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Salmon makes a fine taco filling. STEVEN DESALVO/FOR MONTCLAIR LOCAL

By STEVEN DESALVO
For Montclair Local

In “Recipe of the Month,” food writer Steven DeSalvo shares a recipe Montclairians might

STEVEN DESALVO

enjoy making. DeSalvo has a degree in hospitality business management from the University of Delaware and has worked extensively in restaurants and hotels. If there is something that you want to know how to make or that you’ve eaten at a local restaurant and you’re dying to make at home, drop us a note at culture@montclairlocal.news.

This month it is time to hit the grill!

I wanted to kick off summer the right way by grilling up one of my favorites: grilled salmon tacos with pickled onions, guacamole and homemade corn tortillas. I love this because it’s easy, delicious, it feeds a crowd, and it is also very healthy! 

I like to make my own tortillas. This is optional because it is easy to find excellent corn tortillas in the store. I’m not going to include a recipe to make the tortillas here because all you need to do is purchase masa harina flour at your local grocery store and follow the instructions on the package.

Ingredients:

For the pickled onions

1 cup seasoned rice vinegar (I love using seasoned rice vinegar because it makes a fantastic quick pickle)

½ of a yellow onion, finely sliced

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READ: RECIPE OF THE MONTH: EASY LINGUINI, FROM THE CUPBOARD

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For the salmon

1½ pounds salmon, skinned and checked for pin bones (you can also break a larger piece down into portions if a member of your party likes salmon more well-done, for example.)

½ of a yellow onion

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup white wine

A handful of cilantro leaves, stems are OK as well

Salt and pepper

A bottle of lager beer

For the guacamole

½ of a red onion, finely diced

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced (if you like a spicy guacamole keep the seeds in!)

A handful of cilantro, roughly chopped (stems are also OK, I personally like them because they have a different flavor and a great texture)

4 ripe avocados, mashed

1 tsp. olive oil (I love it because it makes the guacamole really creamy. Also great if you’re stuck with slightly under-ripe avocados)

Juice of 1 lime

Salt and pepper

16 corn tortillas

Instructions:

  1. Pour the seasoned rice vinegar over the thinly sliced onions, cover, and let sit for an hour. (They will be ready any time after that; onions stored like this usually keep for a week.)
  2. Combine the salmon and all of the ingredients except for the lager beer in a glass container or even a gallon Ziploc bag if you like. Do this no more than an hour before you plan on grilling because the acid in the wine and lime will begin to cook the fish ever so slightly.
  3. Combine the red onion, tomatoes, jalapeño and chopped cilantro in a serving bowl. Stir it together. Add the avocado, olive oil and lime juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the grill to medium.
  5. Put the salmon on the grill with the formerly skin side down.
  6. Grill for approximately 2 minutes on that side.
  7. Flip the fish, baste the side that was cooked with half of the lager beer, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  8. Flip the fish once more, use the other half of the beer on that side, and cook for 1 additional minute.
  9. When you remove the fish from the grill put the tortillas on for about 30 seconds a side to get them hot, which makes for a much better taco-eating experience.
  10. At this point you are all done and ready to enjoy. Have fun assembling your tacos and enjoying the summer weather!

This makes 16 tacos, which is dinner for four plus a healthy amount of leftovers. I love this recipe because there is also so much room for interpretation. I put some pickled serrano chilies on my tacos. You could also char corn on the cob on the grill and shave that onto your tacos. There aren’t any wrong answers. That goes for the marinade for the fish as well. Definitely let us know what alternatives you try!