NCAA Baseball Championships:
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(Sac-à-lait Taceaux :)
If this recipe seems intimidating on first glance, here's the simple version: Place three small strips of fried white-meat fish in a warmed soft tortilla. Top with salsa, cream sauce (see below) and shredded cabbage. Voilà. That's all there is to it.
Ok, here's the full-blown version if you want to go all out and use a beer batter and homemade salsa.
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1/3 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 cayenne or jalapeño pepper, minced (optional, for heat)
Juice of half a lime
Simply combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir. Place in refridgerator while you do the rest. Can be done a day in advance.
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon canned chipotle pepper, finely chopped (optional)
Salt & Pepper
In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise and sour cream until combined. Add the juice of one lime and the chopped chipotle (Optional, but high recommended.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Like the salsa, this can be done in advance and refrigerated.
The Beer Batter:
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup beer
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine the flour, baking powder, garlic powder, chill powder, oregano, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in the beer until a batter is formed.
The Fried Fish:
1 pound firm white-fleshed fish fillets, cut into strips about 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches long. I used a combination of sac-à-lait (crappie, a.k.a. white perch) and Kentucky bass.
Melt enough Crisco in a 12-inch frying pan to reach out 2 inches up the side of pan and heat it to 370 degrees. Using tongs, dredge each piece of fish in the beer batter, shaking to remove excess. Cook a few pieces at a time (without overcrowding the pan) until deep golden brown on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn carefully and cook for 1 or 2 minutes more. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate (or metal baking rack) and keep warm in a low oven while you repeat with the remaining fish.
Putting It All Together:
10 medium flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cabbage (prepackaged cole slaw mix works)
Salsa (see above)
Cream Sauce (see above)
Guacamole or sliced avocado (optional)
Heat the tortillas, one or two at a time, in a lightly greased/buttered skillet until they are soft and hot. Keep them warm. Fill each tortilla with 3 pieces of fish, followed by the salsa and cabbage. Drizzle with the cream sauce. Serve 1 to 2 tacos per person, with lime wedges on the side.
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