|Lemongrass Mint Poached Halibut
2 lbs. halibut fillet, skin removed
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 TBS lemongrass stalks, finely chopped
1 jicama root
2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
1 TBS limejuice
1 TBS butter
4 corn tortillas
vegetable oil, for frying
1 TBS ground cinnamon
1 TBS paprika
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fill a large skillet with hot water, about 1 inch deep. Add the chopped mint leaves and lemongrass and bring to a boil. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, proceed with the following steps. *or see recipe variation notes
Peel the jicama root and slice it in half through the middle (the equator). Using a mandoline (or a very sharp knife and steady hands), slice the jicama into discs less than 1 mm thick. Chances are that you’ll have some mistakes lying around - it is actually kind of difficult to shave jicama into discs this thin. Finely dice about 2 TBS of your mistakes and save them for the next step.
Scoop out the avocados into a medium bowl. Add the finely diced jicama mistakes, garlic, limejuice and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside the avocado filling and jicama discs.
Cut off the bottom and top end of the leek. Then, cut the leek lengthwise down the middle. With the flat (cut) side of the leek on your chopping board, run your knife from top to bottom making very small strips. Set aside.
Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leek strips and cook gently until the leeks have softened, about 10 minutes.
Now would be a good time to start poaching the fish. Cut the fillet into 4 equal portions and gently set them in the boiling lemongrass-mint water. Reduce the heat to medium. Poach, turning once, for a total of about 10 minutes.
Next, fry the tortillas. Heat a medium saucepan over high heat and add enough vegetable oil to cover the pan about 1/2 inch deep. Bring the oil to 350°F and add the corn tortillas, one at a time. Fry the tortillas about 30 seconds on each side. Immediately drain each tortilla on a stack of paper towels. Dust one side lightly with cinnamon and paprika. Set aside.
Spoon about 1 TBS of avocado filling onto each jicama disc, then top with strips of braised leek. Roll the jicama into a log shape and set aside.
Drain each piece of fish and plate atop the fried tortilla. Add the jicama taquito and sprinkle finishing salt (I used red Hawaiian salt, though regular sea salt will work) over everything. - Makes: 4 open-faced tacos. Total kitchen time: 1 hour - http://seattlefoodgeek.com/
* Recipe Variation Notes: If you can’t find lemongrass, or prefer your fish cooked by another method, sprinkle halibut with fine sea salt and pepper, or your favorite seasoning blend and saute, roast or broil - finishing with a sprinkle of minced fresh mint and lemon, lime or orange zest.