Citizens, your beloved epicurean apostle of all culinary delights is currently holding court in San Diego, enjoying the magic of Comic-Con!
This annual gathering of 130,000 fervent souls immersed in all things fantasy, sci-fi and animated is an over the top celebration, as you can see in my picture below!
While in the city, I must of course honor its rich culinary legacy with my recipe for its iconic fish taco!
As noted in this erudite article from the Huffington Post:
Acclaimed food critic Jonathan Gold has written that “Entire religions have been founded on miracles less profound than the Ensenada fish taco.”
If anyone ever heeds his call and founds a religion dedicated to the worship of the fish taco, they would certainly build the high church in Ensenada, a seaside city of 270,000 in the Mexican state of Baja California.
It was there that, at some point in the middle of the 20th century, some forgotten culinary genius first put fried fish, cabbage, crema (a sort of thinner sour cream) and pico de gallo on a corn tortilla. And many still consider it the best place in the world for fish tacos.
But if Ensenada is the Mecca of this new faith, San Diego is its Medina. Legend has it that the first American to taste real fish tacos was a San Diego State student named Ralph Rubio.
He tried them on a surfing trip to Baja in the ‘70s, and when he started serving them at a small walk-up stand in the San Diego neighborhood of Mission Bay in 1983, it inspired a fervor that consumed the city. (It also eventually allowed him to open 190 Rubio’s taquerias in five states.)
Today, fish tacos are almost as closely associated with San Diego as pizza is with New Haven and ribs are with Kansas City. They’re served at virtually every Mexican restaurant in the city — and at the majority of the other restaurants as well.
Citizens, my version of the recipe uses a ranch-inspired white sauce for extra flavor – enjoy and be amazed at the unmatched culinary genius of your beloved leader! 🙂
Battle on – The Generalissimo
12 (1 -1 ½ ounce) cod, pieces
12 corn tortillas
1 cup flour
1 cup lager-style beer
garlic powder (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
1 lime, cut in half
1 garlic clove, through the garlic press
¾ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¾ teaspoon dried dill
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
½ teaspoon ground ancho chili powder
½ teaspoon capers, minced
1 hot pepper of your choice, seeded and minced (jalapeño is delicious, but TFD really enjoys pickled peppadew peppers).
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
6 tomatoes, ripe, peeled, seeded and diced
½ onion, minced
2 cilantro leaves, chopped, stems removed
2 jalapeno chiles, seeded and chopped
2 ½ teaspoons chipotle Tabasco sauce
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
oil (for deep frying)
1 head green cabbage, shredded
1 lime, cut into wedges
Mix sour cream and mayo thoroughly.
Squeeze the juice from one lime half into the fish taco sauce mixture, then whisk thoroughly. You want the consistency of a pourable, creamy salad dressing. If still too thick, add more lime juice from the other half. If too runny, add sour cream.
Add all other ingredients, mix well. Allow to sit at least one hour, preferably overnight. Reserve.
Prepare salsa; reserve.
Squeeze the juice from one lime half into the fish taco sauce mixture, then whisk thoroughly. You’ll want the consistency of a pourable, creamy salad dressing. If still too thick, add more lime juice from the other half. If too runny, add sour cream.
Mix flour with favorite spices such as garlic powder, red or black ground pepper.
Stir the flour mixture into the beer and mix until well blended.
Wash fish by dipping in cold, lightly salted water or water with a little bit of lemon juice added. Be sure fish is completely dry before dipping into batter.
Put the vegetable oil into a deep skillet and bring to 375°F
Place fish in a single layer–do not let pieces touch each other.
Cook fish until batter is crispy and golden brown.
Heat corn tortillas lightly in a skillet or Mexican comal until they are soft and hot.
To assemble, on each tortilla layer the fish fillet, white sauce, salsa, avocado and cabbage. Top it off with a squeeze of lime. Fold tortilla over to serve.