: Process all the ingredients together in a mini-food processor or blender. Transfer to a covered container. The aioli can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Cajun Seasoning: Whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. Transfer to a covered jar and store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 months.
Asian Slaw: Whisk the mayonnaise, rice vinegar, pickled ginger, celery seeds, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, jícama, red onion, and cilantro and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Serve chilled.
Purée the chipotle aioli in a mini-food processor, making sure it’s smooth enough to pass through the opening of a squeeze bottle.
Transfer the lime sour cream and aioli to separate food-service plastic squeeze bottles (or put them in small, sealable plastic bags and snip off one corner of each bag to make a ¼-in. wide opening).
Fish: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200°F/95°C. Season the cod all over with the Cajun seasoning. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over high heat until it is very hot. Add 2 tbsp of the canola oil. Add half of the cod and cook, turning once, until well browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining oil and cod.
2. By the Sea Ceviche by Brad McCoy
• 1 lb of bay scallops
• 2 filets of hogfish (if you cannot find hogfish, use mahi or another white fish), cut into 1 inch pieces
• ½ tsp of sea salt
• 1 serrano chili
• 1 jalapeno
• ¼ cup of red onion
• ¼ cup of sweet red pepper
• Some chopped fresh cilantro to your liking
• 1 tsp of sea salt/ground fresh pepper
• ½ tsp of smoked paprika
• ½ of 1 mandarin orange, peeled and chopped (save the other half for the salsa)
• 1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
• 1–2 shakes of red pepper flakes
• 2 avocados, diced
• ½ of 1 lime, juice only
• ¼ cup red onion, diced
• 1 serrano chili, chopped (no seeds)
• ½ of a mandarin orange, segmented
• Cilantro leaves, choose to your liking
Helf’s Pickled Red Onion
• ¾ cup of apple cider Vinegar
• ¼ cup of water
• 1–2 tbsp of sweetener, can use honey or sugar
• 1 tsp of fine sea salt
• 1 red onion
Prepare Ceviche: In a glass or ceramic bowl (not stainless steel/metal) mix ¼ cup of your favorite pulp-free orange juice (I use mandarin OJ), ¼ cup fresh lime juice & ¼ cup fresh lemon juice. Rinse and pat dry bay scallops and place in juice mixture. Rinse, pat dry filets of Hhogfish – cut into 1 inch pieces – and place in juice mixture. Add sea salt. Stir thoroughly, cover with Saran wrap and leave in fridge for 4 hours
Make Ceviche: Before you start. I usually like to replicate the juice mixture above and dispose of the original juices. Fresh citrus juice is always key. Strain the original juice and place the fish and scallops in another glass or ceramic bowl. In original bowl, because it’s still cold: Chop serrano chili and jalapeno (leave the seeds in for a kick or remove them). Add red onion, sweet red pepper, chopped fresh cilantro, sea salt and ground fresh pepper, smoked paprika, ½ of 1 mandarin orange (peeled and chopped – save the other half for the salsa), extra virgin olive oil, and 1–2 shakes of red pepper flakes. Place the fish and scallops into the bowl and mix gently. Set back in fridge, covered. Can be eaten up to 2–3 days.
Avocado Salsa: Start in a separate bowl, add all ingredients and mix. Best to prepare right before serving the dish.
Helf’s Pickled Red Onion: By far one of the best things to go on top of this beautiful and refreshing dish. But prepare the night before. In small sauce pan, bring apple cider vinegar, water, sweetener, and sea salt to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. While the liquid mixture is simmering, cut red onion in half, finely slice and place in a Mason jar. Pour the liquid mixture into the jar. Add some water if needed to cover all onion slices. Cover with lid on it, give it a shake and place in fridge.
To Serve: Scoop 2–3 tbsp of ceviche into bowl or cup. I use a martini glass. Place 2 tbsp of avocado salsa on top of the ceviche. Add 1 tbsp of juice from the ceviche mix. Place a couple of Helf’s pickled red onions and enjoy. On occasion we like to use plantain chips or tortilla chips as a vessel.
3. Grilled Fish Tacos With a Roasted Chile and Avocado Salsa by Emeril Lagasse
(Makes 10 tacos)
• 1 Hass avocado, peeled and pit removed
• 2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded
• 1 jalapeño, roasted, peeled and seeded
• 1/3 c plus 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 c chopped onion
• 3/4 c cilantro leaves
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
• 3 tbsp water
• 1 ½ lbs amberjack fillet (or other mild, flaky fish)
• 1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
• 10 fresh white or yellow corn tortillas, warmed according to package directions or grilled/griddled briefly to heat through
• 5 slices ripe tomato, cut in half
• 2 limes, halved
In a blender, combine the avocado with the roasted poblano and jalapeño chiles, the 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup of the chopped onion, 1/4 cup of the cilantro leaves, the lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and the water. Puree until smooth, and set aside. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Preheat a grill to medium, or preheat a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. Season the amberjack with the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt and the white pepper. Rub the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over both sides of the fish, and place the fish on the grill. Grill until the fish is just cooked through and flakes easily, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove the fish from the grill, and use a fork to break it into flakes or small chunks. To assemble the tacos, divide the fish evenly among the tortillas. Garnish each taco with some of the chopped onion and cilantro leaves. Place a half tomato slice over each, and drizzle with some of the avocado salsa. Squeeze some lime juice over the tacos, fold the tortilla sides together and serve immediately.