This past Friday, Jim and Carmen came by with wine and a cheese platter, and Bradley stopped in after coaching basketball. Jim and Melinda were entertaining friends, but Melinda slipped out for a walk with the Lucky Dog, stopped in for a quick hello, and then came back with Jim later.
Unlike Baja fish tacos, which are deep-fried in batter, these Maui-Style Snapper Tacos are grilled, much healthier, and packed with great flavors. Although the recipe calls for red snapper or mahi mahi fillets, I think they would also work well with halibut, swordfish, or even shrimp. Grilled pineapple brushed with a little habanero sauce, and Tomatillo-Arbol Chile Salsa, with blackened tomatillos and Romas, contribute sweetness and heat. Add cool lettuce, sliced avocado, and fresh, warm, corn tortillas, and you'll be enjoying some of the best fish tacos ever.
The Tomatillo-Arbol Chile Salsa combines blackened tomatillos and Roma tomatoes, dried de arbol chiles, garlic, brown sugar, and spices. All the ingredients are thrown in the blender and then sauteed in a little peanut oil. After blackening the tomatoes (which can be done the same time you grill the pineapple), the salsa takes 10-15 minutes to finish. The recipe yields 4 cups, can be made ahead of time, and freezes well.
Maui-Style Snapper Tacos
Slightly adapted from Mark Miller's Tacos
Makes 8 tacos
1 small pineapple (peeled, cored, and sliced into rings)
1/4 habanero hot sauce or Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless red snapper or mahi mahi fillets
8 (5 1/2 inch) soft yellow or white corn tortillas
Shredded Iceberg lettuce and sliced avocado, for garnish
Accompaniment: Tomatillo-Arbol Chile Salsa
Toss the pineapple slices in the habanero sauce and grill over low heat until browned and caramelized, about 5-10 minutes per side. Cut the pineapple in to small wedges, transfer to a small serving bowl, and set aside.
Marinate the fish in oil and lime juice for 5 minutes. While the fish is marinating, briefly warm the tortillas on the grill and wrap in foil. Grill the fish over medium-high heat, on a seafood grilling screen (to prevent fish from falling through the grate), about 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and serve immediately.
To serve, lay the tortillas side by side, open face, and overlapping on a platter. Divide the lettuce, fish, pineapple, and avocado equally between the tortillas and top with salsa.