Notes: Susan Harries, owner of Lone Star Taqueria in Salt Lake City, makes waves with these tacos. Manager and chef Manuel Valdez also uses ahi or blue marlin on occasion; he marinates the fish overnight covered with oil, but less time and less oil provide ample flavor. Top cooked fish with shredded cabbage, Lone Star pico de gallo and Lone Star cilantro-jalapeño mayonnaise, and a squeeze of lime.
6 tablespoons ground dried New Mexico or California chilies
3 tablespoons salad oil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
About 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 whole cloves
1 dried bay leaf, broken into pieces
1 pound boned, skinned firm-flesh fish such as halibut, mahimahi, or rock fish (see notes)
How to Make It
In a large bowl, mix ground dried chilies, oil, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, cloves, and bay leaf.
Rinse fish and pat dry. Add to bowl and turn to coat with marinade; cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 1 day, mixing several times.
Lift fish from marinade and arrange pieces in a single layer in a 9- by 13-inch pan. Discard marinade.
Broil fish 4 to 5 inches from heat until opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), about 5 minutes for 1/2-inch-thick pieces. With a slotted spatula, transfer fish to towels to blot oil, then set on a platter. Cut fish along the grain into 1/2-inch slices, and season to taste with salt.
Lone Star Cilantro Jalapeño Mayonnaise: In a blender or food processor, combine 1 3/4 cups mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, 1 rinsed and stemmed fresh jalapeño chili (remove seeds for more heat), 1 peeled garlic clove, 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Whirl until smooth. Add salt to taste.
Makes about 2 1/4 cups.
Lone Star Taqueria, Salt Lake City, UT
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