I used to have these in Eugene, Oregon on the Fourth of July, but we’ve tweaked the recipe (plain slaw, fried fish, grated cheese on a flour tortilla) quite a bit, and tonight, I think we found the perfect combination of ingredients.
Start with the slaw. Make this at least four hours before dinner, so the flavors have a chance to meld. Stir it a couple of times. Bruce got the original recipe from “Obscure Topics Television” – aka public TV – and you can find it on ChristineCooks.com. The only thing we’ve done differently is use half red and half green cabbage, and taken a short cut on the roasted red peppers. Here goes:
Spicy Cole Slaw
1/2 small head red cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 small head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
3-4 Tbsp. bottled chopped, roasted red peppers
3/4 c. coarsely chopped cilantro
1 c. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 fresh jalepeno, finely chopped (leave the seeds in for more heat)
Combine the cabbage, corn, peppers, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Whisk together vinegar, oil, cumin, chili, and salt to taste. Toss with vegetables to coat. Chill completely, tossing again just before serving.
Honestly, this stuff is divine and I will never make a mayonnaise-dressed slaw again.
Now for the tacos:
Grate some cheddar into a bowl and set aside.
Make a sauce of half Ranch dressing and half sour cream, and set aside.
Warm some corn tortillas. You can use flour tortillas if you want to, since they hold together better when soft, but the flavor of the corn is better, I think. Warm the tortillas over a gas flame, or wrapped in waxed paper in the microwave, or wrapped in a damp towel in a 200-degree oven – or some combination of the three methods.
Cut about a pound of tilapia (or cod) into 1-inch wide strips.
In a pie plate, make a batter of:
1 c. flour
1 c. amber ale
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. lemon pepper
Combine 1/2 c. flour with 1/2. plain bread crumbs in another pie plate.
Heat an inch of oil in a heavy skillet. Coat each fish strip in the batter, then dredge in the flour mixture, and fry in small batches for about a minute and a half. Turn with tongs and fry another minute or so, until golden brown. Remove to a baking sheet covered in several layers of paper towels, and keep warm in a 200-degree oven. Then repeat with remaining fish. My skillet holds about four strips at a time, leaving plenty of room to turn easily.
To assemble the tacos, pass elements around the table in this order:
slaw (use a slotted spoon – this stuff is juicy)
Makes about 8 tacos.
Have damp towels ready – good food, like life, gets messy sometimes.
Enjoy your favorite micro-brew with your tacos!