Fish Tacos with Gwen

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

There are two types of girls I envy most: those that wake up flawlessly, looking flawless, and those that follow every recipe successfully, resulting in delicious, picture-perfect meals each time. While I'm far from either, my friend Gwen has the second one down (and the first, I'm sure :-)). 

When we decided to cook together on Sunday as part of a series I want to continue, she suggested Mexican food. I agreed and asked if we could make fish tacos. She approved and said, "A Rick Bayless recipe?" I obviously yes. She said, "Baked or fried?" I obviously said fried. 

We decided to go with this recipe, and oh-boy, guys. It's the real deal. She hadn't deep-fried anything before, and I hadn't done anything we had to do before (I learned you should steam soft tacos before serving; I also learned about Napa cabbage, which, for being cabbage, is surprisingly delicious), but somewhere between our sips of wine and giggles, we made tacos that might have been able to compete with Rick Bayless himself. 

We couldn't stop patting our own backs when we devoured them. Between bites we'd stop and say, "This is like, really, really good." And it was! It really, really was.


Ingredients (makes 12 tacos):
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano 
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon yellow mustard 
1 teaspoon concentrated chicken base or chick-flavor powdered bouillon 
1 cup beer
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches for frying 
1 pound boneless, skinless fish fillets 
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream 
1/4 cup milk
12 warm corn tortillas
1 cup thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1 cup green salsa
2 or 3 limes, cut in wedges 

Prepare the batter. Finely chop the garlic, sprinkle generously with salt, then mash back and forth with the side of your knife across your cutting board until crushed to a puree. Scrape into a medium bowl and add the oregano, black pepper, mustard, base or bouillon, beer and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients and whisk until combined.

Fry the fish. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet to 370 degrees. While the oil is heating, cut the fish into pieces about 3 inches long by 1/2 inch square. Use a pair of tongs to pick up a piece of fish, dip it completely into the batter, and lay it into the oil. Continue with a few more pieces of fish, filling the hot oil with an uncrowded layer. Fry, turning the pieces regularly, until deep golden and crisp, about four minutes. Drain on paper towel. Repeat with the rest of the fish.

Serve: Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream and milk. Set out with the cabbage, salsa, warm corn tortillas, limes and the crispy fish. Make your tacos! Pat yourself on the back!

Thanks for letting me into your kitchen and adding a real winner to my recipe box, Gwen! 

1 comment:

  1. As expected, I love your recipe recap as much as I loved the fish tacos! Here's to another culinary adventure again soon.


Want to get in touch with me immediately? Email me: