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Caramel Crepe Cake


Popular in France, a gâteau mille crêpes (thousand-crepe cake) is traditionally made with a thin layer of pastry cream separating each crepe layer. Here, however, this stunning dessert gets a modern update by substituting homemade whipped caramel cream for the pastry cream. Garnished with edible flowers, it would make a charming centerpiece for an Easter dessert buffet.

Caramel Crepe Cake

For the caramel:

1 cup (8 oz./250 g) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) water

Pinch of salt

4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) heavy cream


For the crepe batter:

4 eggs

4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) milk

2 1/4 cups (11 1/2 oz./360 g) all-purpose flour

2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) confectioners’ sugar


For finishing:

1 tsp. unsalted butter

Lightly sweetened whipped cream for garnish (optional)

Fresh berries for garnish (optional)


To make the caramel, in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, water and salt. Cook until the mixture bubbles vigorously and turns a golden amber color, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir the sugar with a wooden spoon during the first 2 minutes of cooking; do not stir after this point, instead swirling the pan to ensure even cooking. Watch the caramel very carefully, as it will go from amber-colored to burned in a few seconds.

Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the cream very carefully; the mixture will bubble and splatter, so protect your hands and arms with heavy oven mitts and use a long-handled wooden spoon. Stir until the caramel is smooth and well blended. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until cold.


To make the crepe batter, combine the eggs, milk, flour, melted butter, salt, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar in a blender. Blend on high speed until the mixture is well combined, about 30 seconds. Transfer the batter to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a crepe pan or 10-inch (25-cm) nonstick fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter and swirl to coat the pan evenly. Lift the pan at a slight angle and pour 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) of the batter into the center of the pan, quickly tilting the pan to spread the batter to the edges. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the crepe is golden underneath, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the crepe over and cook until golden on the second side, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the crepe to a plate and cover with a piece of parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the crepes on the plate with parchment between each layer. Let the crepes cool to room temperature.


To assemble the cake, transfer the cooled caramel mixture to a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high until the mixture becomes turns lighter in color and texture and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.

Center a crepe on a serving platter and spread with 3 to 4 Tbs. of the caramel cream. Center another crepe on top of the first and spread with another 3 to 4 Tbs. of the caramel cream. Repeat with the remaining crepes and caramel cream, finishing with a crepe. Wrap the crepe cake on the platter and chill for at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.


Let the cake sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. Top with whipped cream and berries, cut into slices and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.


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Peach Lattice Pie


Although apple pie might be the iconic American pie, in summer, when peaches reach their peak, there’s no surpassing an old-fashioned latticed peach pie. Be sure to choose ripe, juicy peaches that give slightly when gently squeezed. Better yet, ask for a sample at your local farmers’ market to make sure the fruit is intensely flavorful, with the perfect balance of tart and sweet.

Peach Lattice Pie

3 lb. (1.5 kg) peaches, peeled

5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) plus 2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. quick-cooking tapioca

Basic Pie Dough for a double-crust pie, divided into 2 disks, one slightly larger than the other

1 Tbs. all-purpose flour

1 egg beaten with 1 Tbs. heavy cream


Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 400°F (200°C). Have ready a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan.


Halve and pit the peaches, then cut them into slices about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Place in a large bowl, add 4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) of the sugar, the lemon juice and tapioca and stir gently to coat. Set aside.


On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger dough disk into a 12-inch (30-cm) round about 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick. Transfer to the pie pan and fit the dough into the pan. Sprinkle the flour and 1 Tbs. of the sugar over the crust. Pour the peach mixture into the crust and spread evenly. Roll out the smaller dough disk into a round about 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) thick. Using a pastry wheel, cut the dough into strips about 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide.


To make the lattice, beginning about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the edge of the pie pan, lay about 5 of the strips about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart over the filling. Fold back every other strip halfway over itself. Place a strip at a slight angle across the unfolded strips. Return the 2 strips that have been folded back to their flat position. Pull back the 3 alternate strips. Place the next strip across the unfolded strips about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the last strip. Continue folding back and weaving strips until the top of the pie is latticed. Trim the dough overhang and then roll it under itself to make a rim. Gently brush the lattice with the egg mixture, then sprinkle with the 2 tsp. sugar.


