Baja-Style Fish Tacos with Jalapeno Cream
Today's recipe comes to us from culinary pro Teri Tsang Barrett, who's a regular, welcome contributor to Vital Choices.
Photo by Teri Tsang Barrett
She's former Senior Food Editor of “Every Day with Rachel Ray” magazine, and a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education.
Teri's take on fish tacos makes splendid use of fresh ingredients... and that includes our truly top-quality Alaskan cod, flash frozen at sea within hours of harvest.
Baja-Style Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Cream
3 jalapeños, stemmed*
About the author
Writer, recipe developer, and culinary consultant Teri Tsang Barrett is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Institute of Culinary Education.
She was most recently the senior food editor at Every Day with Rachael Ray and has also worked in the test kitchen of The Martha Stewart Show and the music department of Rolling Stone.
Teri's also contributed to Woman's Day, Budget Living, SOMA, thefrisky.com, The Book L.A., and newparent.com.
2 large cloves garlic
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
12 small corn tortillas
¼ head red cabbage, cored and shredded
2 avocados—peeled, pitted and finely chopped
2 tomatoes—seeded and finely chopped
½ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1¼ cups flour
¾ cup cornmeal
1 cup Mexican beer
3 large eggs, beaten
Three 6-ounce Alaskan Cod fillets, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick strips.
*For a less spicy Jalapeño Cream, remove the seeds from the chiles before use.
**Peanut oil is common in Mexico and fits this dish well in terms of flavor... but it's not the healthiest choice for fried, battered fish—or for frequent use in home meals—due to its relatively high content of omega-6 fats.
To greatly reduce the level omega-6 fats, substitute organic extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nut oil, or hi-oleic sunflower oil.Unlike other fish preparations, oil-frying breaded fish is persuasively and plausibly linked to higher heart-health risks, almost certainly because of the high omega-6 content of standard frying oils (soy, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed)... which comes on top of the average Americans' hugely excessive, hence pro-inflammatory, omega-6 intake.
For more info, see “Fried Fish Seen to Raise Stroke Risk,” “Fish Cut Female Heart Failure; Fried Fish Raised Risk,” “Deep-Frying Blocks the Heart Benefits of Fish,” and “Can Extra Virgin Olive Oil Stand Your Kitchen's Heat?”
Using a food processor, coarsely chop the jalapeños and garlic. Transfer to a small serving bowl and stir in the sour cream, mayonnaise and the juice of ½ lime. Season with salt. Preheat the oven to 200°. Spread the tortillas on a baking sheet and cover with a damp clean kitchen towel. Let warm in the oven until ready to serve.
Place the cabbage in a large bowl and drizzle with the juice of 1½ limes. Toss, season with salt, then toss again along with the avocados, tomatoes and cilantro. Season with salt
Fill a large pot with enough peanut oil to reach a depth of 1 inch. Place over medium-high heat until hot; a pinch of flour should sizzle immediately when tossed in.
In a shallow bowl or pie plate, whisk together ¾ cup flour, the cornmeal and 1 teaspoon salt, then stir in the beer. Place the remaining ½ cup flour and the beaten eggs separately in two more shallow bowls. Arrange the three bowls near the peanut oil. Working a couple pieces at a time, dredge the fish in the flour, then dip into the egg, then the batter. Add to the hot oil and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Serve the warmed tortillas with the fried fish, slaw and jalapeño cream.