adapted from Recipezaar (Note: Ignore the original recipe's title. These taste nothing like Rubio's.)
12 1- to 1 1/2-ounce pieces of halibut or cod
12 corn tortillas
oil (for deep frying)
1 cup flour
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups beer (I used Boddington's pale ale)
garlic powder, pepper, cayenne and salt, to taste
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup yogurt
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
5 tomatoes, ripe, seeded and diced
1/2 onion, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to 1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
Limes, cut into wedges (I fro-got to put them on my plate. D'oh!)
Prepare white sauce and salsa and set aside.
Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet until oil temperature is about 375°F.
Mix flour with spices. Stir flour mixture into the beer and mix until well blended. Pat fish completely dry, then dip in batter until thoroughly coated. You don't want it too thick, but one nice goopy layer will do.
Place fish in hot oil in a single layer. Do not let pieces touch each other. Cook fish until batter is crispy and golden brown, a few minutes per side. Drain on a rack over paper towels.
Heat the corn tortillas lightly in a skillet to soften.
To assemble, place a piece fish on each tortilla, drizzle with white sauce and top with salsa, cabbage and a squeeze of lime. Fold tortilla over to serve.
1. Fish tacos are one of my favorite foods ever EVER and these were pure bliss. I'm thrilled that I'm succeeding with these at home because I have such a difficult time - yes, even here in southern California - finding them exactly the way I like them. So thanks for this great find Blythe!
2. I don't have an oil thermometer. I have simply figured out when oil is hot enough for frying through trial and error and some good tips (thanks Krysta!). However, I did have slight issues with the pieces wanting to stick to the bottom of the pan when I turned them over. Thankfully, they turned with a little prodding, but I'd like to avoid that in the future. Any suggestions? Am I correct in guessing I needed more oil for the fishies to swim in?
3. The salsa was a lovely surprise. Normally we throw on something from a jar and call it a day. I was really glad I made the effort to do this one differently. That mound (I really piled it on!) of cool diced and minced vegetables was a perfect match with the white sauce and the fish.
4. This is my third attempt at homemade fish tacos and this was the best batter so far, I think because I added more beer. In the past, I was a slave to my recipe measurements; thus, the batter was too dry and made for a thicker, slightly chewier coating. But this fish was light and crisp, exactly what I want when I crave fried fish. So be sure to add enough beer to make a more liquid, smooth batter. Trust your judgment.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Or Mexican rice. Whichever you prefer. I think this is the recipe I have made the most times in the last three years, even before I was blogging. Those of you who have read me for years may remember how often this made an appearance on my plate. And so it's high time it got a post of its own.
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper (I use multiple colors)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
2/3 cup tomato sauce
Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat and saute the rice until it is golden brown. Add the vegetables and seasonings, and continue to saute for 1 to 2 minutes longer. Add the broth and the tomato sauce, and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 22 minutes or until the sauce is almost completely absorbed. Remove the rice from the heat and let it stand 3 to 4 minutes, still covered. Fluff and serve.
This rice is a non-negotiable accompaniment to Mexican meals in our house. It's the best Spanish rice that either I or my Mexican husband have ever had and it just keeps getting better and better with time, experience and my own little touches. We're ruined on most restaurant rice because of this one. It's that good.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
from Rachel via Claudia
1/2 pound dried chickpeas soaked overnight and then simmered for 2 hours until tender, cooking liquid reserved
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 medium stick of celery, finely diced
1 small onion, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
small sprig of rosemary
2 cups reserved chickpea cooking liquid (if you have less than 2 cups, add stock or water as necessary)
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water for cooking the pasta in the soup
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound small dried tubular pasta, like ditalini
olive oil for drizzling on top
Prepare your soffrito of finely chopped onion, carrot and celery, sauteing them gently and slowly in the oil in a large heavy based pan until soft and translucent.
Add the tomato paste and a sprig of rosemary, stir, and then add 2/3 of your cooked chickpeas.
Stir again, cover everything with 2 cups of the reserved chickpea cooking liquid and throw in a Parmesan rind. Bring the pan to a boil, reduce to a simmer and then leave the pan to bubble away gently for about 20 minutes.
Now remove the rind and rosemary and pass everything through a mouli or give it a blast with a stick blender to create a smooth gloopy soup. Add the rest of the cooked chickpeas and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the 2 cups stock or water, bring it to a boil and cook the pasta in the soup until just al dente.
Serve drizzled with more olive oil and some freshly grated Parmesan.
I adore this dish. It taught me how to relax in the kitchen. There's just something very natural about making this. It also tastes delicious, almost rich. And I just realized I haven't made it with my new stick blender yet. Something to look forward to!