blackened mahi mahi tacos with avocado yogurt sauce

4:24:00 PM

Happy new year! I’m always so ready for the holidays to be over. Too much food, too much sugar, too much chaos, too much winter. I love the calmness that the new year brings, even though I live in the wrong state for someone who hates winter. 

Bob and I don’t really go out on NYE, because everything is way too expensive. This year, I drank some wine and then we made a bad decision to order some appetizers from the pizza place across the street (cheese bread and chicken wings!) before making our planned meal (homemade sushi.) This was a huge error in judgment, as we then stuffed ourselves with tons of sushi and felt sick. Definitely didn’t need the appetizers. We also were supposed to make brie en croute, which is becoming a tradition, but we were so full we couldn’t do it. (No worries. We made it last night instead, and it was delish.)

These bright little guys are a delight in winter. I have been making these fish tacos for years and years, and they are just flat-out awesome. They are better than any blackened fish I’ve ever gotten in a restaurant, and I love how easy they are. 

This is a great meal to make all year round (well, because avocados are never in season in Wisconsin so it doesn’t really make a difference if I make it in winter or summer.) This is a great meal to make toward the end of the week, when most produce brought home from last week’s grocery haul is starting to languish. You only need onions and avocado for these, both of which are pretty hardy (as long as you buy an unripe avocado.) It’s sort of a bright dish in the dead of winter, when you’re really sick of root vegetables. (Seriously though, I need spring soon. Luckily, we’re headed to NOLA and Dauphin Island at the end of March - only a couple months away!)

You can use really any firm white fish for these. I like mahi mahi, and it’s reasonably priced when we buy it frozen. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with good seafood, go crazy, but frozen works fine, too.

blackened mahi mahi tacos with avocado yogurt sauce
serves 2 (easily double for more servings)

for the fish
10-12 oz mahi mahi
1 tbsp smoked paprika 
¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp salt
1 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil

for sauce
¾ cup plain yogurt (I recommend not using greek for this, you want something runnier)
½ avocado (reserve other half for garnish)
½ jalapeño, seeded (reserve other half for garnish)
cilantro (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

for assembly
corn tortillas (I used 6 total for 2 servings)
sliced red onion
lime wedges

Make the sauce first to leave time for flavors to meld. In a food processor, combine the yogurt, ½ avocado, and ½ jalapeño. Add a handful of cilantro, if desired (I imagine this will give it a lovely green color, but I can’t tolerate cilantro.) Blend, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a shallow dish, combine the paprika, chili powder, oregano, cumin, sugar, garlic powder, and salt. Mix together well.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and let the pan get pretty hot.

Place each piece of fish into the rub, and rub all over all sides of the fish. You want a really good coating of spices here. 

When pan is hot, add the tablespoon of oil and heat until it shimmers. Then, carefully add the fish. Cook, without moving the fish, for about 4-5 minutes per side (this really will depend on the size of your fish.) An instant-read thermometer should register at least 145. When fish is cooked, transfer to a cutting board and slice.

Warm the corn tortillas - my favorite method is to place them on a cookie sheet under the broiler until they’re browned and slightly crispy.

Pile the fish on the tortillas and top with the avocado-yogurt sauce, extra avocado and jalapeño, cilantro, and sliced red onion.

I served this with roasted vegetables since we’re in the dead of winter, but this is also so good in the summer with a side of fruit or fresh vegetables.

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