I consider today to be the last day of summer. Here in Maryland, there is already a crispness in the air in the mornings. School buses are on the move, and dare I say it, but I’ve already seen a few leaves changing color. It’s been a wonderful summer for me and my family. We’ve got a new baby on the way (due on Christmas Eve!), had an abundance of fresh seafood, many glorious days at the beach, and plenty of good food on the table. Even though I have not been regular with my blogging, rest assured I still have been putting out “good eats” on the regular. This, my friends, was one of our favorite dishes this summer. Beef tacos and chicken tacos are wonderful, but a good fish taco is on another plane of existence!
Now, of course you could grill or pan sear your fish for a healthier option. But, I gotta give two-thumbs up for the beer batter. I used my husbands home brewed 60 Minute IPA, and the beer flavor really shined through. The fish also stayed crispy long after frying. We were nibbling on fish nuggets long after dinner was over! I like to employ a double-shell technique for these. I had some wonderful blue corn taco shells that I got while in the “big city” a month or so ago. But, they are very fragile. My solution was to wrap a flour tortilla around the corn, and it really does give it a little something extra as far as the texture is concerned. We topped ours with a spicy chipotle ailoi, pico de gallo, and of course the traditional thinly sliced cabbage.
They’ve definitely become a favorite in our household, even with our 2 year old Drew. He couldn’t get enough of the fish, as well as the Spanish rice I served it with (which, I will have to blog on it’s own in another post…it’s insanely good as well!). I see us having this dish in the cold winter months as well for sure!
Beer Battered Fish Tacos
1 firm white fish filet (cod, haddock, catfish, flounder)
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 cup beer (whatever you’ve got laying around)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
6 hard corn taco shells (blue is nice, but yellow is fine too!)
6 small “fajita-sized” flour tortillas
finely shredded cabbage
pico de gallo or chopped tomato
vegetable oil for frying
For the chipotle aioli :
1/2 cup good mayonnaise
3 tbsp chopped chipotle in adobo sauce
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp hot sauce
juice from 1/2 a lime
Combine 1 cup flour, paprika, chili powder, cumin, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the beer to the flour mixture and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to let the yeasts in the beer develop. Meanwhile prepare the fish by patting the filet dry with paper towels, then cutting into 1×1 inch chunks. Place the remainder 1/2 cup of flour into a small bowl, and toss the fish chunks in the flour to coat.
For the aioli, combine the mayonaise, chipotle pepper, cilantro, hot sauce and lime juice. Add salt to taste. Place in serving dish and set aside to let flavors mingle.
Heat 1/2 inch vegetable oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. Remove fish from the flour bowl, and place about half of the chunks into the beer batter. Once coated in the batter well, place in hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd. Fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to paper towel lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining chunks of fish.
Heat corn tortillas in a 350 degree oven to crisp, and warm the flour tortillas on a plate covered with plastic wrap in the microwave for about 45 seconds until pliable. Place the corn tortilla inside the flour tortilla. Place fried fish inside the shells (I had to cut some of the chunks in half as they were large), and top with shredded cabbage, chipotle aioli, and pico de gallo. A squirt of fresh lime juice is nice as well. Enjoy with a nice cold beer!
Source: Inspired by a dish at Gordon Biersch