Friday, June 9, 2023

Sparkling City by the Sea and Fish Tacos!

I am actually on an excursion to my beautiful home town of Corpus Christi, Texas! This fantastic city, known as "The Sparkling City by the Sea," has a lot to offer! Besides stellar sailing, fishing, and bird watching, it is minutes from the stunning Padre Island National Seashore, which is the largest stretch of undeveloped barrier island beach in the world! If that isn't enough, it is home to the Texas State Aquarium, the USS Lexington, the Corpus Christi Marina, the Corpus Christi Hooks (minor league team for the Houston Astros), and the Corpus Christi IceRays, just to name a few! 

But, did I mention the delicious, super fresh seafood? And, with it's close proximity to Mexico, the fantastic Mexican food? Well, I'll fill you in on my trip when I get back! Until then, why don't you try this authentic and excellent recipe for "Fish Tacos!"

Fish Tacos

Makes 8 tacos, serving 4

For the batter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground arbol chile or cayenne pepper
1 cup (not the whole bottle) beer, preferably dark, at room temperature

For the creamy salsa
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup plain yogurt

For the fish
3/4 pound red snapper, sea bass fillets, or even cod, skinned and deboned, cut into 8 strips, each 3-4" long and 3/4" wide
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground arbol chile or cayenne pepper
Canola oil for frying

For the tacos
8 white corn tortillas, about 6" diameter (or flour tortillas, if you must...)
1/2 head of cabbage, finely shredded
8 lime quarters
Your favorite bottled hot sauce

For the batter
In bowl, stir together the flour, garlic salt, and ground chile. Pour in the beer, whisking to make a smooth batter. Cover and let stand for up to 1 hour.

For the creamy salsa
In another bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, ketchup, and yogurt until blended. Set aside.

For the fish
In a non-aluminum bowl, add the fish strips, lime juice, garlic salt, and ground chile, toss to mix. Let marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Pour the oil to a depth of 1" into a deep, non-stick, frying pan and heat to 350 degrees on a deep-frying thermometer, approximately 5 minutes.

For the tortillas
While the fish marinates and the oil comes up to temperature, heat a comal, griddle, or heavy frying pan over medium heat. When hot, stack 2 or 3 tortillas on the pan and leave for a few seconds. Flip the tortillas, rotating them every second or so until they are hot. Wrap in a dry kitchen towel and repeat with the remaining tortillas. They should keep warm for 10 minutes. If they are to be held longer, wrap a damp towel around the dry towel and place in a 200 degree oven.

Back to the fish
Pat the fish strips dry with paper towels. One at a time, dip a strip into the batter, allowing any excess to drip off, and carefully slip into the hot oil. Do not allow the pieces to touch. Fry until the strips are crisp and golden, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain. When all are fried, transfer to a warmed serving plate.

Serving the tacos
Put the Salsa Mexicana, cabbage, limes, and creamy salsa in separate small bowls and set alongside the fish, tortillas, and hot sauce. To build the perfect taco, place a tortilla on your plate, top with a piece of fish, drizzle with the creamy salsa, top with some cabbage, Salsa Mexicana, hot sauce, and a squeeze of lime! Don't forget some icy cold cerveza to wash it all down!!!