Bake until the edges of the crust begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue to bake until the crust is lightly browned and the filling is bubbling, 40 to 45 minutes, covering the edges with foil if the crust browns too quickly. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours, before serving. Serves 8.

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Little Plum Galettes

Plum galettes

Think of these charming desserts as individual rustic fruit pies. Pleating the edge of the crust over the filling give the galettes a pretty appearance. When pleating the dough, work quickly so your fingers don’t melt the butter in the dough, which will produce a tough crust.

Little Plum Galettes

Basic Pie Dough for a double-crust pie, divided into 2 disks

1⁄2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar, plus more for sprinkling

2 Tbs. cornstarch

1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1⁄8 tsp. salt

2 lb. (1 kg) plums, pitted and cut into small chunks (about 4 cups)

1 large egg beaten with 1 Tbs. heavy cream


Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.


On a lightly floured surface, roll out both dough disks into 12-inch (30-cm) rounds. Using a 6-inch (15-cm) cardboard circle and a small, sharp knife, cut out 3 or 4 rounds from each dough round. Press the scraps together and reroll to cut out more rounds. You should have a total of 8 rounds.


Place the dough rounds on the prepared baking sheets. Do not trim the edges of the dough.


In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt. Place the plums in a large bowl, sprinkle with the sugar mixture, and toss to coat evenly.


Place about 1⁄2 cup (3 oz./90 g) of the plum mixture in the center of each dough round, leaving a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border all around. Fold the border up and over the filling of each tart, forming loose pleats all around the edges and leaving the centers open. Refrigerate the galettes on the baking sheets until the dough is firm, 15 to 20 minutes.


Meanwhile, place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C). Lightly brush the top crust with the egg mixture (you will not use all of it). Sprinkle the crust with sugar. Bake the galettes until the crusts are golden and the juice around the plums has thickened, about 40 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before serving. Makes 8 galettes.

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Whoopie Pies with Salted Dulce de Leche


Is it a pie? Is it a cake? Or is it a cookie? It must be a whoopie pie! These chocolaty, cakelike cookies sandwich a gooey sweet and salty caramel. The result is a decadent dessert that is positively addictive. Dulce de leche is a thick caramel sauce made from evaporated milk that is slowly simmered for a long time. It’s available at most Latin grocery stores and many upscale grocers.


Whoopie Pies with Salted Dulce de Leche


For the cookies:

6 Tbs. (3 oz./90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup (4 oz./125 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) natural cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. kosher salt


For the filling:

4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) confectioners’ sugar

2 Tbs. heavy cream

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) dulce de leche


To make the cookies, in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until blended. Sift the flour,
cocoa, baking soda and salt into the bowl and beat just until blended. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough until firm, about 2 hours.


Space 2 racks evenly in the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.


With dampened hands, shape tablespoonfuls of the dough into balls. Place them firmly on the prepared pans, spacing them slightly apart and squishing them a little. You should have about 20 balls. Bake until the cookies are puffed and slightly firm, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


While the cookies are cooling, make the filling: In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until lightened. Stir in the cream and salt, to taste, on low speed, then stir in the dulce de leche until the filling is smooth.


Spread the flat side of half of the cookies with a big dollop of the filling. Top each with a second cookie, placing the flat side on the filling. (You’ll probably have a bit more filling than you need, but this means you can sneak spoonfuls here and there.) Refrigerate until the filling is set, at least 1 hour. Makes 10 whoopie pies.

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Halloween Spider Web


Happy Halloween! Devil’s food cupcakes are a fitting choice for these Halloween treats with a spider web design. For a fun, festive touch, the vanilla glaze used to make the spider webs can be tinted light orange with food coloring. For an even spookier touch, garnish the cupcakes or the serving platter with a gummy spider, or make your own spiders out of licorice candies. Cut thirty-six 1-inch (2.5-cm) lengths of black licorice laces, then halve each piece lengthwise. Using a wooden skewer, poke 3 holes on each side of 12 licorice drops, then insert a licorice lace piece into each hole.


