Saturday, May 29, 2010

Grateful Ed's Fish Tacos

This is a great recipe to go with my design for this week's shirt.woot derby enty. Baja style fish tacos are one of my favorite things in the world. I'm not really a fan of sea food, but there is something irresistible about the combination of beer battered fish, cabbage and "secret sauce". Serve it with rice,papas con rajas and your favorite beer or a bottle of Mexican Coca Cola and you're in business.

For the Fish
2 cups all purpose Flour
1 and a half tsp Baking Powder
half tsp garlic powder
half tsp ground mustard
half tsp black pepper
1 bottle cold beer
2 pounds Mahi Mahi, trimmed and cut into finger sized pieces.
a few limes
vegetable oil (for deep frying)

Avocado Pico De Gallo
1 medium onion
6-8 roma tomatoes 
2 haas avocados
4 cloves of garlic
a handful of cilatro
juice from 1 lime
salt to taste

To Serve:
Corn Tortillas- Homemade are best, followed by taqueria sized. Mission also makes an extra thin corn tortilla that's great for tacos.
Secret Sauce- (half cup of mayonnaise, 2 tsp malt vinegar, 1.5 tablespoons milk)
Shredded cabbage
Avocado Pico de Gallo
Finely Shredded Cabbage- I like to buy the pre-shredded stuff in the bag
Tapatio or Cholula hot sauce
Your favorite red salsa- If you don't want to make the salsa, Frontera Grill makes some great bottled salsas.
a couple of limes cut into wedges

The Fish
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Stir in the beer till there are no lumps.
2. Squeeze a little lime on the fish and sprinkle with a little kosher salt
3. Pour oil in a heavy pot and heat to 350 degrees
4. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. Dip a piece of fish in the batter, it should coat the fish easily but not drip too much. If the batter is too thick, add a little beer
5. Add fish to the batter, coat well  and lift if out of the batter. Let it drip once and gently place fish in the oil. Cook a few pieces at a time till they float and the batter is set, but still light. Remove fish from the oil and set on a rack to drain. This part can be a time consuming, but it's well worth the time.

Avocado Pico de Gallo
1. Dice the onion as small as possible. Dice the Tomato and Avocado (cut the avocado in half, take out the pit and slice while it's still in it's skin), roughly chop the cilantro and mince the garlic. 
2. Throw everything in a big bowl, season with salt and squeeze the lime juice over everything. Mix well and let the flavors blend for about a half an hour before serving.
The onion to tomato ratio is totally up to you. I generally like mine to have a lot of onion, some people like more tomato.

To Serve
1. Warm tortillas on a comal, non stick skillet or wrapped in a damp paper towel in the microwave
2. Add a piece of fish, squeeze lime over the whole thing, and a spoonful of secret sauce, salsa and/or bottled hot sauce, top with avocado pico de gallo and shredded cabbage. 

I'd eat this every day if I could. I really don't eat fried foods these days, so I generally substitute the fried fish for either grilled or blackened. I'm not sure that there is a wrong way to prepare fish for tacos.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Take a Taco for a Walko: The Recipe!

5 pounds of boneless pork shoulder (I made 12 pounds last time, but 5 pounds will be easier the first time around)
1 orange cut in half
salt to taste
1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
a tall pot

for the tacos
Corn tortillas (smaller is better, if you have a Mexican grocer near you, try to find the smaller 4 or 5 inch ones)
1/2 a small onion finely chopped
1 bunch of cilantro chopped
red salsa
green salsa
lime wedges (optional)

1. Cut the pork into 2" cubes

2. Melt the lard in a tall pot over medium heat. Brown the pork on all sides

3. Fill pot with water so that it covers all of the pork by about 1 inch, Add a couple of tablespoons of salt. Set the heat to medium high, till it starts to bubble. Reduce heat and simmer for an hour and a half.

4. Add orange and simmer for another hour till the pork is able to shred easily.

5. Remove orange, crank the heat up to high and boil off all of the liquid (if you're using more than 5 pounds, you'll have to stop after about an hour and drain excess liquid, otherwise your pork will turn to mush).

6. Transfer to a dish and let it cool in the refrigerator. You might want to taste it and see if it needs salt.

While the pork is cooling, you will want to make your salsas. The green salsa is mild and chunky, the red salsa is smooth and hot.

Red Salsa
2 Large tomatoes or 8 roma tomatoes.
2 habanero chiles
10 chiles de arbol
4-6 cloves of garlic (unpeeled)
a splash of cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of water

1. stem and seed the Chiles de arbol. Break them up into small pieces and put in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water and let them soak for half an hour. then drain the water.

2. (add the garlic and jalapenos from the green salsa recipe to this step) Place tomatoes, habaneros and garlic on a cookie sheet and put them under a broiler. You want these things to be black on everyside, so keep an eye on them, turn them as they start to blacken. The smaller things will start to blacken sooner, so get those out of there as soon as they're done. Transfer to a plate or bowl.

3. Throw everything in the blender and liquefy. The thinner you can get this salsa, the better. Salt to taste if you'd like.

Green Salsa
2 11 oz cans of Tomatillos or 1 large can (I could only find the small cans) DRAINED
2 jalapenos
2 cloves of garlic (unpeeled)
1/2 a small onion, chopped
1/2 of a very soft avocado (optional)
salt to taste

1. Char the jalapenos and garlic under the broiler, to that they are black on all sides.

2. put everything except the salt into the blender and pulse till you have a course puree.

3. Transfer to a bowl, add just a little bit of water to thin it a little bit, so that it your able to spoon it onto your tacos easily. Salt to taste.

Finishing your tacos.

1. Heat a skillet on the stove, set to medium high. We're going to fry up the carnitas till they are crispy in spots, we don't want them to be crunchy, just crisped up like they have a crust. You shouldn't need any fat in the pan, the pork should be able to fry in it's own fat.

you should end up with something that looks like this

2. Warm your tortillas. There are a few different ways to do this:

microwave them in a damp paper towel for about 30 seconds (don't do them this way)

steam them (don't do them this way either)

warm them on an greased skillet set to medium, flipping tortillas frequently till soft (this is what I prefer)

or warm them on a skillet set to medium-high with a tiny bit of lard, this is like the other skillet method, except you want the tortillas to be slightly crispy in spots

3. Once your tortillas are done, add meat, onion, cilantro and salsa, and enjoy.