LA Inspired

Posted on: Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On a recent trip to Southern Califorina, we were eager to sample the diverse cuisine. While exploring the fun areas of LA, we noticed a common trend marked by an artistic fusion of culinary styles based around fresh and local ingredients. We sampled zesty guacomole and margaritas in Venice Beach, avocado, jalapeño, and Oaxaca cheese omelettes for brunch at M Street Kitchen in Santa Monica, and shopped along boho-chic Abbot Kinney Boulevard with watermelon frozen yogurt in hand. The colorful, festive food, coupled with the laidback, casual atmosphere was addictive and difficult to leave.

With the abundance of freshly picked produce and locally sourced seafood, there’s no question that fish tacos are king. The “Fresh Mex” variations are endless ranging from seared ahi tuna with chipotle aioli, to mahi mahi with pickled jicama and charred tomato salsa. Back in Boston we opted to grill fresh cod filets for a smokey flavor served alongside zesty pico de gallo, a spicy crema, and sliced avocados. 

Grilled Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo, Spicy Lime Crema and Avocado

Pico de Gallo
1 large beefsteak tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded, and finely diced
1 clove minced garlic
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice
salt and pepper

Stir together all ingredients and refrigerate before serving. Can be made days ahead of time.

Spicy Lime Crema
1 c sour cream
2 T fresh lime juice
1 t chili powder
salt and pepper

Stir together all ingredients and refrigerate before serving.

1 lb firm flaky fish filets, we used cod but haddock, mahi mahi, or tilapia all work well
2 T fresh lime juice
1 t chili powder
1 t garlic powder
salt and pepper

8 small corn tortillas
1 ripe avocado thinly sliced
Lime wedges

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place the fish pieces in a medium size dish. Whisk together the EVOO, lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and pour over the fish, making sure to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 25-30 minutes.

Brush the grill grate with oil. With tongs, remove the fish from the marinade and place atop the hot grill. Grill the fish until just opaque in center, approximately 3-5 minutes per side. Remove to a platter and flake into small pieces with a fork.

Place the tortillas on the grill and heat for 30 seconds per side. Divide the flaked fish among the warm tortillas, drizzle the Spicy Lime Crema and dollop the Pico de Gallo. Fan a few slices of avocado and serve with fresh lime slices. Serves 4 (2 tacos per person).

A salted margarita on the rocks is the perfect sidekick to these bold bites.


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