Let spices and smoke come together for a crazy delicious Mexican-inspired recipe. Smoked Halibut Enchiladas are a blend of charred tomatillos, fresh peppers, and flaky fish for an authentically rich recipe.
Enchiladas. People are doing them wrong.
I don’t judge. I am one of those people. I love a quick and dirty enchilada. Pop a can and pour in the sauce over some shredded chicken and tortillas. Bake until the cheese has melted and serve. As I navigated my early kitchen years, this quick recipe was a staple at my table.
As we learn, we refine our skills. We add smoke. Build layers. We craft our food. Understand how flavors meld together after hours working together instead of just tossing more into the mix.
And then we realize, not all enchiladas are the same. Just like mom’s favorite mac and cheese recipe served only at big gatherings and the weeknight blue box. Both are good, but we quickly learn when one is especially good.
This is one of those recipes. Those recipes that are too good to pass up. The kind that fills the air with spicy scents all day long creating anticipation as the smoker sends its plumes into the sky.
It’s the kind of recipe that makes me think of working the kitchen all day. A slow-simmering pot over the stove gently whisked as one task ends and the other begins. The wafting aromas rising with each cloud of steam. A stained dish rag dangling from a worn apron, ever within reach and abused throughout the day. The hint of warmth from roasted spices and herbs building a deep hunger.
It’s the kind of meal that you anticipate all day. From the moment the tomatillos start being peeled and the fresh catch has been filleted. One you wouldn’t miss…
Recipes that require building layers, flavors mingling all day remind me of my love of cooking. The feeling of creating something all day. Each component building off the next and the flavors coming together in harmony for your palate.
A long history of stuffed tortillas dating back to the Mayan empire where the maize would be ground and rolled each day. Each filled with a variety of options depending on the local influence and topped with chilies.
We may not hand make every tortilla now, but with these long days in the kitchen, we can get back into honing our craft. Savoring our meals and enjoying the time building them.
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More delicious enchilada recipes
- Fast and Easy Weeknight Chicken Enchiladas
- Easy Breakfast Enchiladas with Salsa Verde (aka, green sauce)
- Smoked Pork Enchiladas
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Smoked Halibut Enchiladas Recipe
For the Smoked Halibut
- 2 lbs Halibut
- 1 tbsp Cumin
- 1 teas Coriander
- 1 teas salt
- 1/4 teas paprika
- 1/2 black pepper
- Cedar Planks
For the Tomatillo Salsa
- 6 Tomatillos peeled
- 4 Hatch Chiles
- 1 tbsp Cumin Seed
- 3 cloves Garlic chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- 2-4 tbsp Cilantro
- 2 – 3 cups Chicken broth
- 1 Lime for Juicing
For the Enchiladas
- 3 ears corn husks folded back and silk removed
- 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup Sour Cream
- 1 cup tomatilla salsa
- Large Tortillas
- 4 oz pepper jack cheese or cheddar cheese shredded
- Cherry tomatoes pickled onions, cilantro, sour cream and sliced avocado for garnish
For the Smoked Halibut
- Soak the smoking planks as directed on the package instructions before prepping grill.
- When ready to smoke, prep your grill for indirect heat.
- Pat the halibut dry and arrange on the cedar planks, skin side down.
- Combine the cumin, coriander, salt, paprika and pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle a heavy coat evenly over the halibut.
- Place the cedar planks on the cool side of the grill. Cover and smoke until the halibut temps at 140 or flakes easily with a fork. Set aside.
For the Tomatillo Salsa
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, roast tomatillos and hatch peppers over medium-high heat until blistered on all sides. Add cumin seeds and garlic to pan and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Remove from the pot and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add the cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour in 1 cup chicken broth and pulse until pureed.
- Return to the pot, over low heat and add the lime juice and 1 cup chicken broth. Allow the salsa to simmer and thicken 30 – 45 minutes, adding additional broth if needed. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Remove the salsa from the pot and store in an airtight container in the fridge. Salsa can be made up to 3 days ahead.
For the Enchiladas:
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Char the corn on the grill on all sides. Allow to cool before removing the kernels from the cob.
- Mix the corn and the beans in a large bowl.
- Whisk the sour cream and tomatillo salsa together in a bowl. Add 1/4 cup to the bowl with the corn.
- Flake the halibut into the bowl with the corn and mix all to combine.
- Slather a spoonful of the fresh tomatillo salsa over the bottom of baking dish.
- Working one at a time, quickly toss the tortillas in the fresh tomatillo salsa and fill with halibut mix. Roll snuggly, with the seam pressing against the side of the pan. Repeat until the halibut mix has been evenly distributed in tortillas to fill the pan, pressing each tortilla against the next to keep them rolled.
- Pour the sour cream tomatillo salsa mix over the top. Sprinkle with cheese and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbling, about 30 – 35 minutes.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool 5 minutes before garnishing with additional charred corn, beans, cilantro, sliced avocado and chopped tomatoes.
- Serve hot with additional tomatillo salsa if desired.
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