I think I had a pineapple turnover for breakfast this morning. It was… strange.
Everything started out normally. Took a swing of my coffee and then a bit of my pastry. My thought process went something like this: Mmm/ hot breakfast pastry/ coffee good/ buttery dough/ flakey/ comfort food must always be eaten for breakfast/ cold winters/ warm fires/ tender dough … fruity/ tropical/ sunshine/ sand/ sea/ what/ is going/ on here… pineapple!? Food whiplash here.
Not that it was bad, per say. In fact, things started out really well. The turnover had that perfect pastry crust. You know what I’m talking about, when you bite in it’s all flakey on the outside; but soft inside with the barest hint of chew? So that was awesome. It’s just that I was thinking I’d be getting to a nice burst of apple once I made my way past that lovely crust. So really, you can see why the shock set in when I made it to the gooey center and was met with a crazy burst of totally tropical pineapple.
Are pineapple turnovers a thing, and I just missed it? Hmmm.
You might at this point be wondering how I ended up with a pineapple turnover without knowing it, and what possibly does any of this have to do with tacos?
I obviously didn’t bake the turnovers myself, or I would have know they were pineapple filled (hopefully). I actually bought them at the all in one local Mexican grocery store/tortilleria/panaderia (Translation for those who don’t speak Spanish, tortilleria= bakery that exclusively produces tortillas and panaderia= straight up bakery!); where I went to get fresh tortillas since I knew I’d be making fish tacos soon!
I’ve gotta tell you this grocery store is totally great. First, theres a tortilleria right inside the store. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like fresh from the tortillaria, still slightly warm, tortillas for your tacos. There are a few other reasons I like this grocery store: You can get a pretty good selection of ‘topical’ produce, plus chiles and other ingredients frequently used in Mexican cooking, and all kinds of cuts of meat you might have to beg the butter for at a regular grocery store (oxtail, yay!).
However, what I like best of all, is that there’s a panaderia right in the grocery store. If you’ve never been to a panaderia you are seriously missing out. There are some seriously amazing Mexican pastries. I’m a big fan of those big bun things that look like they must be completely crusted in sugar, but then turn out to be surprisingly not that sweet. Sorry, no idea what they’re called. (If you know please help me out so I don’t sound like an idiot next time I ask for one, k?) As you can imagine when we went to pick up tortillas I also had to bring home a selection of pastries. I just can’t help it. I always bring home at least one of my favorites, and try to pick something new. This time the something new appeared to be an apple turnover. I’d never had an apple turnover from a Mexican bakery. But it looked good so I figured why not?
And then there was a pineapple turnover. This morning. With my coffee. And that was that.
Otherwise, this really has not all that much to do with tacos; butI was going totally to go for making a point about unexpected flavor combinations growing on you; which is what happened for me and fish tacos. (I was absolutely horrified by the very idea of them the first time I heard about them; now one of my absolute favorite dishes. I can not get enough of fish tacos and ordered them pretty much everywhere until I finally figured out how to make a version I adore at home. )But, to be honest pineapple turnovers are weird (sorry!) and I don’t think they are going to grow on me. I’m sure someone else, like my Dad who adores pineapple, would probably love them. But as for me, though I’m all over being open minded and trying new foods, but sometimes after you try something you still like what you like. Ya, know?
So, I think I’m going to abandon the comparison, and just say that Mexican pastry is still awesome and so are these tacos!
It’s all about the sauce here, friends. The fish is lightly seasoned and pan seared, and the cabbage slaw mix is left bare, so that you can just drench the whole taco in this sauce. It’s kinda sweet, pleasantly tangy, and finishes with a low lingering heat. Love it! Serve everything on fresh white or corn tortillas with plenty of fresh minced cilantro and you have a perfect taco, my friends, perfect! These make a perfect little appetizer all on their own but; a side of rice, black beans, and/or Mexi-corn wouldn’t go amiss for making a complete meal out of them. Either way, enjoy!
Killer Fish Tacos– Yields 8-12 small soft tacos.
- 24 oz mild white fish (I used Tilapia.)
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- about 1/8 cup of flour for dusting fish
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- juice from one medium sized lime
- juice from one small lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sauce from canned chiles in adobo sauce (sauce only, reserve the chiles for another recipe)
- 8-12 small white of corn tortillas
- drizzle of canola oil to sear tortillas
- about 1 and 1/2 cups of cabbage slaw mix (thin sliced cabbage, red cabbage, and carrots)
- fresh minced cilantro
1. Heat a large frying pan to medium high heat. Meanwhile season your fish pieces with the chili powder, garlic and salt. Then lightly dust the fish with flour. Depending on the size of your fish pieces you may need less then the called for 1/8th cup. When the pan has heated evenly drizzle the canola oil around the pan and then add the fish to the pan. Cook the fish on one side until lightly browned, no more then a few minutes (though time will very depending on the thickness of your fish pieces) then flip one to brown the other side. Cook until the fish is fully cooked through but no longer. When the fish is fully cooked gently break into large bite sized pieces.
1. While the fish is cooking make the sauce. In a large bowl whisk together, mayo, rice wine vinegar, lemon and lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, chipotle powder, and chili powder. Add the adobo chile sauce gradually whisking well, and tasting the sauce before adding more. Adobo sauce can be quite spicy depending on the brand you buy. After all ingredients are fully incorporated adjust sauce to taste, you may prefer yours a touch hotter, tangier, etc.
1. Quickly sear tortillas in a small frying pan over medium high heat in a very light drizzle of canola oil to give them some color. Should take 1-2 minutes per side. This adds nice flavor and texture to the tacos, however, the tacos can certainly be made skipping this step.
1. Layer fish, cabbage slaw mix, in each tortilla. Top with plenty of sauce and fresh minced cilantro. Serve hot to room temperature.