Pacific Bass Tacos on Crack- with arugula, tomato, cilantro avocado salsa
There are tacos and then are tacos, this recipe is the latter. Using healthier ingredients for taco night means a better feeling you. I've had plenty of tacos over the years, especially while cooking at Rebecca's restaurant in the 80's. Sadly, it's no longer there but what a place to get amazing regional gourmet cuisine from Guadalajara, and not to mention the deadly freshly squeezed lime margaritas and outstanding guacamole.
The handmade corn and flour tortillas were amazing. My favorite taco was the lamb tongue taco. I know what you're thinking, but you don't know what you missed. It was a simple fresh, thin corn handmade tortilla taco with cilantro tomatillo lime sauce and Mexican crema. The real pain was peeling the thick outer layer of the tongue to get the soft meat inside. Eat this with one of their uncommonly strong margaritas and you're set. Rebecca's had an open kitchen which added to the excitement of cooking there. I learned quite a bit working there, mostly how to make a great taco. I also learned why the tortilla chips were so good; they were cooked in lard. And to make a great guacamole, you make it chunky, not mashed and with no tomatoes- just cilantro, kosher salt, and lime. The bartenders were responsible for making the vat of guacamole every evening. I never understood why, but they did a heck of a job. There are so many stories there to tell, but I might not work in this town again!
This is my current favorite taco to make. It's with baked wild pacific bass sprinkled with Everything Bagel from Trader Joes, chopped arugula-red onion-tomato, and avocado salsa finished with olive oil and lime. On top is Rebecca's guacamole and Sriracha mayonnaise on top of super thin, 25 calorie yellow corn tortillas by Mission brand. If you are into low carbs, use the thin sliced jicama rounds that Trader Joe's sells. The thinness of the tortilla is what makes it perfect, especially when it's lightly grilled over the open flame on your stove. If you have an electric stove or glass top, use a cast iron skillet to warm the tortilla up. For the jicama, eat it raw. It has a great crunchiness to it. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
Wild Pacific Tacos
For the Bass-
12 ounces Pacific Sea Bass, if you can't find it use your favorite whitefish
2 tsp Trader Joe's Everything Bagel Seasoning
1 Tbsp olive oil
Pink Salt and Black Pepper to Taste
4 thin street corn tortillas
Spicy Mayonnaise, drizzled on top (I use Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Spicy mayonnaise)
Shot of Tequila, for drinking
For the Salsa-
1 big handful wild organic arugula, chopped
1 medium tomato, cut in half and seeded
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, diced
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp seasoned rice vinegar
Pink Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
Make the salsa first by placing all ingredients in a bowl and tossing lightly. Set aside. In a saute pan, preferably cast iron, and add 1 tablespoon olive oil in high heat. Place the fish in and cook for 3 minutes on one side. Turn over and cook for one minute, cover and turn the heat down to medium low for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. On an open flame, lightly char the tortillas for a few seconds on both sides. If you have an electric stove, lightly char in a cast iron skillet.
Place 2 tacos on each plate. Remove the bass from the skillet and cut or shred the fish and place 1/4 of the fish on one tortilla topping with 1/4 of the salsa. Repeat this on the rest of tortillas and drizzle with spicy mayonnaise. Serve with a shot of tequila or your favorite beer.