Growing up in Wisconsin meant that Fridays were for fish. You know, the good 'ol tavern fish fry. It was usually perch or cod, if memory serves, all battered-up and eaten with fries, tartar sauce, and coleslaw. During Lent we ate this in the church cafeteria. But throughout the rest of the year, taverns competed to offer the best in the region.
Then I moved to Seattle. I fell under the salmon spell for awhile and abandoned all thoughts of our river fishes. One day, I came home to my roommate who announced she had whipped up some fish tacos. What? Fish can be in a taco? My naivety shown through at that moment. Since then, however, I've been a full convert.
Here is a recipe with the Wisconsin influence: beer-battered fish tacos with a coleslaw-like topping and a tartary sauce. It's my winter fish taco version since the tomatoes I use for a Pico de gallo salsa taste like cardboard right now.
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Beer-battered Fish Tacos
Inspired by Coastal Living, July 2002
Eat with a really cold brewski (Wisco slang for beer)
1 1/4 lb (500g) white fish (halibut and perch are both excellent choices)
1 cup (110g) flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (235ml) beer
hot sauce (optional)
2 Tb sour cream
2 Tb mayonnaise
2 Tb plain yogurt
juice of half a lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
half a small head of cabbage
corn tortillas (note: in Brno one can find these at Makro)
optional pickled onions:
half a red onion, thinly sliced into half circles
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tb sugar
1/4 tsp salt
If you're making the pickled onions, start with that. Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt until dissolved. Add in the onion slices and coat well. Let sit for at least 25 minutes.
Slice up the condiments while you're waiting: cabbage and radishes, both into fairly thin slices. Make the cream sauce. Combine the sour cream, mayo and yogurt. Stir in the lime juice, cumin, and garlic. Salt a bit.
For the fish batter, mix the flour and next 3 ingredients together. Whisk in the beer and hot sauce. Add the fish (cut up into 2 inch pieces, or smaller.) Get a wide pan with high sides out and fill with 1 - 2 inches of oil. Heat on med-low. In 2 separate batches fry up the fish. Should take about 5 minutes each. Let sit on paper towel while you get the table ready. Eat on tortillas with all the toppings you like, and maybe throw on some extra lime and cilantro if you've got it.
Dobrou Chut'/ Enjoy!