Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Eat Like They Do In San Diego With Fish Tacos and Margarita Cake

When I travel, half the amusement is getting my hunt on for regional food and drink.  With the right gusto for exploration, anyone can find unique dishes locals are passionate and proud enough to serve with a story and a smile. In lieu of travel, a savvy cookbook will bring to you the salt, smell and spirit of place.

While working on the California Sol Food Cookbook I became smitten with one of the favorite fares of climate-perfect-Mexico-influenced San Diego: crispy fish tacos.  Now, you too can indulge in this crispy-crunchy-flavor-laden taco recipe representing a San Diego staple. To complete your staycation, a fresh, aromatic and deceptively simple to make ‘margarita’ cake even for non-bakers como yo.

Viajes Felices Mi Amigos!

Fish Tacos 
(makes 12 tacos)

INGREDIENTS

Beer batter:

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½  teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 1 cup beer

White sauce:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup plain yogurt

Tacos:

  • vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 12 (l l/2-ounce) cod fillets or any white fish fillets
  • salt to taste
  • 12 fresh corn tortillas
  • shredded cheddar cheese to taste
  • salsa to taste
  • 1 head green cabbage, shredded
  • lime juice to taste

DIRECTIONS

Batter: Combine the flour, garlic powder, red pepper and black pepper in a bowl and mix well. Whisk the flour mixture into the beer in a bowl until blended.

Sauce: Mix the mayonnaise and yogurt in a bowl.

Tacos: Heat enough oil in a skillet to 375 degrees to deep-fry the fillets. Rinse the fillets and dip in a bowl of lightly salted cold water. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Coat the fillets with the batter and fry in batches in the hot oil until crisp and golden brown; do not allow the fillets to touch. Drain on paper towels. Heat the tortillas in a skillet until pliable and warm.

ASSEMBLY

Layer each tortilla with 1 fish fillet, shredded cheese, White Sauce, salsa and cabbage and drizzle with lime juice. Fold over to enclose the filling and serve immediately.

Margarita Cake 
(serves 16)

 

Photo courtesy of Frankie Frankeny
Photo courtesy of Frankie Frankeny

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¾   cups sugar
  • ½  cup ( 1 stick) butter, softened 1 /2 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice 21/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup lemon or plain yogurt

Lime glaze:

  • 1 / 2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (preferably Mexican limes)
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon tequila

DIRECTIONS

Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the sugar, butter, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and beat until blended. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl after each addition. Mix in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Add the flour and yogurt alternately, beating well after each addition.

Spoon the batter into a greased and floured 9x 13-inch cake pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

Glaze: Combine the sugar, lime juice and water in a saucepan and mix well. Cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Stir in the tequila.

ASSEMBLY

Invert the warm cake onto a serving platter and brush with the glaze until it is absorbed. Let stand until cool. Slice and garnish each serving with a lime slice and a dollop of whipped cream.

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Named one of the 100 Most Creative People in the US by Entertainment Weekly , Frankie captures images for some of the best names in culinary.  

Frankie has helped create: The Art of the Bar: Cocktails Based on the Classics;The Model Bakery Cookbook; Miette: Recipes from San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop; The Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook and The Star Wars Cookbook Series. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.Frankie has helped create: The Art of the Bar: Cocktails Based on the Classics;The Model Bakery Cookbook; Miette: Recipes from San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop; The Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook and The Star Wars Cookbook Series. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Frankie has helped create: The Art of the Bar: Cocktails Based on the Classics;The Model Bakery Cookbook; Miette: Recipes from San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop; The Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook and The Star Wars Cookbook Series. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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