Blackened Salmon Tacos with Avocado~Mango Salsa and Sweet & Spicy Ancho Chile Sauce

After much anticipation, we have arrived at our new home in Colorado! Waking up to the sun drenched Rockies and breezy crystal clear blue skies feels amazing!

As much as we are working at it, unpacking and getting our kitchen pulled together is slow going, but we are making progress! Our grill is up and going and we have the basics so here goes!

These tacos are made with homemade San Antonio style tortillas which are different from traditional Mexican tortillas as they have a bit of baking soda added which makes them cook up a little thicker than the tortillas you will find in the grocery store.  I have such vivid memories of my grandmother and great-grandmother in the tiny kitchen of their house in San Antonio, patting out and rolling tortillas. They would make them using vegetable shortening or, if we were lucky, butter from the ranch which was a real treat as it gave them a rich and unique flavor.

Obviously, these are not Grandma’s tacos as her’s were filled with spicy ground beef. This is a fresh version of the fish taco filled with organic veggies, grilled blackened salmon, topped with a wonderful avocado-mango salsa and served with sweet & spicy ancho sauce – add a couple of beers and we are two very happy people!

A tasty and healthy dinner cooked and served outdoors…muy bueno! And, it is a perfect dish for the upcoming Cinco de Mayo! Olé!

San Antonio Style Tortillas

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cups warm milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt.
Add the olive oil and butter to the warm milk and let sit until the butter is melted. Stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients until a loose, sticky ball is formed.
Knead the dough for two minutes on a lightly floured surface. Dough should be pliable.
Place dough in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth for 20 minutes.

After the dough has rested, break off eight sections and roll them into balls. Place the dough balls on a flat surface, making sure they aren’t touching, and then cover them with a damp cloth or paper towel for 10-15 minutes. Allowing the dough to rest and relax will make it easier to roll out so don’t skip this step.

After dough has rested, one at a time, place a dough ball on a floured surface, pat it out into a four-inch circle, and then roll with a rolling-pin from the center until it’s thin and about eight inches in diameter. Don’t over work the dough or it may become tough. Keep rolled-out tortillas covered until ready to cook.

In a medium-hot dry skillet, cook the tortilla about thirty seconds on each side until it begins to puff up a bit. Keep cooked tortillas covered wrapped in a clean dishcloth or napkin until ready to eat. They can be reheated in a dry skillet, over a gas-burner flame or in the oven wrapped in foil. Makes eight tortillas.

Blackened Salmon Tacos

1 tablespoon smoky paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 pound salmon filet, pin bones removed, skin-on
3 to 4 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups romaine lettuce, shredded
2 cups red or green cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 package of store-bought or homemade tortillas

In a small bowl, mix the smoky paprika, cayenne, cumin, brown sugar and salt. Sprinkle a heavy layer of the mixture on the flesh side of salmon, pressing it firmly into the flesh. Allow to sit uncovered while you prepare the rest of the meal.

Heat a heavy-bottomed ovenproof pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat on the stove, or as we do, set a cast iron pan on a rack over a charcoal grill, then add the oil. When the oil begins to smoke, carefully add the salmon flesh side down. Cook for approximately 7-9 minutes per side, depending on how well done you like your fish.

Using two forks, break up the cooked salmon into chunks, toss with the cilantro.

I like to serve tacos family or buffet style so everyone to make up their tacos as they like. Serve the salmon with warm tortillas, shredded lettuce, cabbage, avocado – mango salsa (recipe below), ancho-honey sauce (recipe below), cheese and grilled asparagus that can simply be washed, dried, brushed with a little olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and grilled for a minute or so.

Avocado~Mango Salsa

2 cups mango, peeled and diced
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 cup red bell pepper, diced small
1/4 cup green onions, sliced thin or red onions, diced small
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 teaspoons olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Toss all of the ingredients together and chill for at least one hour.

The finishing touch on this dish is a drizzle of sweet & spicy ancho chile sauce in the tacos.

Sweet & Spicy Ancho Chile Sauce

Mix together 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder, 2 tablespoons hot water and 1/2 tablespoon honey. Stir until the honey is dissolved and then allow to cool to room temperature. Serve in a small bowl with a spoon or in a small dispenser with a spout.

Please share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you!

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