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Grilled Garlic-Cilantro Cod Tacos
Two expert Mexican chefs' recipe for an informal but seriously delicious, satisfying lunch or dinner

Grilled Garlic-Cilantro Cod Tacos

Today's recipe comes to us courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, the pioneers of world cuisine and co-chef/co-owners of the critically acclaimed Border Grill restaurants.

As preeminent ambassadors of modern Mexican cuisine, they've set the standard for gourmet Mexican fare for nearly three decades. Milliken and Feniger are the co-authors of five cookbooks, as well as the co-stars of Food Network TV’s “Too Hot Tamales” and “Tamales World Tour.”

Prep time 35 minutes; Cook time 10 minutes
Serves 4


  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 3 jalapeño chilies, stemmed and cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 large bunch cilantro
  • 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil

  • 1-1/2 pounds wild Alaskan cod fillets (four 6 oz portions)
  • 12 small (4 to 6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed*
  • 6 lettuce leaves, torn in half
  • 1 cup salsa**
  • 1 cup guacamole (see recipe below), or high-quality, store-bought guacamole
  • Lime wedges, for serving

*To warm, dip corn tortillas in water, shaking off excess. Toast, in batches, in a nonstick pan over moderate heat, about 1 minute per side. Wrap in towel to keep warm.

(Or, use 3 cups of high-quality, store-bought fresh guacamole.)

  • 5 ripe avocados, preferably California Hass
  • 6 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 4 jalapeño chilies, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Marinade instructions

  1. For the marinade, lightly toast cumin seeds in a dry skillet over low heat just until aroma is released, about 5 minutes. Transfer seeds to a blender.
  2. Add jalapeños, garlic, salt, pepper, and lime juice and puree until cumin seeds are finely ground. Add cilantro and olive oil and puree until smooth.
  3. Using hands, generously cover Alaska Cod entirely with marinade and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Fish instructions

  1. Preheat a medium-hot grill, broiler oven, or pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook fish until nearly opaque throughout, about 2 to 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Remove fish from heat, cool slightly, and pull apart into large flakes.

Taco assembly instructions

  1. Place warm tortillas on a work surface and line each with a piece of lettuce.
  2. Top with chunks of fish, a generous spoonful of salsa fresca, and guacamole. Serve immediately accompanied by lime wedges.

Guacamole instructions

  1. Cut the avocados in half. Remove the seeds, peel, quarter, and place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Mash with a potato masher or fork until chunky. Add the remaining ingredients and combine with a fork. Serve immediately.
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