The fish tacos were complete guess work but came out far better than I had planned and, when teamed with the pico de gallo and guacamole, were the perfect mix of a bit of heat and freshness. The lucky recipient of this meal could barely contain her excitement throughout the whole thing so I knew it was a job well done.
How it's done
The key thing about this banquet is how fresh everything looks and smells. It really is a feast for the eyes and nose, and then the mouth. I know you're probably looking at the photo and thinking, 'That's a shit load of washing up there, Chef!'. Well yes, it is but hopefully your guest will get stuck into it when she's finished devouring this feast.
You can get the pico de gallo and guacamole out of the way and in the fridge early doors if the idea of making all three things at the same time stresses you out. Let's start with them...
Pico de gallo
- 6 tomatoes
- Half a red chilli
- Half a red onion
- Chopped coriander stems
- White wine vinegar
This is really straight forward. Get your tomatoes and quarter them. We don't want all of the seeds and juice and shit so cut them out to leave just the flesh, which you then just dice up into small chunks. Throw them in a bowl with the deseeded and diced chilli and the diced red onion. Chuck in the chopped coriander stems (about a tablespoon's worth). Throw in a splash of white wine vinegar and mix. Done.
- 3 ripe avocados
- A tomato
- Half a red chilli
- Half a red onion
- A lime
Also very easy. Grab the tomato and chop it in half. Next, lay it flat on the chopping board and squash it using the side of a large knife and your pure, masculine brute strength. Once it's squashed, roughly dice it up and throw it into a bowl (juice, seeds and all). Half and stone the avocados (keeping a stone back for later). Scoop the avocado flesh into the bowl with the tomato and then add the chilli, onion and some coriander stalks and leaves after you've finely diced them. Squeeze in the juice of the lime and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Grab a potato masher and go to town until it resembles the photo. If you're prepping this in advance, grab the avocado stone you've reserved and stick it in the middle of the guacamole before covering with clingfilm and keeping in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
- Skinned and boned white fish fillet (I used river cobbler as it's cheap and awesome)
- 2 eggs
- Plain flour
- Smoked paprika
- Dried breadcrumbs
- Sunflower oil
- Mini tortillas
Time for the main event. Get three bowls set up in a line. In the first throw a cup of plain flour along with a teaspoon each of cumin and paprike and mix. In the next bowl, break and lightly beat the two eggs. In the final bowl tip out the breadcrumbs. Grab your fish and cut into strips. This is a very simple process; take a piece of fish and coat in the flour and spice mix before moving it into the egg bowl and then finally covering it in breadcrumbs. Do this for all of the fish and then stick into the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes.
While the fish is chilling, fill a small pan to the three quarter mark with the sunflower oil and get it onto the hob, and get the oven on to 150C. When the oil is hot, fry four pieces of fish for a 1 minute at a time. When the minute is up, use a slotted spoon to get the fish out of the oil and get it onto a baking tray in the oven to keep warm whilst you do the rest of the frying. At this point get the tortillas in the oven to warm.
That's pretty much it, just set everything out on the table and let people dig in! My table has the pico de gallo, guacamole, fired fish, tortillas, a cajun sauce, some soured cream with a bit of paprika and grated cheese. There's also some corn that I've just charred in a griddle pan (no oil or butter, just stick in the pan on the heat and keep turning to get colour) Enjoy, dudes.