I love tacos and have from a young age, when I was introduced to them by the mother of my friend Jeff from across the street. Back in the 80s, "tacos" in Canada meant El Paso from the kit, with the crispy shells and red taco sauce, browned ground beef with a packet of seasoning thrown in, and toppings like lettuce, grated cheddar, and olives.
As with many childhood foods, I still love those when I'm feeling tired or nostalgic - though these days I'm likely to use ground turkey or soy crumbles, and I make my own taco sauce. But with the current taco craze, we tend to make slightly more creative ones most of the time, and we make our own corn tortillas from Maseca. Fish is one of our favourite kinds, as I know I've mentioned, but until this week we'd not made salmon tacos. I have no idea why we waited so long - they were delicious. All I did was make up a quick spice rub, score a salmon fillet into strips and coat it with the rub, roast it until done and top it with the simplest of garnishes - sliced avocado, sour cream thinned with lime juice, and a clean sweet mango-and-cilantro salsa. We weren't in the mood for a lot of heat, but pickled jalapenos or some chipotle hot sauce would have been great here too.
It's quick, fresh and amazingly tasty, and we'll be making these over and over. You should too.
1 salmon fillet, about 600 grams, skin on
1 tsp each ground coriander and cumin
1/4 tsp each smoked paprika, salt, and ancho chile powder
1/2 cup sour cream, thinned with the juice of half a lime
1 ripe Ataulfo mango
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
juice of half a lime
salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 375F. Score the salmon into 3/4 inch strips, without cutting through the skin. Combine all spices and sprinkle them over the fish, rubbing in between the crevices gently to coat. Put in a baking dish and roast 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and place on a platter.
While salmon is roasting, slice avocado and set on a plate. Stir together sour cream and lime juice. Dice the mango and chop the cilantro, and combine in a bowl with the remaining lime juice and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
When salmon is cooked, assemble tacos with avocado, a strip of fish, a drizzle of sour cream and a spoonful of salsa. Add hot sauce to taste. Goes brilliantly with boozy ginger beer.