Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dinnertime - Fish Tacos

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
1 egg
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!


The Peach Tart said...

These look yummy. Glad I was an inspiration.

Samsmama said...

Those look delicious! I've only recently started venturing out and enjoying fish tacos. So far, so good.

Years ago my husband went to a Mexican "restaurant" and ordered one. It was literally a taco shell with a fishstick in it. Never went back, for some reason.

Bev said...

Those look amazing!! Frying stuff at home scares me. Maybe I need to stop cooking in the buff?

No srsly, I've never had a fish taco, but now I want one!

Elliott said...

PT - I'm glad as well!

Smama - Really? Fishstick in a taco shell (and I'm picturing one of the hard corn Ortega-type shells from my childhood for comic effect), and you didn't go back?

Bev - As long as you don't drop food into the oil from a foot above the pan, you should be fine. Rock the nakie cookie! (You could also get a frilly apron if you really felt the need to protect the goods!)

Samsmama said...

You say "comic effect", I say "yep, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout." Gross, huh? And then a Van DeKamp's (no idea if I spelled that right, honestly don't care) fishstick in it.

Elliott said...

That makes me think of the combo 'Long John Taco' (or Silver Bell, if you will). We have the notorious Taco Hut/Pizza Bell up the street from us, along with the Dunkin' Robbins/Baskin Donuts where they try to cram two restaurants into one space with shortened menus on both sides. Maybe you could get a hush puppy encharito with your fish stick taco.

Anonymous said...

The title to this post made me laugh.... yes I'm in the gutter thinking about things that aren't really food.

Elliott said...

That's actually one of my favorite things about the title, too...

And reading my earlier comments, I feel I could actually go for a hush puppy enchirito about now. Might need to go find some breakfast.

Be nice and share!

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