The ULTIMATE Fish Tacos

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!! Growing up in a very Italian family, I was never introduced to Mexican food.  It wasn't until I was in late High School that I experienced it for the first time when my friends took me to a local Mexican joint.  Lets just say I fell in love right away! Now Mexican food is a staple in my diet, and  it is one of the most fun types of cuisine to make especially when you are entertaining.  Last month I spent 2 weeks in sunny California, where Mexican food restaurants are on every corner, and each have something fresh and delicious to offer.  My favorite Mexican dishes have a nice balance of meaty, creamy, spicy, sweet, crunchy and zesty.  I have made many fish tacos over the past few years and I can honestly say that this is my BEST one yet.  This one has a layer of creamy, rich avocado, crunchy and sharp red cabbage and jicama slaw, crunchy, smoky Chipotle Beer Battered Fish, sweet and juicy Grilled Chili Lime Apricots and finally a silky, tangy Lime Crema. If you make these tonight for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta along side a cold margarita, you will have your family and friends salsa dancing through the house.    .

 

Feeds 4 People

Ingredients-

Crispy Beer Battered Fish-

  1. 1.5 Lbs of Fresh White Fish (I use Flounder but Cod is great too) - Make sure there is no skin or bones! Cut the filets in half long ways if they are very large.
  2. 1 Can of Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
  3. 1/2 Cup Brown Rice Flour (You can use White Rice Flour as well) plus some extra rice flour to dredge the fish in
  4. 1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
  5. 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  6. 1 Large Egg
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Salt plus more to sprinkle on the hot fish when it comes out of the oil.
  8. 1/4 Teaspoon Finely Ground Black Pepper
  9. 3/4 Cup of Beer (I use Budweiser) 
  10. Canola Oil for Frying

Red Cabbage & Jicama Slaw-

  1. 1  1/2 Cups Shredded Red Cabbage
  2. 1/2 Cup Peeled Jicama Shredded (Use a Mandoline or a knife to julienne the jicama into thin strips similar in size to the shredded cabbage)
  3. 3 Scallions Chopped
  4. 3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  5. 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  6. 3 Tablespoons Mayo
  7. 1 Teaspoon Celery Seed
  8. A few drops of Fresh Lemon Juice
  9. Salt and Pepper to Taste 

Chili Lime Grilled Apricots-

  1. 3 Ripe Apricots cut into 1/3 inch slices (you can use peaches as well!)
  2. Mexican Chili Powder
  3. 2 Teaspoons Dark Brown Sugar 
  4. Lime Zest (about 1/3 of the zest of 1 lime) Be sure to only get the green part because the white is bitter
  5. Dash of Paprika
  6. Pinch of Salt 

Lime Crema-

  1. 1 Cup Sour Cream
  2. Juice of 1/2 Lime plus the zest of 1/2 Lime
  3. 1 1/2 Teaspoons Fresh Ginger Root (peeled and grated)
  4. 3 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro (you can put more if you love cilantro!)
  5. Salt and Pepper to taste

Garnishes- 

  1. Flour Tortillas (Corn Tortillas are great too)- I put mine in the oven for a few minutes to warm/soften them up 
  2. Sliced Ripe Avocados (a must!)
  3. Chopped Cilantro
  4. Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese (optional)
  5. If you like more heat add some hot sauce, Sliced Jalepenos or spicy salsa!

 

Steps-

Marinate the Fish-

  1. Open the can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and pour it into a container.  
  2. Place the fish filets in the container and rub the sauce all over the fish.  Set in the fridge for about 45 mins to an hour while you are making all the other elements of the dish. 

Red Cabbage & Jicama Slaw-

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the Vinegar, Mayo, Dijon, Celery Seed, Lemon Juice, Salt and Pepper.
  2. In a larger bowl toss together the Shredded Red Cabbage, Shredded Jicama and Chopped Scallion. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss until evenly coated. Set aside in an air tight container int the fridge.  You can do this a day ahead or a few hours ahead if you'd like so the flavors meld together.

 

Lime Crema-

  1. In a food processor blend all the ingredients until smooth. Adjust the seasoning if need be.
  2. Set in the fridge covered until its time to eat.

Chili Lime Apricots-

  1. Gently toss the sliced Apricots with the brown sugar, lime zest, a few dashes of Mexican Chili Powder and one dash of Paprika and a pinch of salt. Make sure they are evenly coated. 
  2. Heat an indoor grill pan or skillet on medium high heat. When it is nice and hot wipe the pan with a little bit of canola or olive oil so the fruit doesn't stick.
  3. Grill the Apricots on both sides until they are nice and caramelized on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.

Beer Battered Fish-

  1. In a shallow, side dish whisk together the 1/2 cup rice flour, AP flour, baking powder, salt and pepper and egg.  Slowly whisk in the beer.
  2. Heat a deep skillet on medium heat and add the canola oil until nice and hot.  To test if the oil is ready, place a drop of batter into the oil and if it starts to brown and float to the top and bubble up around it then the oil is ready.
  3. Take the fish out of the adobo sauce and dredge it in rice flour on all sides until it is covered.  Then gently dip the fish in the batter allowing the entire filet to get coated, then let the excess drip off.  Quickly lay the fish in the hot oil.
  4. Cook the fish on one side until it is nice and crispy and golden brown then using tongs gently flip the fish onto the other side.  Cook until golden and then transfer onto a pan lined with paper towels to get ride of excess grease.  Sprinkle with more salt when it is hot.  Be careful not to crown the fish in the hot oil because the temperature will go down and you will have soggy fish.  Do it in batches or have two pans going at once so you can cook it all at once.

Build your Tacos!-

In a warm tortilla place a few slices of ripe avocado. 

Place a nice scoop of the cabbage jicama slaw on top of the avocado.

Place a piece of the crispy fish on top.

Place a few sliced of the grilled chili lime apricots on top of the fish 

drizzle it all with the Lime Crema and then top it with a little chopped cilantro and any other toppings you'd like, including Mexican shredded cheese, diced jalepenos or salsa.  In my opinion salsa is not needed because the apricots give the taco a nice juiciness and fruitiness that a mango salsa would do!