LOCAVORE: FISH TACOS AT JIMMY HULA’S

0

A “locavore” is a person whose diet consists only or principally of locally grown or produced food. Along those lines, every month, local chefs welcome Orlando’s locavore, Misty Heath, into their kitchens to break down how to make some of their signature dishes for our readers to make at home.

This column is also featured in our monthly print product, available in restaurants and storefronts across the City Beautiful.

After a few months of cool-ish weather, heavy food, and too many sweet treats, this is about the time of year when I start to look around for lighter, fresh fare. Luckily for us, there’s plenty of that to be found as our food scene grows.

I recently stumbled into Jimmy Hula’s for the first time and was blown away by what I found; great, well-priced, approachable food.

As I’ve gotten to know the local owners and management, I’ve come to love their perspective of cultivating a causal spot where guests can simply relax; much like your local beach bar or coastal kitchen. Their Winter Park location is a great place to hang on the patio, have a nice beer or two, and catch live tunes on the weekend. To me, this is chill, stress-free dining space, or, as Jimmy Hula’s calls it, “Food Nirvana.”

Diving a bit deeper into Jimmy Hula’s, I continue to be delighted. Everything is made fresh in house. The sauces are flavorful and unique with lots of options to serve everyone’s dining needs; Keto, paleo, pesca, veggie and so on.

Here’s a way to execute your version of a Baja Fish Taco with their Baja Sauce. We stopped into our local Lucky’s Market to stock up on all the supplies and banged this out in no time.

Jimmy Hulas Blackened Fish Tacos with Baja Sauce

Fish

  • 1 lb  Firm white fish (Hula’s uses a combo of pollack and cod), cut in 1-inch by 2-inch cubes
  • Blackening seasoning (Hula’s has a proprietary blend which will be sold soon!)
  • Oil for pan
  • Flour tortillas (6-inch)
  • Butter
  • Shredded cabbage (choose your favorite color)
  • Shredded jack cheese

Baja Sauce

  • 2  Red bell peppers, deseeded 
  • 1  Red onion, diced 
  • 8 Garlic cloves 
  • 2 Jalapeños, diced (deseed if you don’t want heat)
  • 2 cups Mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 cup White wine vinegar
  • 1 T Cumin
  • 1/2 T Black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place peppers, onion, and garlic on a sheet pan. Roast for 12 minutes or until veggies are moderately charred. Rest the vegetable in a large bowl until cooled and softened. Place in food processor and purée until smooth. In bowl, add remaining ingredients. Using a whisk, work in the purée mixture until smooth and creamy. This makes a lot of sauce. Feel free to cut in half.

Pineapple Mango Pico

  • 1 cup Pineapple, diced
  • 1 cup Mango, diced
  • 1/2 cup Tomato, diced
  • 1 Jalapeño, diced (deseed if you don’t want heat)
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro, rough chopped 
  • 3 T Lime juice (3-4 limes)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 T EVOO Salt and Pepper to taste (start with 1/2 tsp of both and go from there)


Throw all the ingredients in a bowl, add the seasonings and let rest for 5 minutes.  Adjust seasonings and enjoy. Take time to cut everything small—it’s worth the effort.

Generously coat cubes with seasoning. In a large pre-heated pan (I ️cast iron) on medium heat, add oil to coat and add in half the fish. Cook without moving for 90 seconds.  Flip and cook 1-2 min on the other side, careful not to overcook. Put fish in bowl and repeat. You want to ensure the pan is large enough that the fish will cook without steaming and work in more batches if necessary.

Lightly butter one side of your tortilla. In a medium heated pan, place tortilla butter side down, and toast until lightly golden. Remove from pan and repeat. These are best when made right before eating.

Place generous layer of fish on tortilla, heap on cabbage, then cheese. Give a healthy drenching of Baja sauce (this stuff is fire) and top with pico. Trust me, you’ll be impressed with yourself and want to Insta the hell out of it.

Pro tips:

  • Until Hula’s seasoning is available, use your fave blackening seasoning. 
  • Lazy cook? Roast on parchment—makes clean up a snap
  • Tired of mincing garlic?  A microplane grater is your friend (Just watch your knuckles)
  • Don’t have or want to pay for a fancy food processor? Get a mini and work in batches. 

Have something to say? Type it below. Holding back can give you pimples.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.