Thursday, June 16, 2011
Blue Fish Tacos with and Orange-Cilantro Salsa
“We are wasting our time here”
This was Tony’s declaration after we had moved from the deep sea to troll for fish in shallower waters. We began catching blue fish and Spanish mackerel. Compared to the Bluefin Tuna I had just caught, he was right, but he decreed blue fish as uneatable. Mackerel is an excellent fish, but blue fish are often maligned as oily and not worth eating. I had heard this for years. I grew up on City Island where catching blue fish was done for sport. We always threw them back, except if you went out on a boat like ‘Rip Tide’ or the ‘Klondike’, they fileted it for you and we often went to the local restaurants that littered City Island Avenue to try and sell them. We would never recover what we spent fishing for the blues but any bit of money to a teenager is a good thing that never lasted anyway.
I only had blue fish once before. Chris Paschette, from Arties, cooked it. It was baked with lemon and bread crumbs. I remember thinking it wasn’t so bad. I never returned to it though. It is never on menus and so it was forgotten.
Even our first mate on our boat, who goes to all the big game fishing tournaments and who has made fishing his life agreed with Tony. Stubbornness can be a good quality in a chef. That being said, if you catch blue fish, it should be eaten that day. We caught harbor blues in the ocean which are smaller than the ones I used to catch in the bay so their meat was a bit sweeter. I will still argue that fresh blues out of the bays will be great that night for dinner. If not my pal Tony the fireman and lawyer will lambast this entry. He was converted though:
“Oh well this is amazing, you put a great sauce on it. Everyone wants to know what to do with Blue Fish. I am using this when I get back!”
A rewarding element to cooking is changing a previously negative opinion of a food and turning it into a meal worth remembering. Here you go:
4 fileted blue fish, freshly caught
Garlic Salt & Pepper
3 oranges, peeled
1 onion, diced fine
1 bunch of cilantro, diced coarsely
1 jalapeno (optional), diced
(everything diced smaller than in the picture)
¼ cup Orange juice
Salt & Pepper
1. In a sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil on medium-high heat. Add garlic. Once the garlic starts to turn translucent, add the fileted blue fish.
2. Add the oranges, onion and cilantro, O.J., in a bowl. If you are adding the jalapeno, cut it in half and remove the seeds and white pith. Then dice and throw it in. Season with salt or adobo and pepper.
3. The bluefish should take 6-7 minutes; it will vary with the size of the filet. Break the fish up w/ a wooden spoon into taco sized pieces.
4. Heat up the corn tortillas. Set up bowls with spoons for each ingredient, assemble and eat.