I’ve always been a big fan of fish tacos, and tend to order them any time I see them as long as they’re not deep-fried (not that I have anything against fried fish, but I prefer it outside of a taco). We recently had some fantastic halibut tacos out at Skagit’s Own Fish Market, grilled with a spicy rub and liberally dressed with tomato salsa and fresh cucumber. Then there was the taco, also halibut I think, at Fred’s Rivertown Alehouse in Snohomish, which was topped with cabbage and tartar sauce and came with some really excellent beans and rice. At this point I really wanted to make some of my own, to keep the streak going. We picked up some nice looking ling cod and a pack of fresh tortillas and thought about topping options.
This year I’ve been growing tomatillos for the first time. We got a couple of plants from the high school greenhouse of a variety I’d never seen before, just labeled “purple tomatillos.” With the hot weather we’ve finally been having, the plants have started bearing like crazy, and the fruits are, indeed, purple. I only had a few mature tomatillos, but decided to try whipping them up into a green (or purple) salsa to go with our fish tacos.
I husked and rinsed the tomatillos, then put them on a cast iron griddle alongside a jalapeno pepper. I toasted them until they softened and blistered, let them cool, then packed all of it into a blender with a few cloves of garlic, a handful of cilantro, and a glug of olive oil.
It turned out really well. To my relief, the tomatillos are really only purple on the outside, so the final salsa was still mainly green, which is less alarming. And the salsa was sweet and mildly spicy, just perfect for the fish.
For the rest of the prep, I dusted the cod with a bit of salt, New Mexico chile powder, and ground cumin, then grilled it until it was just cooked through. I shredded a big of green cabbage and tossed it with salt and some white vinegar, and we toasted fresh corn tortillas on the grill.
With a dollop of good sour cream (and a cold beer alongside) the tacos were about perfect. I could eat these every week, easily.