Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Grilled Mahi-Mahi NACHOS

Here's a little something to get you out of your Wednesday slump-- hopefully. All I know is it worked pretty well for us on a Tuesday....

I fell in love with fish tacos a long, long time ago. When my husband and I had been dating less than a year, one of the first opportunities I had to spend time with his family was on a fishing vacation. Now, I had plenty of camping experience under my belt and hours of fishing, too. The problem was his family were ocean fishers and my family were freshwater fishers. I was used to going after small game-- blue gill, trout and the like. However, I was willing to be a good sport and try something new.

That late summer day, we got up at the crack of dark and putted out to sea on their boat-- and I had no idea what I was doing. Thankfully, the guys were more than happy to get me up to speed. The end result of that day had me landing more fish than either my husband or his father. While this might have been a problem in some families, I believe that this actually won me the official stamp of approval by my future father-in-law.

Later that afternoon, after we had returned to the docks, the fish had all been cleaned and packaged. My FIL took some of this fresh caught fish (practically still twitching) and threw it onto a skillet on the barbeque on the back of the boat. He sauteed it in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. We ate piles of fish that way, hot off the grill. My (then future) husband and I loved the flavors of that fish so much, most of our pounds and pounds of frozen catch from that outing were cooked the same way. Somewhere along the way of experimenting on how to get this result at home, we stumbled upon the idea of serving this fish in a taco.

Our favorite way of making fish tacos is to give the fish that quick little grill or saute with simple seasonings like my FIL did on that long ago day. Then we toss the cooked fish into a bed of cabbage (or lettuce- whatever we have on hand). We spread a little guacamole and sour cream down the side, toss a few tomatoes over top and then wrap the whole thing up in a lightly warmed corn tortilla. If we have it on hand, a great topping is Trader Joe's Pineapple salsa- it has a perfect balance between spicy and sweet and it doesn't over power the fish.

So yesterday, as I was rooting through the cupboards, I saw an unopened, completely full bag of tortilla chips. We also had this bag of frozen mahi mahi pieces/chunks I'd bought at Trader Joe's a few weeks ago, intending to make fish tacos with it. This started me thinking and next thing you know I had this idea-- take the fish tacos and turn them into NACHOS!! I had to check with my hubby first, just to see if the idea was a little too wacky. He loved it and we went for it!

The results came out even better than I expected. If you want to go low carb, you can drop the chips and go more of a salad route-- perhaps adding grilled corn? Although honestly, the chips were really the only "naughty" component of this dish and since we only used a small pile of them on the bottom, it really wasn't that unhealthy-- especially with all the nice veggies we threw on top of it all!

Recipe: Grilled Mahi Mahi Nachos

8-16 oz Mahi Mahi or other mild fish (we used 8 oz for 3- 2 adults, 1 child)
1 head cabbage or lettuce (I ended up using romaine)
2-3 large tomatoes or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1-2 avocados, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 lb bag of tortilla chips (I prefer Mission brand)
1-2 Tbs olive oil
salt, pepper
hot sauce
sour cream

1) Drizzle a tablespoon or so of olive oil into a medium saute pan. Season fish with salt and pepper.
2) Saute fish (don't even bother trying to keep whole, its unimportant) on a medium/high heat until cooked through and browned slightly. Put to the side.
3) Assembly: On a plate, lay a bed of tortilla chips. Over top, place lettuce or cabbage strips. Add in fish, black beans, tomatoes and avocado pieces. Top with sour cream, salsa and/or hot sauce. ENJOY!

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