Our family always gets excited when we see fish tacos on the menu when dining out. Even though fish is the star in these crispy handheld pockets of goodness, they are only as good as their accompanying sauce and toppings. You’ll love this salsa recipe. It’s an unusual combination of tomatillos, pineapple, and chipotle chilis that packs a sweet, salty, smoky punch that complements the flaky grouper so well. Instead of battering and deep frying the fish, I’ve done a light cornmeal dust and pan-fry to get a nice texture on the outside but without all the extra fuss.
Cornmeal Crusted Grouper Tacos with Pineapple Chipotle Salsa
- 1 pound grouper skin removed
- ½ cup finely ground cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ cup mild olive oil or enough to have about 1/8” at the bottom of your pan
- 1 cup sliced cabbage lime wedges, and cilantro for serving
- 8-10 corn tortillas
For the Salsa:
- 1 pound tomatillos husks removed
- 1 medium red onion peeled and cut into ½ inch rounds
- ½ pound fresh pineapple slices skin removed
- ½ cup cucumber diced
- 3 canned chipotle chilis seeds and stems removed, chopped
- 2 teaspoons sauce from the canned chipotle chilis
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Make the salsa, which can be refrigerated up to 6 hours ahead of serving. Line a baking sheet with foil and turn the oven on broil. Place the tomatillos, onion, and pineapple on the pan and broil 8-10 inches from the heat, until soft and charred slightly, turning them once to get both sides. Alternatively, you can grill the pineapple, tomatillos and onions over high heat until charred and softened. Remove from the oven, and when cool enough to handle chop the tomatillos finely, dice the onion and pineapple and place in a serving bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a small shallow bowl, combine the cornmeal, salt and cumin and whisk to combine. Cut the fish into 3” long strips, then roll in the cornmeal.
- Heat a large skillet with the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the fish and pan fry, turning occasionally, until cooked through. Meanwhile, wrap your tortillas in foil and warm in an oven, or cook in a dry skillet, until warmed through. Remove the fish to a serving platter when done, and serve with the salsa on the side, a bowl of chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and chopped cabbage.