My recipe for Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Ranch Dressing was selected as the WINNING RECIPE by Chef Ned Bell! It’s official – the tacos are chock-full of deliciousness. Make them tonight!
Thanks to the wonderful folks at Hidden Valley for organizing this challenge, and to Chef Ned for judging all the entries. And now… I’m off to celebrate!
- Original Post -
Now, since when have I ever backed down from a challenge?
(That would be… never.)
When the good folks at Hidden Valley asked me – and 15 of Canada’s top food bloggers/recipe junkies – to create a delicious recipe that made eating veggies more fun for the whole family (and incorporating Ranch dressing, of course) – I was initially stumped. Previously, I had only used Hidden Valley Ranch dressing as a dip for vegetables, and was unsure how to adapt the flavours to a main course. Adding to my dilemma, Hidden Valley recently introduced two YUMMY new versions: Cheesy and Spicy. While they are simply divine as a dip, I once again questioned my ability to make them the star of the show.
So, I decided to stick with the Original Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, and settled on a dish that embodies the spirit of fresh summer produce; the comfort of warm nights on the patio; and the deliciousness of spicy, charred salmon straight from the grill.
Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Ranch Dressing (Serves 4)
Salmon & Spices
1 pound salmon fillet
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/4 head iceberg lettuce, sliced
1 lime, cut in half
Avocado Ranch Dressing
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1 cup Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing
12 small corn or flour tortillas, warmed
Assemble spices for salmon rub; coat generously and evenly over entire salmon fillet. (There will be excess; I normally divide the rub in two before coating and save the rest for another time. Works well with chicken, too!)
Next, prepare Avocado Ranch dressing by mashing a ripe avocado and combining with 1 cup Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dressing until smooth. Here’s where I had the greatest challenge – should I incorporate a tried and true favourite, or heat things up with the NEW Spicy Ranch dressing? In the end, I made two sauces – and concurred that the creamy, tangy flavour of the Original Ranch dressing paired perfectly with the smoky, charred texture of the salmon.
Once your dressing is complete, set aside. Place your salmon skin-side-down on a pre-heated grill (medium heat) for about 5-7 minutes; turn and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes or until cooked through. My husband, the resident grill master, was away this evening – so rather than tempt fate with the BBQ gods, I simply grilled the salmon on a stove-top grill pan. It turned out delicious, but if you have a chance to use an outdoor barbecue, I strongly recommend it.
While your salmon is grilling, dice the tomato and red onion, and slice up some lettuce. If desired, you could substitute shredded cabbage for the lettuce (purists will insist on this! However, toddlers will opt for lettuce every time) or other taco-friendly vegetables, but I find this simple combination complements the fish well.
Once the salmon is done, set aside on a plate. Using a fork, flake the fish into large chunks and discard skin. Grab a tortilla and layer about two heaping tablespoons of salmon; add a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Finally, fold over your wrap and enjoy :)
Can you spot the Avocado Ranch dressing just oozing out of the left side? Delish. Plus, both my little guys enthusiastically gave the tacos two thumbs up – Reid loved the “spicy fish” and even Ryder asked for seconds. Sneaking in Omega 3-rich seafood and veggies in the same meal? #hellyes
And so, I hereby submit my recipe for Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Ranch Dressing for the Hidden Valley Recipe Challenge. The entries will be judged by the very awesome Ned Bell - one of Canada’s foremost culinary talents and host of The Food Network’s “Cook Like a Chef”.
Wish me luck!