I developed this recipe for my good friend and former roomie Ms. LM. We lived together when I was still in Massachusetts living in the suburbs. When we first started no reEATS Ms LM messaged me saying she was dying for a good fish taco recipe. I LOVE tacos and had never made fish tacos so I felt completely up to the challenge. She was specific in that she wanted a fried fish taco, so I went to the Baja peninsula and one of my hometown's of LA for inspiration. I love that Baja-style tacos are so simple in preparation and rely on good ingredients rather than lots of condiments. A bit of crunch, a bit of sauce, your protein and a tortilla is all you need.
Of course if given the time I can't keep anything that simple. I made my tortillas, crema and pickled onions from scratch, not only because I like to but because on Wednesday it just wasn't in the card to get over to Kensington to buy crema and tortillas. Regardless I would have pickled my own red onions because it's beyond easy. All things considered so are the tortillas and crema. I don't do anything fancy for my tortillas, I literally follow the recipe on the brand of Masa Harina I buy to a "T". I works and makes tasty fresh tortillas, of course store bought soft corn tortillas will do for these or flour tortillas if that's your preference.
Beer Battered Fish
1 cup amber beer - I used Dos Equis Amber but think Negra Modelo would be best
1/4 cup water
3/4 unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 lb white fish - tilapia or halibut
1. In a heavy bottomed pot, heavy a few inches of peanut or canola oil. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature. As the temperature approaches 375F, prepare the fish & batter.
2. Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces. Whisk together the beer, water, flour and cayenne until well combined and the consistency of pancake batter.
3. Once the oil is to temperature, dredge 3-5 pieces of fish in the beer batter and carefully place in the hot oil, being careful not to crown the pot and making sure the heat doesn't go too far below or above 375F. Cook fish until the batter is golden brown and the fish is firm to touch. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with sea salt while still hot. Repeat with the remaining fish.
Savoy Cabbage Slaw
1/2 small savoy cabbage
1 lime - zested & juiced
1 orange - zested & juiced
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro - chopped
salt & pepper
1. Slice cabbage into thin ribbons. Toss with lime zest & juice, orange zest & juice, and cilantro.
2. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper
adapted from epicurious
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
healthy pinch of sea salt
2 chipotle peppers in adobo - seeded and chopped
1 tsp adobo
1. In a non-reactive (ie glass) bowl or container (I used a hermetic jar like this one from the Container Store) mix the sour cream, heavy cream and sea salt. Let sit at room temperature for 3 hours. Then place in the fridge, it should keep for up to two weeks.
2. In a blender or using an immersion blender blend together the crema with the chipotle peppers. Set aside until ready to use.
1. Heat tortillas so that they are pliable in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Wrap in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.
2. When ready to serve on each warmed tortilla place 2-3 pieces of fish (depending on the size of your tortilla), a small handful of slaw and drizzle with chipotle crema. Serve with lime wedges and a green salad garnished with avocado and pickled red onions.
This was beyond a hit with the boy. He just sat there and ate and occasionally emitted little noises like "mmmm" which is a really god sign. I made these on a grey day when all I could think about was the beach so I channeled that beachy feeling into the food. It worked and eating the tacos totally transported me to a hot sandy beach.
Here's how the last few days have shaped up:
February 16 - Beer-battered fish tacos
February 17 - Individual Short Rib Shepheard's Pie
February 18 - Dinner out at Enoteca Sociale