Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fish Tacos with Fresh Strawberry Salsa and Chipotle Crema

This has become my all-time favorite recipe for fish tacos. I started out making Alton Brown’s recipe, which is a great base, but it seemed like it needed a little something more. I love Alton Brown and I hold him in high standards, but I just needed a little bit more this time… Something bright-flavored… Mind you, I don’t like a lot of extras on my fish tacos, so I didn’t want them overflowing with a bunch of crap that would mask the other flavors already in the dish.
Last week, I had picked up strawberries when they were on sale at my local market for only $0.98, and they needed to be used up, so I got the idea for a strawberry salsa into my head. The search began for something close to what I wanted… To my surprise, I actually found the perfect recipe to accompany what I was thinking in my head! There aren’t a whole lot of ingredients in this salsa, which is exactly what I wanted! I didn’t want something with jalapeños in it, since I already had the chipotle crema, and the ingredients matched the other flavors so well that I couldn’t pass it up. I did change the juice aspect of it, simply because I wanted to keep all of the flavors somewhat similar, but it was fantastic otherwise.
Then, I decided… Well, since I have these other strawberries to use up and they’re so authentically Mexican, I’ll make some strawberry margaritas to go with my dinner! I used a recipe on All Recipes that had rave reviews as my base, and went from there. I froze my strawberries and then used those instead of ice cubes, so that my margaritas weren’t watered down. I also sincerely believe that tequila is more than enough alcohol, so don’t usually add multiple liquors in my drinks. I do like the bright orange flavor, though, so I juiced the last lonely orange in my refrigerator.
What a great spring dinner this was! It was actually a warm day here in De Pere, so the lightness of the dish was most welcome. And, of course, the margarita was great to wash it all down! :-)

Printable Recipe

6 cloves garlic
2 c. packed cilantro leaves
4 limes, zested and juiced
4 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ c. tequila
2 lb. tilapia fillets
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 small round flour tortillas
Shredded cabbage
Lime wedges
Chipotle Crema, recipe follows
Strawberry Salsa, recipe follows
Strawberry Margaritas, recipe follows

Put the garlic, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small food processor bowl and pulse until combined, approximately 20 seconds. With the processor running, add the tequila. Put the tilapia fillets into a 1 gallon resealable bag, add the garlic mixture and move around to coat each fillet. Set aside at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat an electric nonstick griddle to 375°.
Brush the griddle with the olive oil. Cook the fillets until just cooked through and opaque about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Cut into strips and serve in warm tortillas with shredded cabbage, lime wedges, crema, and strawberry salsa.

Chipotle Crema:
1 c. heavy cream
2 Tbsp. buttermilk
2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
¼ tsp. kosher salt

Put the heavy cream in a 16-ounce microwave-safe glass jar. Microwave on high until the cream is just under 100°F, about 30 to 40 seconds. Add the buttermilk, close the jar, and store in a warm place for 24 hours. The cream will have thickened to the consistency of thin yogurt.
Add the chipotle chile and salt and process with an immersion blender, in the jar, until smooth, approximately 20 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use. Yield: approximately 1 cup

Strawberry Salsa:
1 pint fresh strawberries, diced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. coarse sea salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1 lime and ½ medium-size orange

Mix all ingredients together, and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes approximately 2 cups

Strawberry Margaritas:
8 oz. frozen strawberries
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 - 6 fl. oz. tequila
2 fl. oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
4 fl. oz frozen limeade concentrate
Lime wedges, for garnish
Sugar, for rimming the glasses

Fill a blender with the strawberries, sugar, tequila, orange juice, and limeade concentrate; blend for 30 seconds or until smooth. If you’d like, add a few ice cubes and blend again. Serve in margarita glasses with the rims wetted from running the lime wedges around them and then dipped in sugar.


  1. This looks and sounds delicious!!! Yummy! Thanks for sharing!

  2. You're very welcome! They were very good, and now the only recipe I will be using for them!! I have one piece of the fish left, so will be having that for lunch today... I'll be sad when it's all gone!