It's easy to find a great taco in Los Angeles. Just ask our restaurant critic Jonathan Gold. But what if you could make some of the city's best tacos in your own kitchen?
When you're looking for something fast and fun, you can't go wrong with fish tacos. The fish cooks quickly, and with a little shredded cabbage and maybe a sauce or two, you can have a fresh, flavorful dinner on the table in almost no time.
Achiote-marinated fish tacos: Achiote-marinated yellowtail is cooked quickly over a griddle or fry pan, the meaty bites piled into warm tortillas with shredded cabbage and smoky chipotle mayonnaise.
Shrimp tacos with pumpkin seed sauce: This easy dish comes together in less than an hour, the plump shrimp cooked in a simple sauce flavored with toasted pumpkin seeds, olive oil, garlic, jalapeno chiles and fresh cilantro. Serve the shrimp with shredded jicama and cilantro sour cream over tortillas.
Grilled halibut soft tacos with lime-garlic vinaigrette: Meaty halibut is brushed with olive oil and simply seasoned with salt and pepper before it is cooked quickly over the grill. Pile the fish into warm tortillas with plenty of shredded cabbage and a fresh, tangy lime-garlic vinaigrette. Dinner is ready in only 30 minutes. You can find the recipe below.
GRILLED HALIBUT SOFT TACOS WITH LIME-GARLIC VINAIGRETTE
Total time: 30 minutes
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup minced green onions
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet cherry peppers, assorted colors if possible
1 1/2 tablespoons minced serrano or jalapeno pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1. Combine the garlic, green onions, lime juice, peppers, serrano pepper (if using) and salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly blended.
2. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the vinaigrette has emulsified. Set aside until ready to serve. Makes 1 cup.
4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 to 12 small corn tortillas
1/2 head green cabbage,
shredded or sliced very thin
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1. Heat the grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the halibut with salt and pepper and lightly brush with olive oil. Grill the fillets on each side for about 3 minutes or until the fish flakes. Time can vary depending on the thickness of the halibut fillets. A general rule of thumb is about 8 to 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Remove the fish from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes. Flake into bite-size pieces.
2. Heat the tortillas briefly in an oven (wrapped in foil), over a gas burner or on a cleaned grill pan just until warm, but still soft.
3. Sprinkle pieces of halibut onto a warm tortilla, top with shredded cabbage and spoon some lime-garlic vinaigrette over the top. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Fold tortilla in half and eat while still warm.
Each serving: 482 calories;
41 grams protein; 38 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 19 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 54 mg. cholesterol; 639 mg. sodium.