Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Posted by: Justine
As of late, every where you look pumpkin is staring you in the face, which is ok for us, since we love everything pumpkin! We had a couple of pie pumpkins left over from the farmer’s market and were contemplating what to make with them that didn’t involve dessert or soup (since we’ve done that already). It was a total gamble when we decided to make a pumpkin aioli and use it as a spread on a fish taco. We didn’t know if the flavors would meld or if it would even taste good at all! When all was said and done we were more than pleasantly surprised! These tacos were so unbelievable, we didn’t even make a side dish. We are sure that if you love pumpkin, you will love this aioli and more importantly, will love this dish. Of course, we had to pair with a pumpkin beer and we can’t wait to share our experience with you!
This dish is so easy to make and besides the roasting of the pumpkins, it takes such little time. A mixture of fresh ingredients and fun cooking techniques really make this entree special. We first start by roasting the pumpkins until nice and soft – to a point, where the skin peels off very easily. We then top a warm corn tortilla with seared tilapia, cabbage, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, and our very own pumpkin aioli spread. Top with a little bit of cilantro and you have yourself a fish taco gone “autumn.” This recipe is the perfect addition to your fall favorites, we promise =).
We of course had to pair this dish with a pumpkin beer, and we came across one that got lost in the shuffle this year. It is The Bruery’s 2011 releasing of Burly Gourd. Unfortunately, this has been the only releasing of this beer. You may have come across The Bruery’s Autumn Maple, which is super popular, and you can find almost anywhere in the United States. This is a delicious seasonal beer, but the Burly Gourd is not the same. This beer is part of The Bruery’s Provisions Series, and we are still unsure if they are releasing this year. We are thinking the chances are probably slim, since most of the brews in the Provisions Collection are one time releases. Anyway, getting to the point, we found this beer stashed away in our beer collection, and were so excited when we came across it!
Burly Gourd is a milk stout with a touch of pumpkin and spice, and although it has a touch of sourness, the pumpkin and spice really come out with each sip. It is in two words: absolutely delicious. I was so sad we only had one! It paired so nicely with our fish tacos and really brought out the pumpkin in the aioli. It is a perfect addition to any pumpkin dish. We know that the chances of you coming across a bottle are slim, unless you plan on spending over $100 a bottle on eBay, so any pumpkin stout will do, and you can always rely on Autumn Maple! Even though, the 2012 release hasn’t been released yet =). Look for it soon though at your neighborhood liquor store!
- 1-2 pie pumpkins, stems removed and cut in half (enough to make 1 – 1½ cups)
- ⅔ cup of mayo
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 cloves of garlic, roasted
- 3 tilapia filets
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed or store bought
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 6 corn tortillas
- 1 cup green cabbage, chopped
- 2 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1 can white beans, liquid removed and heated on the stovetop
- 1 cup jack cheese, shredded
- cilantro for garnishing
- First things first, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Remove the stems from your pumpkins and cut them in half. Lay them face down on a baking sheet and cover with foil.
- Roast for an hour to an hour and a half or until the pumpkins are tender. It really just depends on how big they are.
- When the pumpkins have finished roasting, pull them from the oven and set aside to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a food processor.
- Also to the food processor, add the mayo, salt, pepper, ancho chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until it is nice and creamy! Set aside and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Now you will start preparing your other ingredients. Marinate your tilapia in lime juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Drizzle oil and begin frying your tilapia. Add a tad more lime juice if you see the moisture running out of the fish before you sauté. This will only take a couple of minutes on each side, and as soon as you see the fish turn completely white, remove from the heat. Tilapia cooks very fast and can dry out very quickly if you aren’t careful. Set aside until you’re ready to start making your tacos.
- Meanwhile, you can also heat your corn tortillas. You can skip this step if you like, but Zach and I like our tortillas warm. Dab the tortillas with a little olive oil and heat on a medium-sized skillet for 2-3 minutes on each side. It doesn’t take long. Set them aside until you’re ready to start constructing your tacos.
- The next set of instructions (constructing your tacos) I decided to do in “picture” form because I think it makes more sense =), so look on for further guidance.
- Last but not least, top with your favorite hot sauce like we did and enjoy!