Ask Hella to name her favourite summer food and it will always be the same - Bluefish, prepared by my godmother (to her own delicious recipe); grilled on the barbeque and served on the deck of their Cape Cod home with a bunch of salads and fresh cobs of corn (wrapped in a tea towel to keep in the heat). Dinner will be sparkling with conversation, it might include posing the 'Best and Worst?' question around the table (your best part of the day and your worst part of the day, in case you're unfamiliar) and will always finish with a scoop or two of Ben and Jerry's from the freezer (Phish Food for me. Always). A heavenly summer dinner combination that never fails to delight.
The Bluefish, the incredibly fresh corn and the setting are tough to replicate on the other side of the world, but I am assured (by the expert herself) that these Chimichurri Fish Tacos (slightly tweaked from a recipe on the Camille Styles blog) come close in terms of creating a dreamy, friendly summer vibe as well as tasting utterly delicious. The fish is marinated and quickly pan-fried. It's then piled into the tortillas with guacamole, a simple shredded cabbage salad and finished with a drizzle of a herby summertime dressing. A squeeze of lime and a touch of coriander might just be the perfect final flourish.
What's so special about these tacos?
The secret to these tacos is the chimichurri sauce. Have you ever made it? It's an Argentinean sauce or condiment, similar to pesto, which is popular throughout South America and comes together quickly in the food processor. Made from just a few pantry ingredients like red-wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, shallot, and salt and pepper—plus two kinds of fresh herbs—this bright-green sauce is super flavoursome. We are going to use it in 3 ways for these tacos -
- To marinate the fish, before it's quickly pan-fried.
- To dress a simple, shredded cabbage salad.
- To flavour a light mayonnaise and yoghurt dressing.
What ingredients do you need for these Fish Tacos?
For the chimichurri sauce -
- fresh coriander, leaves and stems
- fresh parsley, leaves and stems
- ground paprika
- a shallot, peeled
- a garlic clove, peeled
- red wine vinegar - I have also used apple cider vinegar and it was perfectly fine
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the filling -
- white fish (skin and bones removed and cut into 2cm/1" cubes) - I have been using frozen cod fillets and they work well. I opt for the thicker fillets so that I can cut them up into chunky cubes.
- shredded white cabbage
- avocado - smashed with a splash of lime juice and seasoning
- mayonnaise and Greek yoghurt - for the dressing
To serve -
- 8 tortillas - I used corn tortillas this time. They 'catch' more in the pan, so be careful of burning.
- a few slices of the legendary Lime Pickled Red Onions
- a few sprigs of fresh coriander
- a few chunks of lime, for squeezing
How do you make these light, summery fish tacos?
- Make the chimichurri by adding all the sauce ingredients to a small processor or blender. This is the one that I use - I bought it relatively recently and I'd recommend it. Start off by adding just over half of the oil to the mixture in the processor and then add the balance if you need it - you are aiming for a pourable consistency.
- Marinate the fish by tossing it in 2 tablespoons of the sauce. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 3 hours. I have, in the past, only given the fish a few minutes in the sauce and it still tasted good.
- Make the simple cabbage salad, by tossing the shredded cabbage with 2 teaspoons of the sauce. Check for seasoning.
- In a small bowl, make the dressing by mixing together 2 tablespoons of the sauce with the mayonnaise and Greek yoghurt. Check for seasoning.
- Pan-fry the marinated fish in a drizzle of olive oil, for about 2 minutes per side until slightly caramelised and cooked through.
- Warm the tortillas in a dry frying pan until a little charred and then fill with the smashed avocado, cabbage salad and cooked fish. Drizzle with the dressing and top with a few Lime Pickled Red Onions, a sprinkling of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime.
6 things you'll love about these Chimichurri Fish Tacos
- The chimichurri sauce comes together very easily. There is no need to even separate the leaves of the herbs from the stems - it all goes in.
- Any leftover sauce is delicious on grilled meat or fish, or tossed through roasted vegetables or potatoes.
- This is a really light take on tacos and is tasty without being super-strongly flavoured.
- I sometimes add some extra shredded lettuce and some cherry tomatoes if I want dinner to stretch a bit further. A serving of Easy Oven Chips is also a welcome addition.
- It's also a good-looking meal - sophisticated enough for having guests over and special enough for a date night at home.
- I was surprised at how well leftovers survive. The next day I warmed the fish gently in the microwave and added a touch extra sauce to the cabbage salad.
I can confirm that these Chimichurri Fish Tacos are now our go-to summer dinner. Now, who's going to go first on 'Best and Worst'?
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