Monday, May 26, 2008

Classic Baja-Style Fish Tacos (Page 296)

  • Date: Saturday, May 17, 2008 -- 7pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Matty
  • Dining Companions: Yano, Irene, Phil O, Ben W, and Alp
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I chose these fish tacos as part of my all-seafood-all-the-time plan for the summer (Aside: Has anyone besides me noticed how badly I have been doing with that plan? It's pretty pathetic actually! I predict that a year from now, I will have 200 or so recipes left to do in The Book, half of which require seafood. I will be wandering through Bloomington, Indiana (nowhere near the sea!) trying to find someone who sells shad roe, or whole branzino, etc... I will be deeply regretting the fact that I didn't take my all-seafood-all-the-time plan more seriously during this summer in Boston. Nonetheless, even with that knowledge, I am struggling. It's not that I don't like seafood -- I do! But I like it once a week or so, not every day. But let me tell ya, a rate of one seafood recipe per week is not going to get me through the hundred or so seafood recipes I have left by the end of the summer! Ok, I am resolving to try harder. I might need a little external pressure. For those of you who see me sometimes, next time you do I might need a, "Hey Teena, have you made any good fish recipes lately?" That might get me in gear.)

Anyway, I did motivate enough to make fish tacos a couple Saturdays ago for our dinner party. I was generously rewarded for it too, because these tacos were delicious! This is a classic Baja-style fish taco: a corn tortilla wrapped around battered and fried cod, a mayo and yogurt sauce, cabbage, guacamole, and salsa. Yum! The Book recommended the Fresh Tomato Salsa to go on these tacos, but I had already made that one so I made the Papaya Pineapple Salsa (see below) instead, and did not regret it! It went wonderfully with the fried fish. One thing that made these tacos better than your average fish tacos was the batter. Typical fish batters aren't terribly flavorful or exciting, but this one was really nice. A classic beer batter was seasoned with garlic powder, dried mustard, and oregano, which together gave it a really good flavor. I actually liked the mayo and yogurt sauce quite a bit too (doesn't sound good, but it was!), and it complemented the other components of the taco nicely. My one complaint is that the fish didn't stay crispy very long. This recipe calls for the fish to be deep-fried twice, to create an extra-crispy exterior. Indeed the fish pieces were extra-crispy, but they lost that crispiness pretty quickly. This is canonical problem with deep-frying, and there is probably nothing that can be done about it in this case other than serving the tacos ASAP once you finish the second frying. Overall, this is a strong recipe. When the tacos came out, there were a lot of happy eating sounds around the table!

This recipe isn't online.


grapedad said...

I do a similar dish, but use Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs, flour, and egg on the fish). For sauce I use just fat-free sourcream, canned (diced) peppers, worcestershire sauce, S&P. All this in a crispy corn tortilla, with fish and cabbage. I've dropped the salsa fresco as being unecessary

Teena said...

Mmmm... that sounds good too! I would imagine that the panko breading comes out nice and crispy! Yum!