About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Friday, November 03, 2006
Leftover Surprise
Well, I got over my guilt about the snapper, as if there was any doubt, and baked it in the oven with some parsley, lemon, white wine and butter. Absolutely delish! However a two kilo fish is quite large and we finished up with about two cups of lovely fish meat leftover, which I went over, picked out all the bones and stored in the fridge.

I was pondering last night what to do with it for dinner. Maybe a fish salad or what about frying some onions and pine nuts, adding some rice and stock, and when that's cooked gently stir in the warmed fish? They were all good ideas, but when searching the fridge, I noticed a small container with leftover chipotle chillies in adobo sauce. Hmmm, what about Mexican? I've never actually had a fish taco, but I have heard of them. No recipe, no problem, I can fake it as good as anyone else.

But then a couple of thoughts hit me, the only photos of fish tacos I'd seen had the fish fried in batter and it was too late for that and perhaps in a taco, the delicacy of the fish would be overwhelmed. Okay, I can work around that, what about enchiladas? If I could come up with a good filling based on the fish and used a mild chile sauce, that could work. Now, a fully authentic chile sauce is unsurprisingly based on dried chillies and little else, but in my case an adaption was called for. To soften the smoky earthiness of dried chillies a companion in the form of tomatoes, a heresy in some parts, would soften and sweeten the sauce.

Usually in a proper chile sauce, I would use a combination of the Mexican workhorse chillies, Guajillos and Anchos with maybe some New Mexican thrown in, to give the sauce some complexity, but by using chipotle chillies in adobo with tomatoes and some judicious spicing, a surprisingly similar result was obtained.

This is what I did.

Chipotle Chile Tomato Sauce

1 400 g (14 oz) tin diced tomatoes
2 chipotle chillies in adobo or other dried chillies
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
salt & fresh ground pepper

Put the tomatoes in a pot big enough to hold a flat corn tortilla and bring to a simmer. If using chipotles in adobo, finely dice. If you are using other dried chillies first toast them in a dry frypan for a few seconds then break into pieces. Add some boiling water and let them soften for about twenty minutes, then finely dice. Add the chillies to the tomatoes with the cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Simmer for ten minutes.

Fish Enchiladas

2 cups cooked flaked fish, picked over for bones
1 small avocado, skinned and diced
1 tomato, diced
6 stalks coriander, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
salt & fresh ground pepper
6 corn tortillas
1 quantity chipotle chile tomato sauce

In a bowl put the flaked fish, diced avocado, diced tomato, chopped coriander, lime juice, salt and pepper and mix to combine. Heat some oil to just frying temperature, not too hot and place in a corn tortilla and cook for a few seconds, turn over for a few seconds more, drain, then immediately place in the chipotle chile and tomato sauce and then turn over, dip again to coat both sides* then place flat on a worksurface. Place a handful of fish filling on the tortilla and roll up. In a baking tray that will hold the six enchiladas, spread the bottom with some chipotle chile and tomato sauce. Onto this place the enchiladas as you roll them up. when they are all done pour the rest of the sauce over the top and spread it out. Bake in a 220 c (430 f) oven for ten or fifteen minutes to warm the fish through, but not cook it. Serves two.

*Some cookbooks would have you put the tortilla in the sauce first then fry it in the hot oil. If you do this you may be in for a nasty surprise!
  posted at 8:14 am

At 9:07 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds seriously good there Neil. I'm very impressed with your creative Mexican thought processes.


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