Tequila & Taco Fest Training Module: Grilled Rock Fish Tacos \m/

September 15, 2015

In the spirit of Tequila & Taco Fest, I’ve been playing with variations on traditional Pico de Gallo. Last week I asked what’s in your recipe, and the response yielded some tasty twists. One of my favorites was cucumbers in place of peppers for a milder version. Another was peaches for a sweeter, citrus twist. I decided to add both, and change the Jalapeños from green to red for some contrast. And since it’s the season, I went with heirloom tomatoes. Peaches weren’t available, so I went with nectarines.


I also used raw minced garlic, shallots rinsed in hot tap water to ease the bite, green onions, lemon, and Gregr's favorite, CILANTRO BABY!!

Chopped Pico de Gallo ingredients


With all that bursting flavor, I kept the seasoning simple. Fresh ground black pepper, sea salt, and crushed red pepper. The latter is a bit excessive, but I love the flavor of red pepper on everything, and don't mind the extra heat. Careful though, it's easy to over do it!

Pico de Gallo seasoning


Toss everything in to a mixing bowl, drop the seasoning over the top, and just admire the lovely colors for a minute. 

Pico de Gallo premixed


Here it is mixed up.

Pico de Gallo mixed


So with the refreshing cucumber and nectarine, I decided to go with fish tacos. Rock fish is a delicious choice, or so I guessed. I’ve never had it before. But I was told it holds up well in a marinade, and grills nicely. A marinade wasn’t really necessary, but I was as much about grilling as I was about tacos, and you're hardly grilling without the ritual of marinade. So I kept it simple. White wine, soy sauce, lemon, garlic, and fresh thyme from the garden. There's the ongoing debate as to whether fish tacos call for battered fried fish, or grilled. But I wanted to get another grilling session in this Summer.

Rock fish with wine, soysauce, oil, thyme marinade


Possibly the last BBQ of the season. 

bbq fire


Sentinels Lily and Bruno keep the crows away. Those pesky birds have snatched fresh fish off this grill before.  

Fish on the grill, dogs standing guard


Meanwhile, I’ve got the marinade cooking down to a glaze that I’ll spread over the fish when it’s done. It just seems like such a shame to put that wine to waste.  I always do this with marinades for anything, and most often it turns out to be a nice glaze or sauce. Not always, but by the time it’s cooked down half way, you can taste it and tell. This one was delicious, although a bit salty.

Simmering the marinade down to a glaze


And there you have it, grilled rock fish with a nice glaze. 

Grilled rock fish with glaze


I read somewhere that a slight char brings out the flavor of corn tortillas. So I thought I'd give that a shot. And again, it's more about the grilling ritual.

Tortillas on the grill


And voilá! I posted this pic yesterday and somebody responded… ‘rice on a taco? I’ve never seen that before…’. Come to think of it, I’m not sure I have either. It must have been some natural progression from wraps, to mini-wraps, to straight up tacos with rice. But I can dig it. Not only is it tasty, but it balances the salt in the fish glaze, and heat from the pico. It’s also brown rice, so your colon will thank you... aaaaand there goes your appetite.

Grilled rock fish tacos


I almost forgot, the sound track for this delicious meal preparation was provided by J.S. Bach, Prince, The Police, and Rose Tattoo. - Zach

Tacos sound track