Sunday, March 1, 2015

Pescado Tacos, Nick's Way

I love living in Boston, but the Mexican food here is pretty sad compared to what we were used to in California.  One of the biggest things Tim and I miss is fish tacos...our favorites were from Nick's Crispy Tacos in San Francisco (in fact, we had these tacos the night we got engaged!).  V&V Supremo recently contacted me about sampling some of their Mexican dairy and chorizo products, and I knew it would be the perfect way to try and recreate some of my favorite Mexican dishes here on the East Coast.

These loaded tacos are crazy good, and while you could certainly make them with shredded cheddar and sour cream, using real deal Mexican ingredients takes them up another level.  Once the fish and tortillas are fried, you'll want to assemble quickly to eat these hot, so make sure to make or set out all your componets ahead of time -- salsa, guacamole, lime crema, and veggies.  This fried fish recipe is based on one from Aarti Paarti, and is originally flavored with Indian spices; with a Mexican twist, it's perfect for tacos.  The fish is piled on layered tortillas (with gooey melty cheese inside!), along with plently of creamy guacamole, crunchy cabbage, spicy salsa, tart lime crema, and herby cilantro.  I guarantee this is one of the best tacos you'll ever eat, and pretty dang close to the originals from Nick's!

This is Mexican week on Cupcake Muffin, so be on the lookout for chicken enchiladas and huevos rancheros with chorizo later this week!

Pescado Tacos, Nick's Way (inspired by Nick's Crispy Tacos, fried fish adapted from Aarti Paarti)

For the fish:
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne (more if you like it spicy)
2-1/2 malt vinegar
1 pound tilapia fillets (or use another mild white fish)
Rice flour
Oil for frying

For the lime crema:
1/4 cup crema
Squeeze of lime juice (more to taste)
Pinch of salt

To assemble the tacos:
Thin, taco-sized corn tortillas
Shredded Chihuahua cheese
Shredded cabbage
Cilantro, minced
Guacamole (make your own, or purchase at the store)
Tomatillo salsa (make your own, or purchase at the store)

1. Marinate the fish.  In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, cumin, salt, and cayenne.  Add the malt vinegar, and stir until well combined.  Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces.  Rub the marinade all over the fish, and arrange on a large plate.  Cover with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight).
2. Fry the fish.  Pour oil into a large, non-stick skillet to about 1/4-inch thick. You will probably need to either use two skillets or work in batches.
3. Meanwhile, pour a generous amount of rice flour onto a large plate and season generously with salt and pepper.
4. Test to see if the oil is hot -- sprinkle a bit of the rice flour into it, and if it sizzles right away, you're ready to go.
5. Dredge the fish in the rice flour, and then place into the hot oil.  Cook 3-4 minute son the first side and then flip and cook 2-3 minutes on the second side, until beautifully browned and crispy.
6. Make the lime crema.  Mix together the crema, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.
7. Prepare the tortillas.  Fry half the tortillas until just crispy in the oil.  Heat up the other half in the microwave, wrapped in a damp paper towel.
8. Make a mini stack for each taco: steamed tortilla, sprinkle of cheese, and then fried tortilla.  Then pile on toppings: lime crema, shredded cabbage, fried fish, minced cilantro, shredded cabbage, and a big scoop of guacamole.  Drizzle with green salsa to finish.

Full Disclosure: V&V Supremo sent me complimentary cheese and chorizo to sample; all opinions and recipe testing are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my, fish and chips and fish tacos are my favorite foods in the world. I order them everywhere we go. In the Northwest, they are often PERFECT. You would think the same would be true of Boston, right? I don't think I've ever made fish tacos at home though. What an oversight! Can't wait to try these. Heading to the fish market later today. Will probably get ling cod. P.S. I LOVE Boston. :-)