Sep 062009

As I mentioned in the previous entry, since moving to Tucson, Cory and I have really gotten into grilling our dinners. I’m enamored of the ease of it all – after so long of being confined to a kitchen in a cold climate, making fairly elaborate meals, it’s a relief to so some basic prep work and then hand off the food to Cory to cook it. The wonderful part is that we’re not sacrificing any flavor or quality with the method.

Fresh mango salsa for the tacos
Nikon D50

Fish is our protein of choice as often as we can get it – not as easy as it sounds in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Cory and I started enumerating our favorite fish tonight over dinner, and it turns out that Cory’s favorite happen to be one his plate. We got especially hooked on it when we were in Hawaii a year and a half ago because, really, does it get any better than when it’s fresh off the boat, raw, and prepared in a poke? If you can’t get it that way, it’s best prepared simply, with as little cooking as possible.

Orange bell peppers and broccoli cook on the grill
Nikon D50

With that in mind, we set out to create something yummy that would complement not only the flavor of the fish itself but also the memories of our time on the Island. What we whipped together tastes fresh and light, with just the right texture between the rare ahi and crispy slaw and the sweet and tart flavors brought in by the salsa and lime. The avocado ties it all together and just makes everything better, just like it always does. Enjoy the tacos with the grilled veggies and a chilled dry white wine to tie together a healthy and satisfying summer meal!

Fresh ahi wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla, topped, with salsa, served with grilled vegetables and white wine
Nikon D50

Ahi tuna tacos with grilled veggies
A Jitterbean Original
Serves 2 (but it’s super-easy to scale to feed more)

2 medium red, orange, or yellow bell peppers
1 medium head of broccoli
3 tablespoons dried oregano, crumbled
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper, for seasoning
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh ripe mango (you can substitute peach if mango is unavailable)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 pound of fresh-caught ahi tuna
2-3 whole-wheat tortillas
1/2 of a lime, for squeezing
1/4 of an avocado, sliced
1/2 cup of a mix of very thinly-sliced green and red cabbage and shredded carrot (or store-bought slaw mix)
For the veggies:

Preheat the grill. If you’re cooking inside, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the bell peppers into 1/4-inch-wide pieces, discarding the seeds and ribs. Slice the broccoli florets into small bite-size pieces and cut the stems into 1-inch pieces on the bias. Place the veggies in a grill-safe basket (or in a roasting pan if you’re foregoing the grill) and toss with the olive oil, oregano, and pepper. Once the grill/oven is ready, put the grill basket/roasting pan onto the grill/oven and cook until the veggies are soft and blackening.
While the veggies are cooking, combine the onion, mango, and cilantro to make the salsa.
When the veggies are nearly done, place the ahi on the far side of the grill so it’s exposed to indirect heat. Cook until it’s 1/4 inch cooked through, then flip over and cook until the other side is 1/4 inch cooked through. Wrap the tortillas in foil and heat over indirect head, or heat them unwrapped in a skillet. If you’re cooking inside, heat a skillet over medium-high heat and cook as described above, heating the tortillas in another skillet.
When the tuna is done, slice it into 1/4-inch thick strips. Wrap it in warmed tortillas, squeeze some lime juice over it, and top with slaw, mango salsa, and avocado. Serve with a chilled dry white wine.

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