Crispy Crunchy Fish Tacos

Fish tacos 1

Crispy, crunchy, spicy & creamy – fish tacos don’t get any better!

Flaky white fish (cod today), coated in the crispiest, craggiest of batters, and topped with creamy avocado, spicy chipotle cream, fresh & crispy peanut cabbage coleslaw and cilantro.    Our favourite fish tacos in Mexico are found in Puerto Escondido at this amazing spot we just had to return to.  La Olito, you do it best!  No, I’m sure these are not exactly the same, but once you’ve had them you will also want to either hop a plane for Puerto Escondido or try my version.

 

BATTER

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup rice flour
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • sea salt
  • 3/4 cup beer (maybe more if necessary)
  • 1 egg

This works for about 1 pound white fish, (halibut, cod, snapper).  Cut into 2″ pieces  and dust with salt and pepper, then a light coating of flour.

Combine flour, paprika, pepper & salt and whisk to combine.   Transfer half the mixture to a bowl and set aside.  Add the beer & egg to remaining mixture and whisk until a smooth batter (it should be about the consistency of paint).  Add a bit more beer at a time until it does.  Set aside.

Heat oil in deep fryer or fry pan to 350.

Take fish that has been coated in the light flour and dip in the batter, then into the dry spiced flour mixture.  Cook pieces a few at a time so that you don’t bring the temperature of the oil down by crowding the fish.  Turn fish a few times so that the entire fish piece is crispy, crunchy and golden brown.

As fish is cooked, keep warm in a 200 degree oven until all the fish is cooked.

Fish tacos 2

Serve with:

Chipotle Aoili

To make chipotle aoili combine:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream (feel free to use plain yogurt)
  • 1 minced chipotle chili in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

This is a generalization really …… everybody has different spice tastes, and all products have different levels of flavour.  Make this your own!

Peanut Coleslaw

roast 1/ cup peanuts lightly, chop and set aside

1-2 cups shredded cabbage (add carrot and red cabbage if you like)

  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

Mix dressing ingredients together and toss with cabbage and peanuts

Heat tortillas, and fill up with fish, top with coleslaw, crema, avocado and cilantro.

 

If you haven’t packed your bags for Mexico yet …. get out the napkins and try these fish tacos.

 

 

Phyllo Wrapped Halibut with Lemon Scallion Sauce

A little bit fussy to prep, but once you try wrapping a few of the halibut fillets, the rest will be easy to complete. Well worth it and super impressive to serve. Our good friend Jean came up with this, and we helped her do it for her own 40th wedding anniversary celebrations.

Ready for a party, these little phyllo packages are sprinkled with chives, fresh dill and an extra little drizzle of the lemon sauce.

Ready for a party, these little phyllo packages are sprinkled with chives, fresh dill and an extra little drizzle of the lemon sauce.

To serve 4:

4 tbsp butter
8 sheets phyllo dough
4 (5 oz) halibut fillets
4 tsp chopped fresh dill
6 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
4 green onions, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425

Separate the phyllo – it will take 4 sheets total for every 2 halibut fillets. Lightly butter 1 sheet phyllo dough. Lay another sheet directly on top of the first sheet and lightly butter it. Repeat with remaining 2 sheets of phyllo. Cut sheets in half.

Season halibut with salt and pepper. Place each fillet near the bottom edge of one of the halved sheets – sprinkle with dill. Fold in the sides of the phyllo, then roll the fillet.

Place on baking sheet, lightly brushing with more butter.

Ready for the oven, these little fillets are going to be so moist inside, crispy and crunchy outside.

Ready for the oven, these little fillets are going to be so moist inside, crispy and crunchy outside.


Bake in preheated oven until pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.

While the fillets are baking:

In a small saucepan, bring lemon juice to a boil over high heat. Boil until almost evaporated. Reduce heat to medium and stir in cream. simmer until the cream thickens somewhat. Stir in green onions and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve halibut on a pool of the sauce. Garnish with more fresh dill.

Halibut with Caper Beurre Blanc

Probably one of the simplest and most delicious ways to enjoy halibut – in season right now. Start with halibut from a great fishmonger – well worth it.

Moist, flaky and delicious halibut served with Caper Beurre Blanc.

Moist, flaky and delicious halibut served with Caper Beurre Blanc.

