Chili/Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

Wild Alaskan cod filets are soaked in a batter of corn flour, beer and chile molido (ground chile pods without additives), then quickly fried in oil and served Baja-style in a warm tortilla with a salad of blanched cabbages with freshly-squeezed lime and sea salt.  Topped with a dab of crema Mexicana and salsa and served piping hot..

Chili/Beer-Battered Fish Tacos

For the Batter

2/3 cup organic corn flour
1/4 cup organic all-purpose flour
1 pastured egg
2 teaspoons chile molido
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 bottle beer (not dark)

Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Whisk in the beer and egg.  Rinse and pat dry inch-thick pieces of cod (or other firm, white fish), place in the batter and refrigerate 1 hour before frying.

“Real Baja fish tacos are nothing like what you’re used to eating when it comes to Mexican food.  In fact, true Mexican cuisine might be our biggest missed chance.  Satisfied by the (admittedly tasty) Tex-Mex-style with its copious cheese, sour cream, pile-it-on technique, we are missing a world of subtlety shot through with spicy excitement, flavors that emphasize festivity and celebration, not fullness and indulgence–a rich tradition of indigenous techniques influences by European sensibilities, infused with a penchant for bold flavors.”  –The Paupered Chef

Classic Chile Verde

Hefty chunks of heritage pork and white onion are seared in a spoonful of seriously hot lard (gasp!) then slowly simmered in their own juices with stock, roasted tomatillos, Poblano and jalapeño peppers, garlic,  cilantro and lime.  Served with fresh white corn tortillas on the side..

Classic Chile Verde

Classic Chile Verde (adapted by recipes by Diana Kennedy and Simply Recipes)

1 pound fatty pork loin or shoulder, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 white onion, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 fresh red or orange Anaheim, Poblano or other mild fresh chile (for color, optional)
2 fresh green Anaheim, Poblano or other mild fresh chile
1 fresh jalapeño pepper
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, loosely packed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon clean white leaf lard
2 cups homemade chicken stock
1/2 pound fresh tomatillos
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 scant teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse under cold water to remove sticky residue. Split tomatillos in half across the equator and arrange cut side up in a foil-lined skillet.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt then roast along with the green chiles in a 450 degree oven until softened and partially charred.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, melt the lard in a heavy skillet over medium high heat until shimmering.  Add the pork, onions and red or orange pepper and fry without moving until deep golden brown on one side.  Use a tong or slotted spoon to turn the pork and onions over and continue to cook until well browned on the other side.  Reduce heat to medium low, add the garlic and cook one minute.   Add the stock and oregano cover and slowly simmer 60 minutes.

Peel the chiles, discard the stems and seeds and add to a blender or food processor along with the tomatillos and cilantro.  Pulse until mostly smooth, leaving a few small chunks.  Pour blended mixture into the pork and stock and stir to combine.  Simmer  partially covered, stirring occasionally until pork is fork tender, about 30 minutes.  Add lime juice and season to taste to salt and pepper.  Ladle into bowls and serve hot with freshly made corn tortillas.

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s  Pennywise Platter Thursday!

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Simmered black beans with red and white quinoa, toasted cumin, onions, tomatoes, New Mexico and poblano chiles, garlic, oregano and wedges of avocado, all served up in baked corn tortilla shells..

Black Bean Chili

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Soak dried black beans and quinoa in filtered water overnight.  Drain, rinse and cook in vegetable stock until just done.

Sauté cumin seeds, chopped chiles, garlic and onions in a heavy skillet over medium heat until browned and fragrant.  Add chopped tomatoes and poblano peppers and cook 5 minutes.

Add garlic, Mexican oregano, 1/4 teaspoon each cloves, allspice and cinnamon, cooked beans and quinoa and simmer 20 minutes; keep moist by adding bean-cooking liquid as needed.  Adjust seasoning with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.

Meanwhile, lightly coat small corn tortillas with oil and press into the wells of a jumbo muffin pan.  Bake at 400 degrees until crisp and browned.

To serve, spoon chili into tortillas shells and garnish with avocado wedges, a squeeze of fresh lime and hot sauce.


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