Sometimes inspiration comes from the simplest of places. Hopefully imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, since I read The Peach Tart's blog last week and said 'I must have that!' Yes, you can read the recipe there, but I made a few tweaks so I'm typing it here, too. (So there.) I even resisted ordering fish tacos for dinner last night after our trip to the gallery, settling instead on the blackened grouper sliders (also nice, they may turn up here in the future).
I have never been successful in my frying endeavors in the past, either reducing my food to charcoal or losing the breading to the non-non-stick surface of my cookware. I had higher hopes with PT's advice and a new, more complex batter recipe.
1 cup flour
2 Tbsp corn starch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 t salt
3 bottles of your favorite beer (I chose Guinness)
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour one cup of beer into a measuring cup and add one egg. Scramble and combine with the wet ingredients. DON'T overmix, you want batter, not dough. Finish the rest of the first bottle of beer.
In a large pot, heat three inches of oil. I don't fry much, but I know enough not to fill the pot to the top with oil, since once you add moisture to it, you may get unexpected results. Unexpected is not good.
I bought three nice, fat catfish fillets (at a healthy 8 ounces each), and finished my second bottle of beer while cutting the fillets into quarters. Pat the fillets dry and season with sea salt and cracked pepper. Old bay might be nice here, as would a kick of cayenne if you're feeling adventurous.
When your oil gets up to temperature (I set mine to '6', not very technical but it's the number next to 'High' on my stove), fry corn torillas one at a time and form them into shells. I draped them over the outside of my Twinkie pan, and it was the perfect shape. Next, add your fish to the batter and coat fully and evenly. Gently ease fillets into the oil one at a time, I fried three at a time to give them room to cook evenly and to flip them around in the oil. Depending on the thickness of your fish, cook five to seven minutes until the batter is golden, then drain on a rack resting on paper towels or even better, kraft paper.
While your fish is cooking, and between sips of beer, make your slaw.
4 cups shredded red cabbage
1 cup diced red onion
1 diced jalapeno
juice of one lime
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
Mix all ingredients and chill until fish is cooked.
To serve, halve a fillet and arrange in a taco shell. Top with slaw and garnish with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Makes 12 tacos. Enjoy!