Summer is not over! Don’t pack up the beach chairs or barbecues yet! We officially have another week to enjoy. This week I’ve really been thinking about my life in California and how wonderful it was. Why did I leave? I’ve been thinking a lot about it for numerous reasons. First of all, I used to think that I enjoyed the four seasons… Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. But, it turns out, that was just a theory. A romantic theory. I like the idea of the three other seasons but I only really like summer. I’d like to spend the winter season skiing and celebrating Christmas in Aspen… For a week. I would like to spend the fall season watching the leaves changing colors and having Thanksgiving in New Hampshire… For week. I would like to spend the spring season watching the tulips and having salmon en croûte for Easter in Paris… For a week. But that’s it, the other 49 weeks of the year, I’d like to be on a beach having fish tacos.
There’s just something golden about spending one’s life barefoot in jeans and a T-shirt with a bikini underneath, salty hair, sunkissed skin, sandy feet eating a fish taco and drinking and icy cold beer. To me, that is heaven.
There’s a lot of chatter about the perfect fish taco. Which fish is best? What’s the best batter? Grilled or fried? 1 tortilla or two? Flour or corn? Accoutrements? And the sauce! The mighty sauce. So many choices.
I thought it would be fun to break it all down and overly discuss it, shall we?
The Keys to Perfect Fish Tacos1. Flaky Fish
Any white flaky fish will do (think black sea bass, mahi-mahi, grouper, hake), but we love red snapper. It’s classic and sustainable, and its firm fillets stand up to the heat.
2. A Good Fry
Since its earliest days in Baja California, Mexico, the fish taco has starred fried (not grilled!) fish.
3. Bubbly Batter
Carbonation’s tiny bubbles make the crispiest coating. Some swear by beer, but we found that club soda lets the fish’s flavor shine.
4. Rice Flour Power
This alt-flour lightens the batter significantly—think tempura, not fish and chips.
5. Slaw’s the Law
Some iterations use unadulterated shredded cabbage, which lends crunch, but is low on flavor. When it’s tossed with refreshing jicama and a creamy, lime-spiked dressing, it delivers on both fronts.
6. Twice the Tortillas
Corn tortillas are the authentic pick, and we stack them two per taco for a sturdier bite. Char them (see step 5) to bring out the corn’s nuttiness.
Merci Bon Appétit!
Which fish to use?Halibut, mahi-mahi, tilapia, swordfish, salmon, even shrimp.
Now we need to talk about accoutrements. What do you add? Here’s a good list to get you started:Mango salsa, kiwi salsa, avocados, pico de gallo, salsa Verde, roasted corn salsa, cilantro and lime, cabbage with jicama, roasted peppers, black bean salsa, pineapple salsa, cucumber salsa, green cabbage, marinated red cabbage…
The sauce is the icing on the cake and there are so many varieties:Lime cilantro sauce, avocado cream sauce, jalapeno cream sauce, chipotle cream sauce, citrus Southwestern sauce, remoulade sauce…
Okay, now let’s take a look at some recipes…
Chipotle Shrimp Tacos. Click HERE for recipe.
Crispy Salmon Fish Tacos. Click HERE for recipe.
Blackened Fish Tacos with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce. Click HERE for recipe.
Voilà! Fish tacos! Stay tuned for the next summer series. Hint: Laced
*Something you don’t know about me? The second reason I was starting to question my life in France was the incident over the weekend involving the terrorist on the Paris bound train. I’m sure you’ve heard about it… Moroccan terrorist with weapons on a French high-speed train, taken down by brave Americans and one Brit? This alone made me want to move back to the states. But then, after that, I decided that America has its downfalls as well. For example, I saw on the news that female Viagra was approved by the FDA in the US. You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. Here I am, paralyzed with ALS, with ALS compassionate drugs or orphan drugs NOT approved by the FDA, and I am sure hundreds of millions of dollars were set aside for the research and FDA approval of female Viagra! It’s shameful not just for people with ALS but what about Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and every other cancer cancer cancer. But by all means, let’s approve female Viagra.