October is here! With it comes the desire of changing things around to feel renewed for the days ahead. It is after all a month of seasonal change...
New colors and flavors start peeking their noses in everything we see. Suddenly, I have the urgency to change things in the personal and household arenas. That means adjusting lip colors in my purse as well as vegetables in my fridge. Both are subtle ways to give a kick to the things me and my family love all year round, like good homemade comfort food. Is those little kicks that keep you enthusiastic about the things you already love.
For us, fish tacos are a recurrent comfort food on our table. We cherish when we will have the opportunity to have any good comfort food. And who doesn't? It can warm, relax and decompress you in a matter of seconds. You could eat them wrapped in a cozy blanket or with your legs crossed sitting on you family room's floor, not to mention most of them with your own hands! So, while having cravings for fish tacos and busy refreshing things up to fall, I tought on giving them a seasonal spin changing their typical lemony flavor of summer. This fish taco recipe version is with halibut stewed in tomato sauce and lots of smoky and warm punches of paprika and chorizo that burst in every bite.
For this recipe I used queso manchego to keep on the spanish theme, but the classic monterrey jack or even havarti cheese are good substitutions. Serve it with lemon wedges and any other fixings you and your family love in your tacos. Enjoy and see you next time!!
Fish tacos Spanish style
4 to 6 persons, 12 to 16 stuffed tacos
Active time – 20 minutes, divided Total time – 45 minutes
Halibut or other white fish - 12 to 16 oz, around 3 to 4 fillets
Fine sea salt - 1 Tsp + 1 pinch for the sauce
Fresh ground black pepper – 1 pinch
Extra virgin olive oil - 1 TBS + additional to heat the tortillas
Spanish style chorizo, skin removed and finely chopped - ¼ cup
Red bell pepper, finely cubed - ½ cup, ½ pepper approximately
Yellow onion, finely cubed – ½ cup, ½ large onion approximately
Ground garlic – ½ Tsp
Parsley, finely chopped – 1 TBSP
Capers - 2 TBSP
Saffron threads – ½ Tsp
Paprika – 2 TBSP
Tomato sauce Spanish style or pureed tomatos (not Italian tomato sauce) - 1 cup
Chicken stock (preferably) or water - 1 cup
Cilantro and queso manchego to serve
Season the fish with the teaspoon of salt and the pinch of pepper. (Tip: if using frozen fish meat, submerge the pouches in a medium bowl filled with hot tap water and it will only take minutes to defrost)
In a large skillet heat the olive oil with the chorizo pieces and sauté for 2 minutes, moving them every couple of seconds. Add the peppers, onions and garlic and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes more, moving everything constantly to prevent the onions to burn, they should end soft and with a translucent caramel color. Mix in the parsley, capers, saffron and paprika, then add the tomato sauce and the chicken stock (or water) plus a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything well and turn down the heat to low. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.
When time's up, increase the heat again to medium and put the whole fish fillets in the skillet and cook them for about 1 or 2 minutes, then turn them over and cook for a minute or two more. Using a spatula begin to break the fish until lightly shredded, it will continue to break down on its own with the extra heat and tossing. Turn down the heat to low and cook until the sauce is thick and the fish is covered by it.
Prepare the toppings and the tortillas in the meantime. Using a pastry brush cover each tortilla with a bit of olive oil on each side. Place them in a medium-high heated skillet and cook them for 1 or 2 minutes each side. You may place them in a paper towel to prevent it's own steam from breaking them.
Take the fish off the heat and let it rest for a couple of minutes so it absorbs the sauce and cools down a little bit. Serve with the corn tortillas, lemon wedges, cilantro, queso manchego or any other fixings you enjoy.