Fish Tacos And Gazpacho


Who can resist miniature bottles of Patrón and bite-sized tacos?
Peter Callahan Catering

Here's a featured recipe from Peter Callahan's newest book, Bite by Bite. We thought this crisp and fresh combination of fish tacos and gazpacho would be ideal for a festive and casual bridal shower or engagement party on a sunny weekend afternoon. Enjoy!

Fish tacos are transformed from casual taco truck fare to a sophisticated starter when they are loaded with citrus-marinated cod, a creamy avocado topping, spicy jalapeño and sweet mangos.

I've always thought that the best design is most often the simplest, and these tacos, in their stylish and vibrant lime holder, drive that point home. Refreshing gazpacho shooters made with lots of fresh herbs, green grapes, and cucumber provide a great balance to the sweet-spicy taco crunch.


For The Gazpacho

1 cup seedless green grapes
1/2 seedless (English) cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded, deribbed, and chopped
1/4 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deribbed, and finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 4 to 5 limes)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

For The Taco Shells

6 cups peanut oil
2 10-inch flour tortillas

For The Tacos

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon grated lime zest
1⁄8 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 4- to 6-ounce fresh cod fillet

For Serving

1/2 ripe avocado
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Pinch of coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
24 limes
1/4 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deribbed, and finely chopped
1 small ripe mango, seeded and diced into 1/4-inch cubes



Place the grapes, cucumber, bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, chives, olive oil, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor, or in a blender, and puree. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher, and stir in salt and pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.

Taco Shells

In a large pot, heat the oil to 325°F. over medium heat. While the oil heats, prepare the tortilla shells: Place the tortillas on your work surface, and use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to stamp 12 rounds from each tortilla.Wrap a tortilla round around a 1/2-inch cannoli tube and then slide it inside a 1-inch tube. Repeat with 5 more tortilla rounds.

Place the 6 tubes in the oil and cook until the tortillas look golden, about 1 minute. Remove the tubes from the oil and place them on a papertowel-lined baking sheet to cool. Once cool, carefully slide the fried shells and the 1/2-inch tubes out of the larger tubes. Remove the crisp shells and set them aside. Repeat with the remaining tortilla rounds.


In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon and lime zest, salt, and pepper. Place the cod fillet in a baking dish or on a rimmed baking sheet (the baking dish or sheet pan should be long enough so the fillet rests flat) and rub with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the cod from the refrigerator, discard the plastic wrap, and roast it in the oven until the thickest part flakes apart easily when pierced with a fork, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool completely, and then flake the fish with your fingers or a fork. Makes 2 dozen


Scoop the avocado flesh out of the skin, place it in a small bowl, and mash with a fork. Stir in the lemon juice, salt, and some pepper, and set aside. Slice a thin piece off one long side of each lime so it doesn't wobble. Rest the lime on the cut side.

Using a paring knife, cut a 1/4-inch-deep, 1-inchwide V-shaped notch into the top of the lime (this will be the cradle for the taco). Place 1/4 teaspoon mashed avocado in each taco shell. Divide the flaked cod among the tacos, and sprinkle the jalapeno and mango on top. Set the tacos into the prepared lime holders. Divide the gazpacho among twenty-four small glasses, and serve one with each taco.

Make Ahead

The taco shells can be fried and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. The gazpacho can be made up to 1 day ahead.


Instead of shaping the tortillas into taco shapes, fry them flat and serve the fish on top of the taco canapé. You can also use store-bought round tortilla chips instead of frying your own. Slice the top of the lime off so it's flat (rather than V-shaped as it is in the main recipe) and rest the flat taco on top for serving.

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