An Outdoor View: The Ultimate Fish Taco

Fish tacos are one of the finest systems ever thunk up for the delivery of fish to mouth. You can make ‘em either plain or fancy. You can make ‘em with fresh fish or leftover fish. You can make ‘em healthy, or you can can make ‘em decadent. Here’s how I make ‘em.

Fish Tacos (serves 4)

Important: Have sauces/toppings ready before cooking fish (recipes below).

Ingredients

1 pound fresh fillet of halibut, cod or rockfish, cut into ½” x ½” x 3” strips

1 package soft taco size flour tortillas

2 cups white cabbage, thinly sliced and chopped

1 cup peanut oil

1 cup Panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)

½ cup rice flour (all-purpose flour will do)

2 large eggs

2 Tablespoons water

Cajun seasoning, salsa verde and Tzatziki sauce (recipes below)

In a wok or small sauce pan, preheat oil (about 1/2-inch deep) to 375 degrees (F.). Mix rice flour and 1 Tablespoon of Cajun seasoning in a plastic bag. Add fish pieces to bag and shake until all pieces are thinly coated. Lightly beat egg, water and 1teaspoon of Cajun seasoning in small bowl. One piece at a time, dip fish in egg mixture with a fork, allow to drain for a moment, then place in Panko. Thoroughly coat each piece with Panko. Set coated pieces aside on a plate.

Cook fish a few pieces at a time, without crowding. Avoid overcooking. Turn pieces once. Small pieces will be done in less than one minute. Fish should be crisp on the outside and moist inside. Place on rack to drain.

In a fry pan on the stove top, or over the flame of a gas stove, heat tortillas one at a time, turning once, until warm. Place a row of cooked fish in center of warm tortilla, add cabbage, salsa and Tzatziki, and eat immediately.

Cajun Seasoning

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons paprika

1 Tablespoon salt

1 Tablespoons garlic powder

1 Tablespoon black pepper

1 Tablespoon onion powder

1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 Tablespoon ground oregeno

1 Tablespoon ground thyme

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container.

Salsa Verde

Tips

• Roast peppers before removing seeds and veins.

• Roast the poblano pepper until the entire skin is charred, then remove the charred part. Put the still-hot pepper in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 20 to 30 minutes. The charred part can then be easily scraped off as seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrqKPcJESA8

• Much of the heat in peppers is in the seeds and veins. Removing seeds and veins from the peppers leaves a comfortable amount of heat.

• Roasting peppers and tomatillos under a broiler or on a stove-top or grill until they are lightly charred makes their flavor more mellow, less sharp.

• A food processor will save time in making salsa.

Ingredients:

1 jalapeno pepper, roasted, seeds and veins removed, finely chopped

1 serrano pepper, roasted, seeds and veins removed, finely chopped

1 poblano pepper, roasted, skin and seeds removed, finely chopped

2 med. tomatillos, finely chopped

1 T. finely chopped sweet onion

¼ t. ground cumin

¼ t. ground corriander

¼ t. salt

2 T. chopped cilantro leaves

Mix all ingredients, cover and refrigerate for an hour or so.

Sour Cream Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup minced English cucumber (or regular cuke with seeds removed)

1 cup full-fat sour cream

½ teaspoon grated garlic

1 Tablespoon dry dill weed (fresh is best)

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¼ teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Makes about 2 cups.

Les Palmer can be reached at les.palmer@rocketmail.com.

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