Caper Beurre Blanc

2 finely diced shallots
3/4 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc work well)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup cold butter, in small pieces

1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1-2 tbsp capers, to taste

In small saucepan simmer the shallots, wine and vinegar until reduced by about half. Add butter one piece at time, whisking well until smooth and creamy looking.

Keep warm until you are ready to serve halibut, adding capers and dill right before serving – just until capers are heated through.

Halibut

6 serving size pieces of halibut fillet

1/2 cup mayonnaise
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 tbsp assorted fresh herbs, finely chopped (I like basil, parsley and tarragon)
2 tbsp finely chopped chives or green onions
1 tsp black pepper

Blend the mayonnaise well with all the ingredients. Spread over the tops and sides of the halibut.

This can be done earlier in the day, and allowed to rest in the fridge. I’m not a huge fan of recipes that have fish or chicken slathered in mayonnaise – this allows the flavours of the halibut to work beautifully with the herbs and is enough to keep the fish moist. Feel free to add more mayo though if you like.

Bake halibut in 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick the fillet is. Watch carefully after 15 minutes. The minute your fish starts to flake easily it is done, so remove it from the oven.

Serve with Beurre Blanc sauce – simple white rice is a great carrier for the sauce. We served it tonight with some of the first of the seasons carrots and asparagus, along with fresh garden greens – but I wasn’t fast enough to get a photo of the completed plate!

Shrimp Stuffed Sole with Caper Butter Sauce

I felt like making a special dinner tonight …. will be away for 9 days without Grant, in Phoenix.  Nope, not for shopping, or golf, or even the spring training going on at the ball diamonds.  No, Hayley is having surgery again, and we are putting our trust and all our hope in the physicians that we have grown to know and love at the Mayo Clinic.  

I often make a rolled, stufed sole dinner but this one was so delicious it had to get on the blog before I forget what I did … something I am known for….

Image

Serves 2, but of course, feel free to adjust for however many people you are serving.

Preheat oven to 350

2 good sized sole fillets (of the same size)

4 large fresh shrimp (or prawn)

1 shallot (minced)

2 tbsp capers

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup bread crumbs

2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley (or whatever herb you have on hand that you feel like using)

1 tbsp olive oil

butter

In a small saucepan soften minced shallot in 1 tbsp olive oil, and 1 tbsp butter.  When softened, remove half the shallots to a small bowl.  To the rest of the shallots, add 2 tbsp good, dry white wine and 1 tbsp white wine vinegar.  Allow to cook just enough to reduce a bit, and add the capers.  Add another 1 tbsp of butter and allow to keep warm.

To the reserved shallots add the bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley.

Season the sole fillet with salt and pepper, lay the shrimp/prawn down at the thick end and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on.  Roll up tightly and allow to rest.

Heat an oven proof saute pan, melt a little butter with oil and gently place the rolled fillets in.  Place in preheated oven (350) and cook for 25 minutes.  Be watchful for this – depending on the size of your fish, and your stuffing, it could take as little as 20 minutes, or as much as 30.  Do not overcook your fish – as soon as it flakes easily it is done.

Remove from heat, stir the remaining parsley into the butter caper sauce, and season with freshly squeezed lemon juice and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.  Drizzle over the fish.

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

This is great served as an appetizer with taco chips, drizzled over eggs and served as a topping for any meat.

 

 

1 pound tomatillos – husked and washed

1 large white onion, sliced thickly

4 cloves garlic

2 jalapenos

1/3 bunch cilantro

We like our salsa grill roasted, so everything but the cilantro gets a little time on the grill before hitting the blender.  Give it a zap or two until purified.  Taste for seasoning and adjust a bit if you need to – adding salt and pepper to your preference.

If you don’t have a grill handy you could either use a comal, as they do in Mexico, which is just a simple flat fry pan, or your own favorite fry pan.  Nothing wrong with just blending it all fresh either – try it both ways and see which you like best.

This can be processed in a hot water bath to preserve it for the winter, or put it in the freezer.  Either way works really well. Bring it to a boil on the stovetop prior to processing and use hot jars.  If you do a hot water bath, make sure your jars and seals are all sterilized and the seals are new – place carefully in hot water bath with 2 inches water over top of the jar and process pint jars for 35 minutes.