I actually made this as a condiment for some grilled triggerfish; yep, triggerfish. We never ate this much in Hawai'i. Calling it triggerfish is kind of vague; this has to be kawahagi (threadsale filefish - カワハギ) versus the Reef Triggerfish, which many will know as the
humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa, the unofficial state fish of Hawai'i (also known as tasukimongara - タスキモンガラ), which I don't recall was very good eats. It would also make me feel like I ate a Nene! Anyway, Tommy told me to try it out. He described it as mild absorbing flavor well, with flesh that tends to dry out. Since the flesh was so thin, it was perfect for super hot, direct heat grilling. So I decided to season simply; salt and and pepper, adding lime juice as it grilled. I also made habanero onions, a Mariscos truck favorite; pico de gallo, and decided on a rather simple salsa roja with tomatoes I roasted while I grilled the fish.
The salsa tasted so good, that I ended up using it as a cooking sauce a couple of days later for shrimp. Which was delicious!
Some notes: The tomatoes still didn't have as much flavor as I desired after roasting so I added a tablespoon of double concentrated tomato paste. The agave syrup is totally optional, some folks don't like the sweet, but I think it adds another nice dimension; especially if you're going to cook with it. This is really close to my guajillo adobo, but I think I like this better.
Guajillo, Chipotle, and Roasted Tomato Salsa
2 ounces dried guajillo chilies (about 8 or so) wiped clean, stemmed, slit open with seeds and veins removed.
2 cups warm water
5 cloves of garlic unpeeled
1-2 chipotle peppers whole
1-2 Tb adobo from the peppers
about 3/4 - 1 pound of roasted roma tomatoes, skin removed, deseeded, roughly chopped
1 Tb double concentrated tomato paste (optional)
1-2 Tb agave syrup (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
- heat a heavy skillet or griddle (I used my cast iron pan) over medium heat
- toast the chilies for a few minutes, pressing down frequently, turning several times until fragrant and the chilies have slight changed color and even blackened in a few spots.
- tear chilies in half and cover with water, soak for 30 minutes in two cup water
- while toasting the chilies also toast whole cloves of garlic until scalded. Remove skin
- after 30 minutes, drain the chilies, reserving 3/4 cup of the soaking liquid
- in a blender combine rehydrated chilies, garlic, tomato, about 1/3 cup of the liquid, 1 chipotle pepper, and 1 Tb adobo and blend.
- add more liquid to attain desired texture
- taste and adjust flavor to taste by adding more chiptole pepper, adobo, tomato paste or agave syrup if desired
- add salt and pepper to taste
- let sit for at least 20 minutes.
The shrimp was simple, it started with a combination grapeseed-extra virgin olive oil, crushed red pepper, shrimp, about 1 tb grated garlic, lime juice, white wine. I added the salsa at the end and adjusted the flavor.