Creepy Crawler Halloween Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz./105 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg, at room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) lukewarm water

1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) buttermilk

For the chocolate glaze:

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) heavy cream

1 Tbs. light corn syrup

Pinch of salt

8 oz. (250 g) milk chocolate, chopped

For the vanilla glaze:

1 cup (4 oz./125 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more as needed

2 Tbs. milk, plus more as needed

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the water and buttermilk, beating on low speed until just combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat on medium-high speed just until no traces of flour remain, about 30 seconds; do not overbeat.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to the wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.

To make the chocolate glaze, in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cream, corn syrup, and salt and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chocolate; let stand for 3 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer the chocolate glaze to a small bowl and let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

To make the vanilla glaze, in a bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, the 2 Tbs. milk and the
vanilla until smooth; the glaze should be spreadable. If it seems too thick, whisk in additional milk a few drops at a time; if it seems too thin, whisk in additional confectioners’ sugar 1 tsp. at a time. Use
immediately. Place the glaze in a parchment paper cone or small pastry bag fitted with a fine writing tip.

Spoon the chocolate glaze over the cupcakes. Using the vanilla glaze, create spider web designs: Pipe
concentric circles onto the top of a cupcake. Lightly draw the tip of a wooden skewer, toothpick or paring knife from the center of the cupcake outward to the edge, occasionally alternating the direction, if you wish. For the cleanest look, wipe the tip of the skewer after each draw.

The glazed cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; bring to room
temperature before serving. Makes 12 cupcakes.

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Chocolate Peppermint Layer Cake


For this festive dessert that’s a natural for the Christmas dinner table, we’ve used celebration layer cake pans, which create pretty scalloped cakes that are about half the thickness of standard cake layers. The result is a dramatic four-layer cake that will wow your guests. However, you can also make a two-layer cake using standard 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans instead, increasing the cooking time to 30 to 35 minutes.

Chocolate Peppermint Layer Cake

Cocoa powder for dusting

Chocolate peppermint layer cake kit (includes 2 cake mix packets, 1 frosting mix packet and crushed peppermint candy bits)

2 eggs

1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) milk

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) vegetable oil

1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) water

8 oz. (250 g) cream cheese

8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease 2 celebration layer cake pans and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out the excess.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine both cake mix packets, the eggs, milk and oil. Beat on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Bring the water to a boil and stir the hot water into the cake mix. Pour a quarter of the batter into each of the prepared pans. Smooth the top with an offset spatula and tap the pans on the countertop to evenly distribute the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let cool for 5 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto the racks and let cool completely. Meanwhile, wash and dry the pans, grease and dust them with cocoa powder and repeat to bake the remaining batter. You will have 4 cake layers.

To make the frosting, place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the frosting mix to the bowl and beat on medium-high speed until combined, another 30 seconds.

To assemble the cake, place 1 layer, top side up, on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with about a quarter of the frosting and spread to the edges. Repeat the process with the remaining cake layers, spreading the remaining frosting on the top layer. Sprinkle with the crushed peppermint candy. Cut into slices and serve. Serves 8 to 12.

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Deep-Dish Cranberry Pie


Using our exclusive snowflake piecrust cutter results in a pie that’s pretty enough to play a starring role on your holiday table. Be sure to use a deep-dish pie pan. If you don’t have one, you can bake the remaining filling in a separate dish, rolling out any dough scraps to make a top crust or decorative cutouts for the second pie.


Deep-Dish Cranberry Pie

9 cups (2 1/4 lb./1 kg) fresh or frozen cranberries

2 1/4 cups (1 lb./500 g) firmly packed light brown sugar

5 Tbs. cornstarch

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) fresh orange juice

1 1/2 Tbs. grated orange zest

1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 rolled-out rounds basic pie dough

1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp. water

Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, combine the cranberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, orange juice and zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until the cranberries soften and release their juice, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and let cool to room temperature.

Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).

Fit 1 dough round into a 9-inch (23-cm) deep-dish pie dish and gently press into the dish. Trim the edges flush with the rim. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Pour the cooled filling into the prepared pie dish.

Using a snowflake piecrust cutter according to the manufacturer’s instructions, cut out the top crust. Place the crust on top of the pie, trim the edges flush with the rim and crimp the edges to seal. Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.

Place the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden and the filling has begun to bubble, about 1 hour; check the pie after 30 minutes and cover the top and edges with foil if they become too dark. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least 2 hours before serving. Serves 10.

