Cinnamon What?!? Candied What?!?
That’s the first response I usually get when I trot this recipe out for friends who’ve never had the dish. This dish is a treat, both to make and eat, as it breaks with convention and tastes delicious for the effort. If you are a Mexican/Tex-Mex food lover, this is one you’ll keep in the recipe box for years to come.
There’s a ton of great inshore fishing going on early in the year so we went with Flounder. You may substitute your catch of choice.
Flounder Fillet(s): 3/4 Lb
Cinnamon Spice: 1/2 Tsp
White Pepper: Dash
Chipotle Spice – 3/8 Tsp
Sour Cream: 4 Tbsp
Lime: 1/2 squeezed
Red Onion: 1/4 – sliced thin
Small White Beans
Corn – 1 can, small
Avocado: 1 – sliced
Cooking Oil: 1Tbsp
Jalapenos: 3 – cut in thin strips
Butter: 2 Tbsp
Brown Sugar – 2 Tbsp
The Chipotle Cream
Combine the sour cream, 1/2 of the cinnamon, the chipotle, the white pepper and lime in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside. If , like me, you are tempted to taste everything along the way, be forewarned. The chipotle cream is not a stand alone piece. It works within the recipe but not so much all by itself. You might be tempted to add in some sugar. Don’t. Trust me.
The Candied Jalepeno Strips
Heat the cooking oil to medium high in a heavy skillet. Melt 1 Tbsp of the butter. Mix in the brown sugar. Clean and slice the Jalepeno into thin strips. When the oil is hot, add the Jalapeno and cook to a good char. When the Jalapeno is charred sufficiently, add the brown sugar/butter stirring the contents of the pan vigorously for an additional 30 seconds. Remove the Jalapenos to a separate plate and cover. Set aside.
The Flounder (and everythig else…)
Ready for the final push. Put together an assembly line as shown above so that when the Flounder is just coming out of the pan you are prepared to plate and serve. Warm fish is a must for this recipe to be at its best.
Melt, on medium heat, the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter in a large heavy skillet. Add 1/8 tsp of the cinnamon to the butter as it begins to melt. Brush some of the butter on the fillets and when the skillet reaches temperature pan-fry the filets 1 1/2 minute on each side and remove for plating.
Smear each tostada shell with Chipotle cream, add a chunk of warm Flounder and dress with the remaining ingredients as desired. Don’t forget the candied Jalanenos. They work to balance the sharpness of the Chipotle cream allowing the cinnamon highlights to rise and carry the dish. This recipe pairs well with Posole Mexican soup (I am partial to red…).
Bon Appétit & Tight Lines.