In my recent trip to Mexico City, I had the opportunity to eat some amazing fish tacos that I have already been able to replicate in my kitchen. The fish is marinated for a couple of hours, then sauteed in a skillet. Once in the taco, the fish is topped off with a pineapple escabeche, a flavorful sweet and sour garnish. The recipe calls for achiote paste and guajillo chili peppers. Achiote paste is a spice mixture usually consisting of annatto, oregano, cumin, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, allspice, garlic, and salt while guajillo chili peppers are dried, medium heat peppers widely used in Mexican cuisine. Both the guajillo peppers and the achiote paste can be found in a Latin or Mexican grocery store.
3 guajillo peppers, seeded and deveined
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons achiote paste
1 slice white onion, about ½ inch thick
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 pinch ground cumin
1 pinch dried oregano
1 ½ pound red white fish (red snapper), cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped
1/3 of a big pineapple, cut into ¼ inch cubes
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 limes, cut into wedges
20 corn tortillas
Place the guajillo peppers in boiling water for 5-10 minutes or until softened. Drain well. Dissolve the achiote paste in the orange juice. Once dissolved, strain and place in a blender together with the softened guajillo peppers, onion slice, vinegar, garlic cumin and oregano. Process until smooth.
Pour over the cubed fish and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for about two hours.
When the fish is done marinating, strain the fish. Heat a skillet and pour the olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, add the fish and cook for 4-5 minutes (about two minutes per side) over high heat. Remove from the heat.
Place about two tablespoons of fish inside each tortilla and top with the pineapple escabeche and some cilantro. Garnish with lime wedges.