Thursday, July 26, 2012

Halibut Ceviche Tacos

Can you have too much of a good thing? No way, at least not if you’re talking about halibut ceviche. We ate it straight up at first, as an appetizer with romaine spears and fresh tortilla chips… and there was some left. I packaged up a bit to share with a neighboring boat… and there was still some left. Hmmm, maybe I had been a little carried away with the chopping and dicing, but no problem. The next day I served that chilled, citrusy ceviche for lunch, spooned on top of coleslaw inside a crispy corn tortilla shell. 

Ceviche tacos were a new-to-us menu item, and they weren’t just good, oh no, they were really really good!  Ceviche is already a hit prepared with this summer's fresh halibut, and I can imagine ceviche will be a popular choice at future Make-Your-Own-Taco Parties.  

Ceviche Tacos

Fresh halibut fillet (or another firm white fish, or even shrimp or bay scallops): skinned and cut in cubes (½-inch to 1-inch)

¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar (or substitute orange juice)
¼ cup white onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded & diced small
¼ cup red onion, sliced thin or diced small
1 orange, peeled & chopped in small dice (plus any juices)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
½ cup English cucumber, diced small
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
1 small avocado, diced small
2 TBS reserved marinade juices (after draining ceviche)

small white corn tortillas
cabbage shreds, lettuce shreds, or broccoli slaw
lime wedges or a splash of Tequila

For the Ceviche:
Cut the halibut into ½-inch cubes and set aside. Use a glass container and combine the marinade ingredients. Add the fish cubes and toss gently to coat. Press down ever so gently: you need enough liquid to cover the fish completely, so keep the same ratio if you find you have to add a bit more. Cover and refrigerate until the fish is opaque, “cooked” by the acidic juice marinade, roughly 2-4 hours.

When fish is completely opaque, drain off the liquid, reserving 2+ tablespoons of the juices. Mix the diced poblano, onion, orange pieces and juice, cilantro and cucumber together in a large bowl. Add the fish chunks and gently stir to mix (a rubber spoon-type spatula is useful here). Add salt and pepper as desired. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Just before serving, use that spoon-style spatula to stir in the avocado and a tablespoon or two of the reserved juices.

For the taco shell:
Lightly coat a small non-stick skillet with a fine mist of cooking oil spray and heat over medium heat. Cook a corn tortilla, turning frequently, until warmed through and brown spots appear but not so long that it crisps. Gently form the warm tortilla into a folded shell and let cool draped over the edge of a straight-sided container until it firms. Repeat with remaining tortillas as desired.

To serve:
Place a bit of shredded cabbage inside a taco shell: use a slotted spoon to scoop up ceviche to fill the taco: squeeze a lime wedge or drizzle of bit of tequila on top and enjoy! 

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