Weather: 43 degrees, overcast What I’m listening to: the rumbling of my tummy
It’s that time of year again when we’re trying to use up our frozen salmon from last summer’s catch to make room for what this summer has in store. The snow is almost completely gone here on our property and we are waiting for everything to turn green and lush. We’re thinking about canning, dehydrating, and smoking (Pastor Alaska’s areas of expertise, not mine). Speaking of Pastor Alaska’s areas, I really enjoyed reading all of your suggestions for what Pastor Alaska should make for his next guest post on our his recent How to Make Butter tutorial. You all had some amazing ideas to challenge him in the kitchen and expand his culinary horizons.
These tacos are a fantastic way to enjoy salmon. The blackened crust on the exterior of the salmon makes it flavorful and spicy. Then, top it with a cool and refreshing Avocado & Corn Salsa and a tangy Cilantro Lime Dressing made with Greek yogurt. In addition to warm corn tortillas, I also served these with cabbage leaves as an alternative taco shell. This is a trick I learned from my friend, Kim Sunee, and it’s simply brilliant. Try it.
Photo bomb alert! My sweet and sassy 5-year-old daughter very strategically popped up from under the table just as I was snapping this shot. Gotta love it.
Flavorful blackened salmon tacos with avocado corn salsa and cilantro ranch dressing made with Greek yogurt. Adapted from Cooking Classy.
For the Blackened Salmon:
1 pound salmon (I used wild-caught local Alaska sockeye), pin bones and skin removed, patted dry
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the Avocado Corn Salsa:
1 ripe avocado, finely chopped
1 large ear of corn, kernels cut off (I used fresh white corn)
1 tomato, seeds removed and diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
zest and juice of half a lime
salt and pepper to taste
For the Cilantro Ranch Dressing:
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons buttermilk
juice of half a lime
1 small clove garlic
2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
For Serving Tacos:
Corn tortillas, steamed or warm
Green Cabbage leaves and/or shredded cabbage
For the Salmon:
Heat the oil in a skillet (I used cast iron) over medium-high heat. In a bowl, stir together the flour, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Coat the flesh of the salmon liberally with the blackening spice. Place salmon in hot skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes per side, or until coating is blackened and forms a nice crust and salmon is cooked through (we like ours medium-well for tacos, just slightly pink in the center). Allow salmon to rest for 5 minutes, then flake with a fork. [I seasoned my salmon with a pinch of kosher salt just prior to serving].
For the Salsa:
In a bowl, gently stir together the avocado, corn, tomato, red onion, cilantro, lime, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the Dressing:
Add yogurt, mayo, buttermilk, lime, garlic, green onions, cilantro, salt and pepper to a food processor. Process until smooth. Add more buttermilk as needed until desired consistency is reached (you'll want it to be thin enough to drizzle, but not so thin that it slides off the tacos). Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To Assemble Tacos:
Choose a warm corn tortilla or cabbage leaf as your taco shell. Place flaked salmon in the shell, followed by Avocado Corn Salsa. Drizzle with Cilantro Ranch Dressing. [If using a corn tortilla, sprinkle some shredded cabbage on top]. Serve with lime wedges.
The salsa can be made up to an hour in advance. The dressing can be made several hours in advance.
@StephanieKTaylor I'm so glad you found me, too! :) I truly hope you'll keep in touch, Stephanie. Not many PLNU folks up here and I'm always excited to meet fellow alums (especially ones who love to cook, too!).
Welcome! I’m Maya – a food blogger and food columnist based on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. ~ Read More