Dinner Tonight: Fish Tacos
I know, it's soggy out and doesn't feel much like mid-June, but let's warm up and pretend we're surfers instead.
Dude, wherever you are, the sun is blazing and your hair is streaked with it. Those were some killer waves, and now I'm starved. Let's make some grub and polish our boards.
Darn. Still soggy, I'm afraid.
Well, if the power of imagination won't kick in with a summery movie backdrop, how about the power of the kitchen? There's nothing like a batch of fish tacos (Real Player video)) to whisk you away from gray skies (or the concrete jungle).
Chunks of tilapia or mahi mahi filets get dipped into a beer batter and are quickly fried into golden nuggets that are worlds away from the fast-food version. But before you heat up that skillet, get your taco fixins together -some shredded green cabbage for color and crunch and a simple pico de gallo (tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, jalapeno, lime) to zip up the entire equation.
With a batch of flour tortillas heated up (try wrapping them in a damp paper towel in the microwave for 1 minute), you can start the assembly line and build your own taco.
This is a fun project for kids who like to help out in the kitchen - someone to dip the fish in the batter or make the pico de gallo, for example - and festive enough for an impromptu dinner party for grown-up surfers, complete with cerveza or margaritas!
So, I challenge you: On the way home from work tonight, pick up some fish for tacos and see if you don't feel the temperature rising with that first bite. Start to finish: 1 hour, less if you cook as a team.
Come on - surf's up!
Fish Tacos Recipe
Make Taco Fixings
3-4 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
Small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeno, diced (or something hotter if you like)
3-4 scallions, cleaned, roots removed, white and light green part diced
squeeze of lime
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Taste for seasoning. Set aside. Drain accumulated water, if necessary.
Shred half a small head of green cabbage. Spritz with a squeeze of lime and salt. Set aside.
Make Batter (amounts can be doubled)
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
half of one 12-ounce beer
1/2 tsp. yellow (ball park style) mustard
1/2 tsp dried oregano or a small handful of chopped fresh oregano
salt to taste
Mix all ingredients and whisk to combine. A rubber spatula may be needed to help mix well. Batter will be somewhat effervescent. Batter should be consistency of pancake batter; if too thick, gradually add more beer.
Slice fish into 1/2 inch-wide strips. Dip into batter. Heat a skillet and add cooking oil to cover bottom of pan. Saute fish for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, until golden brown.
While fish is cooking, warm tortillas (I used flour, but corn is more traditional) either in the oven or in the microwave. If using a microwave, wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel and heat for about 30 seconds. If using the oven, moisten the tortillas with wet hands and wrap in foil. Heat at 300 hundred for about five minutes.
Immediately stuff tortillas with cabbage, fish and pico de gallo. White sauce (a combination of equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream and a few squeezes of lemon) is a traditional finale for the top, but it's up to you. Other possibilities are green sauce made with tomatillos or red sauce, made with guajillo chiles.
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Posted by: Jim Steeby | June 12, 2006 03:44 PM
Posted by: EPR | June 12, 2006 04:30 PM
Posted by: KIm O'Donnel | June 12, 2006 04:47 PM
Posted by: Mexican from L.A. in D.C. | June 12, 2006 05:58 PM
Posted by: Love those tacos! | June 14, 2006 03:34 PM
Posted by: Kim O'Donnel | June 14, 2006 04:23 PM
Posted by: Sam F. | September 21, 2006 01:56 PM