Thursday, May 5, 2011

You decide

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, that great ethnic holiday that reaches way back into Mexican culture and celebrates Mexican independence, I decided to post about fish tacos. Now, these tacos are about as ethnic as Cinco de Mayo. While these tacos are Mexican in origin, somewhere along the way they became American fare and lost most of their roots, and this is just the way I make them.
I first had fish tacos in the beautiful ocean side city, Ensenada, and they were amazing. The fish was fresh and fried crispy. I think it had a cornmeal batter, but honestly I can't remember. I really don't remember anything about them except that they were good. It was over ten years ago so give me some slack.
Let me say this, if you haven't had fish tacos your missing out. I made them a few months ago and my father-in-law had them for the first time. He was a little hesitant, but quickly fell for them the way I did. My husband asks for them constantly and the kids love them. Serve them with rice or beans or both and you have a complete meal.
Another nice thing about this is a little goes a long way. Its a great way to make fish because you only need about 4 oz per person. The important things are these: 1. Cilantro. Makes sure you have some to sprinkle on the tacos. 2. Cabbage. Fresh cabbage. You can use red or green,  but just make sure it is fresh and firm. Otherwise, it will be bitter. 3. Corn tortillas. You can use flour but I feel like this is a deal breaker. 4. Lots of fresh lime juice. You will use some in the amazing white sauce that you will make for these and I like to have several wedges for each person to add to their tacos if they desire.
So, the way I am going to write out this recipe is in approximate servings for 4 people. This is easily doubled, tripled, or quadrupled, and I am sure you will take advantage of that fact as I have. Also, people tend to eat more of this than they should, so if you are making this for four large males, I would probably double it just to be safe.

Fish Tacos
1 lb fresh, white fish (tilapia, sole, cod, etc) cut into 1 inch strips
Cornmeal batter or beer batter (available at the grocery store, or make your own)
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
2 limes, cut into wedges (not sure how...see bottom)
12 corn tortillas
White sauce (recipe follows)

Coat the fish with desired batter. Fry in about 1 inch of oil over medium heat until golden, 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Meanwhile, heat the corn tortillas in a dry pan over medium-high heat for 20-30 seconds on each side, just until soft. I like to serve this buffet-style, with the other listed ingredients in bowls so each person can make their own tacos.

White Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 teaspoon crushed oregano
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lime juice

Combine ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and whisk until smooth.

How to cut limes (or lemons or oranges for that matter)
Hold the lime by the two stem ends. Slice parallel to your hand. Take halves and lay them face down on the cutting board. Slice each one into three wedges, with the stem in the middle of the middle wedge.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Have just stumbled across your blog from Orangette and have had the loveliest time trawling through the archives with a cup of tea- I had fish tacos for the first time in Ensenada too-on our way to a pretty crazy surf camp in Baja. I've never got around to making them at home. I think that needs to change- tonight. Thank you!


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