An important note here is the type of fish being used: Halibut works because it is a firm-fleshed fish. While flounder and sole are some of my favorite fishes, they are a little too soft for this recipe and would not hold up in this dish. Additionally, this recipe is tasty enough on its own, but also goes well with a chipotle cream sauce — the smokiness and fiery nature of the chipotle peppers are a great balance for the sweetness of the pears and the crunchiness of the cabbage.
Makes 4 servings
4 medium fillets wild-caught Pacific Halibut
4 soft taco-size whole wheat flour tortillas
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
salt & pepper, to taste
chili powder (or cayenne pepper), to taste
1 teaspoon light extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 shallot, diced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, julienned
1 bartlett or Anjou pear, diced
1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
2 large carrots, shredded
Wash the halibut, cut into smaller slices, and set aside. Don't dry the fish completely, as the dampness will allow the flour to stick. In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt, pepper, and chili powder (or cayenne pepper, depending on how brave your spirit is. If you've never experimented with cayenne pepper, do proceed with caution.). Blend well and, one by one, evenly coat the fish with the flour mixture.
In a pan, heat the olive oil and butter over a low flame. Add the shallots and allow to soften, about 1 minute. Turn heat to medium and add peppers, sautéeing for another minute or until just beginning to soften. Add diced pear, toss, and let cook for an additional minute. Set aside.
Add the fish to the pan, making sure that all pieces are flush to the pan. You may need to add a bit more olive oil to the pan if it is a little dry. Cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until nice and browned.
Just before you're ready to serve (or have everyone serve themselves), heat the tortillas on the pan quickly on each side to really bring out the flavor. Using your hands to mold the soft tacos into a dish, add a few pieces of halibut, followed by the peppers, shallots, and pear, and then finally topped off with some crunchy red cabbage and carrots.