Rick Bayless is perhaps the foremost authority on Mexican cuisine stateside. His Frontera Grill is award winning and recipes are fantastic. I was having a hankering for great fish tacos after reading an article about the Baja peninsula and made these incredibly satisfying tacos. They are easy, bursting with flavor and sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Makes 6 tacos
2garlic cloves, peeled
Salt to taste½ tsp. Mexican oregano
½ tsp. fresh black pepper
1 tsp. yellow mustard (like French's)
1 tsp. concentrated chicken base or chicken-flavor powdered bouillon
1 C. beer, sparkling water or water
1 tsp. baking powder
1 C. all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches for frying
1# boneless, skinless fish filets (practically anything will work, but I like larger-flake, lighter-flavor fish best for this preparation—think halibut, sea bass, grouper and the like)
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1/3 C. sour cream
¼ C. milk
12 warm corn tortillas1 C. (or more) thinly sliced cabbage (I like Napa cabbage best)
About 1 C. salsa (toasted arbol chile salsa, roasted green chile salsa, roasted tomatillo salsa or even one of the Mexican hot sauces like Tamazula or Valentina)
2 or 3 limes, cut into wedges
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 or water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients and whisk just until combined.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 ½” 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 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven on a wire rack set over a sheet pan while you fry the rest of the fish.
Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream and milk. Set out with the cabbage, salsa, warm corn tortillas, limes and the crispy fish for everyone to make tacos. Enjoy!