Channeling summer with fabulous fish tacos

On the list of things I never thought I’d find myself cooking, fish tacos are somewhere in the top 20. Why? Because historically, I’ve hated fish. HATED. It’s only been since my Ukiah days that I’ve even considered letting scaly swimmers pass by these lips. (I thank Shannon and Oco Time sushi, amen.) Since my veggie, then cooked-only, then sashimi-is-yummy sushi evolution, I’ve tried to incorporate fish into my regular food rotation. I admit, I’m still a mild fish kind of gal: halibut, cod, tuna, the occasional sea bass. I hate, and I mean hate, salmon and anything that tastes remotely fishy, but I’m working on it. When I saw this recipe featuring cod and a spicy white sauce, I thought what better way to inject some summer into an otherwise rainy March day? Enjoy!

  • Adapted from All Recipes
  •  
  • Batter:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne (I used some Essence)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup beer (I used almost a whole bottle of Sam Adams winter bock to get the consistency thin enough. Other cooks subbed ginger ale here)
  •  
  • Spicy white sauce:
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (Can also sub sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 limes, juiced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (Next time I’d omit this and focus on cilantro)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  •  
  • Fishies:
  • Oil for frying (I used canola)
  • 1 pound cod fillets, cut into 2 to 3 ounce portions (Way too much for two, by the way!)
  • 1 (12 ounce) package corn tortillas
  • 1/2 medium head cabbage, finely shredded
  •  
  • Directions
The original recipe assumed you own a deep fat fryer. I crisped these babies
in a regular pan with an inch of hot oil. Could easily be used for chicken
strips, too. (You remember my not-so-secret love for fried things, yes?)
  1. To make beer batter: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and spices. Blend egg and beer in a separate bowl, then quickly stir into the flour mixture.
  2. To make white sauce: In a medium bowl, mix together yogurt and mayonnaise. Gradually stir in fresh lime juice until consistency is slightly runny. Season with jalapeno, capers, oregano, cumin, dill, cayenne and cilantro.
  3. Heat oil in a large pot.
  4. Dust fish pieces lightly with flour. Dip into beer batter, and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. 
  5. Lightly fry tortillas; not too crisp. To serve, place fried fish in a tortilla, and top with shredded cabbage, and white sauce.
  6. Garnish with cilantro, tomatoes and lime wedges. Serve with beans and cilantro-lime rice.
 
Notes: As many comments on the original recipe attest, the star of this dish is the spicy sauce. I added cilantro for sweetness which will be even better when it is actually summer and the cilantro actually smells like cilantro again. Ah hem. The batter is very bland, even with a dusting of Essence. I would kick up the salt and pepper next time. (I did not add the full quotient of salt this time, fail!) I think it would also work well to grill the fish instead of frying, but again, rainy March days typically preclude grilling. You know how it goes!
 
xoxo,
shawna

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