Fairly easy to catch and blessed with great texture and delicious flavour, lake perch has long been a cherished ice fishing prize. It cooks in a flash under the oven broiler, and when stuffed into tortillas along with punchy pickled vegetables and creamy avocado sauce, you have the makings of a tasty taco night as a fitting reward for a long day on the ice.
Pickerel is a good alternative catch of the day here, but you can also source out halibut or ocean perch from the fishmonger for these tacos.
Warming tortillas makes them more flexible and prevents them from cracking and breaking. Using your stovetop, turn a gas or electric burner on high. Using tongs, glide one tortilla at a time over the burner for a few seconds, alternating sides, until it’s softened and beginning to darken in spots. Cover tortillas to keep warm. Or wrap a stack of tortillas in a slightly damp kitchen towel (or paper towel) and microwave on high for about 30 seconds.
Place vinegar, sugar, salt, and mustard seeds, if using, in heatproof bowl. Bring 1 cup (250 mL) water to a boil in saucepan or kettle. Add boiled water to bowl with vinegar and stir until sugar has dissolved. Stir in cabbage and red onion; cover and let stand for at least 2 hours at room temperature, or overnight in refrigerator.
Preheat oven broiler and set oven rack about 6 in (15 cm) from heating element. Grease heavy baking sheet and place perch on greased pan. Season perch with lime zest, salt, and black pepper, to taste. Broil fish until just cooked through in the middle, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove perch from oven and gently break apart flesh.
Place sour cream, avocado, lime juice, cumin, cayenne, and pinch of salt in blender or food processor container and blend until smooth.
To serve, divide fish, pickled vegetables, and avocado cream among tortillas. Garnish with cilantro.
This recipe is part of the Go (Ice) Fish collection.
These Asian-inspired salmon burgers won’t leave you missing the beef < or > the bun. And keep this fruity and fiery salsa in mind the next time you want to jazz up grilled chicken or taco night. Serrano pepper or chile de arbol would be good swaps for bird’s eye pepper in the salsa. You can even mix some Sriracha sauce into the burgers to further punch up the meal. Skin deep Skinless fish is the only way to go for burgers. A helpful fishmonger will kindly skin fillets for you before purchase. As an alternative to salmon, you can also blend up skinless fillets of arctic char or rainbow trout.
These whimsical weeknight quesadillas offer a great excuse to break out the long-forgotten waffle iron. The smoky, tangy pepper sauce is the perfect sidekick for this dish, but it’s also wonderful when tossed with pasta, stuffed into sandwiches, and slathered on burgers. TIP : When assembling quesadillas, keep fillings centred 1/2 in (1.25 cm) from the edge of the tortilla so they don’t spill over. TIP : Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapenos. Adobo is a slightly sweet red sauce. Put them together in a can and they become a versatile pantry staple to add deep smoky heat to sauces, dips, marinades, and soups. No waffle iron? Then make these quesadillas using this skillet method. Place 1 tortilla in skillet, preferably cast iron, and cook over medium heat until dark spots appear and bottom is crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over and cook until crispy and darkened on the other side. Remove tortilla from skillet and replace with another tortilla. Cook until darkened and crispy on one side, flip, and top with stuffing ingredients. Place crispy tortilla on top, press down gently, cover pan, and cook for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted.
This Mexican-Mediterranean hybrid dish gleans its tempered kick from parched ancho chilies, the dried form of poblano peppers known for their smoky quality and sweet to moderate heat. It’s a fantastic saucy, and comforting, appetizer or meal on its own. Serve with crusty bread to sop up every last bit of the red sauce, or spoon over cooked grain. Chili choices Experiment with different dried Mexican chili peppers in your dishes. Instead of ancho, other options, each with different heat levels and flavour nuances, include pasilla, guajillo, or morita. Look for them in Latin markets and some supermarkets. For leftover lovers Because the flavours in this dish only deepen with resting time, it’s a definite candidate for serving as leftovers; simply reheat in the oven or microwave. Cheezy choices If possible, compare labels and look for lower-sodium feta options. A ball of fresh mozzarella or bocconcini are great alternatives, or try a block of medium-firm tofu and substitute agave syrup in place of the honey for a vegan-friendly dish.
A good option for both backyard barbecues and healthy snacking, this creamy dip benefits from a little spicy crunch, courtesy of quick-pickled peppers. If you want your dip to have a smoky edge, blend in a chipotle-flavoured salsa. Or forgo the salsa and, instead, blend in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and a single canned chipotle chili pepper. Extras of the pickled peppers are an exciting topping for burgers, sandwiches, and tacos. TIP : When using prepared chili pepper products such as bottled salsas, examine the ingredient list for items you really don’t want or need, namely sugar and high amounts of sodium.