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Patio Party

Pescado Margarita

(Grilled Fish with Sassy Citrus Tequila Vinaigrette)

John Pozdro

Why marinate fish? It can get soggy, and you discard most of the marinade anyway. Instead, drizzle grilled, baked, or pan-seared fish with this tangy reduction vinaigrette at the table. Serve Pescado Margarita as a main course, or flake it for fish tacos or tostadas, along with shredded cabbage, red onions, and cilantro. Sometimes I also offer Javier’s Salsa de Aguacate for drizzling on the seafood at the table. 

Sassy Citrus Tequila Vinaigrette:

1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tequila reposado
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, freshly ground in a spice grinder
1/4 or more teaspoon cayenne (or 1/2 teaspoon paprika)
2–3 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh lime juice to taste
1–2 teaspoons agave syrup, optional
1 green onion, chopped

Zest citrus and reserve. Squeeze fresh juice. In a small saucepan, combine citrus juices, tequila, shallots, ground coriander, and cayenne. Simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before adding zest. Pour into a small bowl. When cool, whisk in olive oil, season with salt and pepper, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and sweeten with agave syrup, if needed. Sprinkle with green onions before serving. Pass a small plate of lime wedges at the table.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Note: Though coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant, it’s citrusy and spicy, not pungent and strong like cilantro.

Variations: Use avocado or walnut oil instead of olive oil, for a lighter flavor. Replace shallot with grated ginger, and pineapple juice for the orange juice.

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