Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fish Tacos

I was there when fish tacos migrated across the border from Baja California to San Diego, California. I know what a fish taco is supposed to be. No mango salsa! No salsa at all, in fact. And, never, ever, under any circumstances batter fried fish! Shame on whomever put a piece of fried fish in a tortilla (I'm guessing it was a fast food chain restaurant). The fish is supposed to be grilled; seasoned and grilled and served on warm corn tortillas. Not flour tortillas. Not crispy tortilla shells. A warm corn tortilla folded in half to encase grilled fish, coleslaw (yes, coleslaw) a squeeze of fresh lime, and a garnish of cilantro, diced fresh chilies, and onion.

That all being said, last summer Bon Appetite published a recipe for "Baja Fish Tacos". They didn't get the recipe quite right BUT the fish marinade was good and the lime enhanced sour cream was to die for. So here is my recipe for Fish Tacos, I can't call them authentic any more because of the lime sour cream, but they do have coleslaw, grilled fish, corn tortillas, lime, cilantro, chilies and onion.

I can't wait for Cinco de Mayo when I plan on making these again.

Authentic Fish Tacos

2 lbs of firm white fish (Halibut, Cod, Mahi-mahi...)
8 corn tortillas (or 16, fish tacos used to be composed of two folded corn tortillas, but I find one to be sufficient)

For Marinade

1/3 cup veg. oil
3 T. lime juice
2 T. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Kosher salt (or 1/2 tsp. table salt)

For Coleslaw

2 -3 cups shredded green cabbage (use 1 cup red cabbage if you have it)
1 large carrot, grated
1-2 stalks celery, chopped

For Coleslaw dressing

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 T. sugar
1 T. apple cider vinegar

For Lime-Sour Cream

1/2 cup sour cream
2 tsp. lime zest (from two limes)
2 tsp. lime juice

For Garnish

1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
1 diced fresh green chili
1/4 cup diced onion

First make coleslaw and set aside for flavors to meld. Combine mayonnaise, sugar and apple cider vinegar. Whisk to combine and to dissolve any lumps. In another bowl combine cabbage, carrot, and celery. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and set aside for flavors to meld. Second, marinate fish. Cut fish into thick slices that will fit comfortably into a folded corn tortilla. Combine marinade ingredients and then pour over cut fish. Marinate fish pieces for 30 minutes. Third, make Lime Sour Cream. Combine sour cream (I use non-fat), lime zest and lime juice, stirring to mix well. Four, make garnish...being a gringo wimp, I just garnish with cilantro...but for guests I combine cilantro with chopped onions and chilies. Five, remove fish from marinade and broil, grill, or pan fry. Cook just until fish is white and flakes easily with a fork (about 5 -7, minutes total...but cooking time depends on the thickness of fish and the intensity of the heat). Six, heat corn tortillas on grill or in a dry frying pan (about 1 minute on each side). Done! Combine tacos in kitchen, or provide bowls of each component and allow diners to assemble their own fish tacos at the table.

To assemble: place a piece of fish in the middle of the warm tortilla. Next to that, place a scoop of coleslaw. Drizzle some lime sour cream over fish and sprinkle with desired garnish. Fold, and eat, this could get messy. Have plenty of napkins on hand. Heaven.

Thanks for visiting.  Enjoy your Fish Tacos... Now, what's for dessert?  Flan?

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