Lovers of fish tacos fall into two camps: fried and not-fried. I tend toward the fried side as I really like the crunch, but in this case the marinade brings enough flavor to the party to make up for any lack of crunch.
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup packed cilantro leaves
- Zest from 2 limes
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup tequila
- 1 pound tilapia fillets
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 7-inch round flour tortillas, recipe below
- Crema (recipe below)
- Shredded red cabbage
- Lime wedges
- 9 ounces all-purpose flour (plus 1/4 cup for kneading and rolling)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup lard
- 1/2 cup cool water
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon buttermilk
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pulse the garlic, cilantro, lime zest, cumin, salt and pepper in a small food processor for 20 seconds. Then, with the processor running, add the tequila.
- Place the tilapia fillets into a 1 gallon zip-top bag, add the paste and move around to coat each fillet. Work as much air out of the bag as possible, seal and aside at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Heat an electric non-stick griddle to 375 degrees F. (I really like the griddle for this but in a pinch you can do this in a cast iron pan parked over medium heat for 10 minutes.)
- Brush the griddle with the olive oil and cook the fillets 3 minutes per side or until just cooked through and opaque. Cut into strips and serve in warm tortillas with crema, shredded red cabbage and lime juice.
- Combine 9 ounces flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor, pulsing 2 to 3 times.
- Add the lard in 4 to 5 chunks and pulse 10 times or until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the processor running, add the water in a steady stream until a ball of dough begins to form, approximately 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of flour on a clean surface. Remove the dough from the bowl of the processor and knead for 2 to 3 minutes or until most of the flour has absorbed and the dough is less sticky.
- Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Evenly divide the dough into 8 pieces and form into round balls. Roll each ball into 7-inch rounds with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. Keep all dough balls covered with a tea towel.
- Heat an electric non-stick griddle to 375 degrees F.
- Place the tortillas, 2 to 3 at a time, onto the griddle and cook for 4 minutes per side or until light golden. Hold for up to 2 hours at room temperature wrapped in a barely damp tea towel. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Microwave for 1 minute in the damp tea towel to reheat.
- Place heavy cream in a microwave-safe 16 ounce glass jar and microwave on high 30 to 40 seconds or until cream is just under 100 degrees F. Add the buttermilk, close jar and store in a warm place for 24 hours. The cream will have thickened to the consistency of thin yogurt.
- Add the chipotle chile and salt and process with an immersion blender, in the jar, until smooth, approximately 20 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings