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Tacos, fresh veggies spread steelhead among friends

Furnishing a fish-cleaning station for a friend and prolific Rogue River fisherman has its perks.

Over the past few years, Patrick has stopped off at the home my husband and I built near the river to use our garden hose, fillet knife and trash can, invariably offering us a fillet of the freshest salmon and steelhead around.

The summer steelhead run afforded our latest meal, one that perfectly fit into some impromptu, outdoor meal plans with fellow fish-loving friends. A few tortillas and some garden veggies were all we needed to grill up some crowd-pleasing steelhead tacos.

My husband seasoned the fish simply with Old Bay in deference to the kids’ palates. And I heaped fresh jalapenos onto the grill to char alongside some tomatoes and scallions. Chilies in our garden are so mild this summer that a half jalapeno per taco wasn’t too spicy for me and our adult guests.

Two good-sized but thin fillets, less than 2 pounds of fish fully fed four adults and four kids. Had it just been our family of four enjoying a plainer preparation, we could have easily pulled off this taco recipe that calls for leftover salmon recast with Latin flavors and folded into tacos.

Chipotle Salmon Tacos

Rub cooked salmon fillets (10 ounces) with 1 teaspoon canola oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili pepper and a pinch of salt. Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F to heat through and infuse with chipotle flavor, for 5 minutes. Flake salmon with a fork.

Stir together 1/2 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill, 1 tablespoon lime juice and a pinch of salt. Divide 1 cup chopped fresh spinach and salmon among 8 flour tortillas. Top with lime-dill sauce, sliced red onions, cotija cheese and cilantro.

Makes 8 tacos.

Recipe adapted by the Chicago Tribune from “Love Your Leftovers” by Nick Evans.

Tribune News Service photo