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Devil’s Food Layer cake


Happy National Chocolate Cake Day! The secret behind this moist, rich chocolate cake is mixing the cocoa powder—use natural, not Dutch process—with boiling water, which allows the chocolate flavor to blossom and adds extra moisture to the crumb. This time-honored favorite, layered with velvety chocolate frosting, makes the ultimate birthday cake.

Devil’s Food Layer Cake

For the cake:
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) boiling water
3/4 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups (9 oz./280 g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
2 cups (1 lb./500 g) sugar
8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) plus 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups (10 fl. oz./310 ml) buttermilk

For the frosting:
3 3/4 cups (15 oz./470 g) confectioners’ sugar
1 cup (3 oz./90 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
8 Tbs. (1 stick) (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
About 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream

To make the cake, preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly butter two 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper. Dust the pans with flour, tapping out the excess.

In a small heatproof bowl, whisk together the boiling water and cocoa until smooth. Let cool completely. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the sugar and butter until the mixture is light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla and the cooled cocoa mixture. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed, beating until smooth.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake the cakes until they begin to pull away from the sides of the pans, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the inside of each pan to release the cake. Invert the pans onto the racks, lift off the pans, and peel off the parchment paper. Turn each cake right side up and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, in a bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa. Using the mixer on low speed, mix in the butter until it is crumbly. Mix in the vanilla, and then gradually mix in enough of the cream to make a spreadable frosting.

Place 1 cake layer, bottom side up, on a cake plate. Using an icing spatula, spread the top of the layer with a generous 1/2 cup of the frosting. Place the second layer, top side down, on top of the first layer. Frost the top, then the sides, with the remaining frosting. Slice the cake into thick wedges and serve. Serves 10.

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Heart -Shaped Red Velvet


Whether you’re preparing a special dinner for your sweetheart or want a simple yet spectacular dessert to share with friends, our heart-shaped Bundt pan makes it easy to prepare a make a spectacular dessert.

Heart-Shaped Red Velvet Bundt Cake


4 eggs

1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) canola oil

1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) buttermilk

1 Tbs. white vinegar

1 package red velvet Bundt cake mix

Heart-shaped candy sprinkles for garnish (optional)

Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a scallop heart Bundt cake pan.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the cake mix and beat until blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds more.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and, using a rubber spatula, spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick
inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. To level the cake, using a serrated knife, gently saw off any
portion of the cake that rose above the edge of the pan. Invert the pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Let the cake cool completely, at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with candy sprinkles. Serves 16.

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Grilled Red Snapper Tacos with Chimichurri


Grilling a whole fish makes a stunning presentation—great for entertaining—but it’s also simple enough to serve as a weeknight dinner. Don’t make the chimichurri too far in advance, since it starts to lose its beautiful green color after a few hours.

Grilled Red Snapper Tacos with Chimichurri


1 cup (1 oz./30 g) loosely packed fresh cilantro, tough stems removed

1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, tough stems removed

2 garlic cloves

1 small jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped

1 tsp. ground cumin

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) plus 3 Tbs. olive oil

2 whole red snappers, about 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) each, scaled and cleaned

1 lemon, cut into 6 to 8 slices

8 to 12 flour or corn tortillas, warmed

Prepare a hot fire in a grill.

To make the chimichurri, combine the cilantro, parsley, garlic, jalapeño, cumin and 1/2 tsp. salt in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides with a spatula as needed. With the
machine running, drizzle in the 1/2 cup olive oil in a slow, steady stream and process until well combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Brush both sides of the fish with the 3 Tbs. olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Stuff the belly of each fish with 3 or 4 lemon slices. If you have a fish basket, place your fish inside and then place on the grill.

If you don’t have a fish basket, coat the grill grate generously with cooking spray and arrange the fish on the grate directly over the heat (use a large, flat spatula in one hand and an oven mitt in the other when flipping the fish). Cover and grill the fish for 10 minutes. Turn the fish, re-cover the grill and grill until the flesh of the fish is opaque throughout and flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes more.

To serve, transfer the fish to a platter and drizzle with a few tablespoons of the chimichurri. Using a fork, flake off pieces of the fish and fill the tortillas with fish, adding more chimichurri as desired. Serve
immediately. Serves 4 to 6.