My dad hates fish. He loves red meat, devilled shrimp and beans. But he has some kidney problems, so he should not eat red meat, devilled shrimp (cholesterol issues here) and beans. And he should eat lots of fish and veggies. See the irony here?
But if you make battered fried fish tacos, he'll eat and ask for seconds and thirds! he even asked this to be established as the Friday's meal from now on... and if we make it twice a week, he'd be more than pleased... So, here's my dad's fave. I think I've already given the recipe, so now I'll show you the photo:
You start with a good white fish filet, preferably with no fat (catfish is usually very fatty!). Cut it in strips and place on a paper towel to dry. Then you can transfer them to a bowl.
The batter consists in beer (lager) and flour. You just mix them until you get a batter similar in texture to pancake batter. Then you add some chicken stock powdered and pepper to taste, or you can add salt, dried parsley, dried onion flakes (crushed) and pepper. It should be thick. Now, don't add egg or milk, because this way it sticks better to the fish. You can even skip the flouring step and dip the fish sticks directly in the batter.
I'm not going to show photos of the frying process because, well, you all know how messy it is and I could not fry the fish AND hold the camera... you just fry them to a golden crisp.
Once they are fried, get some soft tortillas (not shells, please!). Chop the fish sticks and put one or one and a half in each tortilla. If you like, make them double: two tortillas for each taco.
The garnishes are what make this very simple tacos just burst with flavor in your mouth. Shred some carrots and slice some onion the day before. Open a can of jalapeño peppers and don't throw the vinegar they are in. Pour everything in a container and you can either leave the chiles in with everything or you drain and put the carrots and onions in the vinegar overnight. Either way is ok.
This is what we call a "salsa huevona" (lazy salsa), "salsa picada".(chopped salsa) or "salsa borracha" (drunken salsa, dont ask me why. I guess if you add enough salsa to a taco and give it to a drunken man, it'll make him snap out of it !). It is only diced onion, diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, diced green hot peppers. You mix all that and squeeze a lemon on it, add some sea salt and you are done!
Oh! and if you can get fresh nopales, please please make nopal salad! you just slice thinly the nopales (that have been washed and their thorns cut). Nopales are a very very good source of fiber, and have no fat, so you may consider adding them to your diet. Once the nopales are sliced, throw them in a pan with water, a bit of salt, half an onion and a fork. Really. A fork. I don't know why or how it works, but if you don't put a fork the nopales get all slimy.
Once they are cooked (they will turn from bright green to a more muted, olive green and go a bit limp, but they should still have some crunchyness to them) add half a diced onion, a diced tomato and salt.
You serve the tacos and put the garnishes so everyone can add what they want. The photo doesn't show, but you should bring some lemons to the table and maybe a bit of mayonaisse. Yes, you read correctly, Mayonaisse. The original way of eating them includes coleslaw, mayonaisse, lemon, salsa and the shredded carrot. I think it tastes better with the nopal salad than the coleslaw, but it is up to you.
Oh!!! OH!!! OH!!! and did I tell you I made my first sale in my Etsy shop???????
and Alessandra just created a fan page in Facebook! go check it out! tell your friends!!!!