Hunky hubby and I went on a fabulous excursion to Mexico in 1987. We took the scenic route...a jackrabbit bus from Juarez to Chihuahua. We sat right behind the driver who played chicken with everyone on the road as the real live chickens clucked in their cages in the back. Someone tried to break into our room and there was a car crash under our window in the middle of the night. The next day we took a train to Los Mochis. On the way we stopped to let passengers off and passengers on and I noticed the federales with machine guns...oh yeah, I feel safe. Once in Los Mochis we agreed to share a cab with a Canadian couple who, after 5 minutes into the drive was convinced that the cab was going to take us out into the desert, rob and kill us. We had a great time in Los Mochis and celebrated their Independence Day in the park drinking beer, listening to good music and eating great food. Then we flew to La Paz where I think we had cat tacos from a street vendor. We stayed a few days there and took the bus to Cabo San Lucas. It was there on a romantic evening on the beach I had my first experience with fish tacos.
Unlike the deep-fried fish that is placed in a tortilla with some cabbage, avocados, tomatoes and salsa here in the U.S., this was different. The whitefish was steamed or poached and served in a soft corn tortilla simply with some avocado and cilantro. This recipe speaks for itself and does not need to be disguised with fats. It was fabulous! Since 1987, I have been making fish tacos in this way....the way hunky hubby and I love them best. It is a multi-step process but a no-brainer and it goes fairly quick. You must first marry the flavors of the brine you are about to poach the fish in and this takes about 35 minutes. Simmering the fish in the brine is about 10 minutes....only long enough for the fish to begin to flake. Here are the real instructions and this is what you need to poach the fish.
1 qt. water
1/2 medium onion sliced into thin slices
6 whole black peppercorns
3 whole allspice
3 TBSP lemon juice
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
Combine all these ingredients in a large non-stick skillet or saute pan. (you may need to double the recipe to make sure your fish is covered during poaching) Simmer these ingredients for 30 minutes then add the fish. DO NOT boil the fish...it only needs to simmer on a very low heat for 15 minutes or until flaky. Lift the cooked fish from the pan and drain. Throw out the brining mix.
Next up is making your key ingredients. This is what you need:
1 1b. poached fish
1 TBSP. oil
1 small onion, diced
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
2 small jalapeno peppers, diced
1/2 tsp. salt
8 corn tortillas
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
handful of cilantro leaves to garnish
*if you want a little extra crunch, add thin sliced cabbage
Saute onion in oil until soft. Stir in tomato sauce, peppers and salt. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in flaked fish and heat through, remove from heat but keep warm. In another pan, soften corn tortillas in hot oil and drain on paper towel. Spoon a small amount of fish mixture into tortillas, top with avocado and sour cream.
Dos Cervezas Por Favor!