The one thing I never learned how to do, that I always wanted to try, was surfing! But that time has passed for me now, and not even on my “bucket list”! The only bucket on that list now would be a pail for collecting seashells! 😉 Ending up in a full body cast is not my idea of fulfilling lifelong dreams of adventure.
But I do love the beach and the ocean. There’s something so mystic about all of the creatures that live there that we can’t see! The soothing sounds of the waves crashing on the shore, the air so salty you can taste it, and the soft, warm sand squishing between my toes!
Aaaaaand the soft sounds of seagulls hovering above waiting to steal my lunch! 😉
And speaking of lunch….I had been longing for some beer battered cod tacos for several weeks! I think that first taste of spring put me in the mood for some super fun, summer food! I’ve only had fish tacos once from a local restaurant that were so-so, but not really very good. “Edible” is all I can give them. And they were piled with too much extra gunk and light on the fish. I really wanted to taste the fish, with a few more items to compliment them, but not drown them out.
So I put together a simple, clean, refreshing combo of my own that really rocked! I was so pleasantly surprised at how good these were, and I have a feeling, that they might just compare to the ones sold on the beach to surfers! Quick. Simple. Fresh! Minimal ingredients that enhance but not mask.
It seems the ones I’ve read about are usually served with a cabbage slaw, but since we just finished up a head of cabbage turning it into 3 different recipes, I was kind of “cabbaged out”. So I opted for lettuce, and I think I would just prefer that over raw cabbage anyways. It held up really well and stayed crunchy, so that’s what counts.
I kept the salad simple, only adding finely grated sweet baby carrots and red onion. That’s really all it needed! And the creamy chipotle sauce was even quicker. I simply pureed a bit of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce with a bit of sour cream and that was it. It needed nothing else.
But the shining star of course, is the fish! I don’t care for ocean fish that’s too strong, so I went with my favorite, sweet, mild fish – – cod! I love cod and it’s a sturdy fish that cooks very easily. I had originally wanted to grill them, but I got tired of waiting on the weather, so I decided that beer-battering them was going to have to do. And I am now so glad I did! I didn’t do the chili powder – cumin thing, either. Sometimes those spices can be a bit bitter and “raw” tasting. Almost bitter. But I still wanted something spicy – – something warm with a little kick! So I used my Cajun’s Choice Creole Seasoning, and WOW was that ever a lucky guess! Nothing else could’ve done a better job! Even the hubs really loved it! And that always makes me happy! 😉 The only last thing I did was to finish them off with just a little squirt of fresh lime juice and a bit of crumbled queso blanco. Quintessential perfection. 😀
So, though I’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying this unique treat which SoCalers claim to have originally created for surfers to grab, wrap and go, while surfing the waves on the beaches, I think I’ve created the essence of what they’re really about. Simple goodness. I’m sure, though, that these have essentially been enjoyed by Central and South American fisherman since the invention of the tortilla. 😉 But no matter, to me, all that’s important is that their popularity migrated northward for all to enjoy! 😀
So I hope that you enjoy these as much as we did, and that they take you away from your busy week to a tranquil beach somewhere where it’s warm and there’s not a care in the world! (I definitely need to make these again. Soon.)
Enjoy all, and I hope spring is finally showing it’s beautiful face in your backyard, too! Keep it simple. Keep it real. 😉 And like the surfers say, “Hang TEN!” 😀
BAJA SURFIN’ TACOS with BEER BATTERED COD & CREAMY CHIPOTLE SAUCE
Makes 6 fish tacos
1 3/4 lbs. cod (2 nice filets), *a little less is ok, but any more and you may have to make extra batter, cut into 2″ x 2″ chunks
6 medium-sized flour tortillas
6 medium to small white corn tortillas
2 fresh limes
1/3 – 1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco
(oil for frying)
For the “Salad”:
1/2 of a small head of lettuce, finely shredded
3-4 sweet baby carrots, finely grated
half of a small red onion, or about 3 – 4 (1/4″ thick) slices small diced
For the Chipotle Sauce:
3/4 cup thick sour cream
2 Tbl. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 – 2 tsp. adobo sauce from the can (only add if you like it extra hot)
For the Beer Batter:
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Cajun’s Choice Creole Seasoning
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/16 tsp. onion powder
1 cup dark, regular or light beer
Rinse fish and pat dry well. Cut fish into desired sized chunks. (*I cut the pieces into 2″ x 2″ chunks and that worked really well.) Set aside in fridge in bowl lined with paper towel to keep cool.
Toss salad ingredients in medium bowl, set aside.
Place chipotle sauce ingredients in small chopper or mini processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, add batter ingredients, whisking in beer until smooth.
In large deep frying pan, heat at least 1″ of oil until about 360-375 degrees. No hotter than that.
While oil is heating, remove fish from fridge and line cooling racks with paper towels placed on top of baking sheets.
When oil is hot, nicely coat pieces of fish one at a time and place into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides. About 5 minutes per side. *Only do a few pieces at a time not over crowding the pan. Remove with tongs to lined racks.
When all of fish is fried, warm white corn tortillas in microwave between 2 sheets of paper towel until warmed. Lightly char flour tortillas on gas stove turning often.
Place a corn tortilla inside a flour tortilla, fill bottom with pieces of fish, top with salad, squirt with a little fresh lime juice, drizzle with sauce and top with crumbled queso fresco.
*The fish stayed hot on the racks while frying all of it and didn’t need to be kept warm in the oven. But if doing even more fish, you may want to keep some of the first batches in the oven on low. (200-225 degrees.)