ENSENADA FISH TACOS WITH CHILLI AND CORIANDER
MAKES 12 TACOS
“For many years the beaches on the north coast of Cornwall were patrolled by Australian lifeguards, originally because they had the surf life-saving skills that were unfamiliar to the locals. For me, this meant many summers of friendship with pleasant Australians, all of whom seemed to be sunny and optimistic. Well, you would be, wouldn’t you, with a summer in Cornwall and lots of locals finding you irresistible? One such lifeguard was Rudy, who used to return year after year. Everyone was extremely fond of him – so much so that we filmed a little sequence about a trip he’d made to Ensenada on the Baja California coast, where they made fabulous fish tacos. We cooked some on the beach in Cornwall by the lifeguard hut, and Rudy took Chalky, my Jack Russell, out for a little surfing lesson. Sadly, when back in Australia five years later, Rudy died of cancer and I always thought that one day I’ d get to Ensenada, find the tacos and maybe get the film company to show the early film and me standing on the beach with the taco in memory. That’s how it happened, and this is the recipe.”
1 cup (150g) plain flour, seasoned with a pinch of salt and 6 turns of the black peppermill Sunflower oil, to deep-fry 600g skinless flathead fillets, pin-boned, cut into 1cm-thick slices 12 x 15cm corn tortillas 1/4 small white cabbage, shredded 1 avocado, chopped Chilli sauce and lime wedges, to serve
PICO DE GALLO SALSA
2 large ripe tomatoes, seeds removed, finely chopped 1/ 2 red onion, finely chopped 1 long green chilli, finely chopped Juice of 1 lime
2 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce (from good grocers), finely chopped 1/4 cup (75g) whole-egg mayonnaise 1/4 cup (60g) sour cream Juice of 1/ 2 lime
11/ 3 cups (200g) plain flour, sifted
1/ 2 tsp baking powder, sifted 325ml chilled beer
For the pico de gallo, combine all ingredients and 1/4 tsp salt flakes in a bowl and set aside.
For the chipotle crema, combine all ingredients and 1/4 tsp salt flakes in a bowl and chill until needed.
For the beer batter, place the flour, baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt flakes in a bowl and gradually whisk in beer until smooth. Set aside.
To make the fish tacos, place flour in a bowl and stir through 1 tsp salt flakes and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Half-fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan with oil and heat to 190°C (a cube of bread will turn golden in 55 seconds when the oil is hot enough). In batches, dip fish into seasoned flour, shake off excess, then dip into batter, allowing excess to drip off. Deep-fry fish, turning halfway, for 21/ 2 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt flakes while hot.
Meanwhile, heat a large frypan over high heat. In batches, cook the tortillas for 1 minute each side or until heated through. Place cabbage and avocado in individual serving bowls. Transfer fish a serving tray and serve with pico de gallo, salsa, chipotle crema, chilli sauce and lime.