Small Mouth Fish Tacos with Homemade Tortillas

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The difference between a good taco and a great taco is the tortilla. With a little practice you can learn how to make homemade corn tortillas and raise your taco game from the farm leagues to the majors.

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Ingredients:

• Fresh Small Mouth Bass Fillets

• Rice Flour

• Beer

• Masa Flour

• Cilantro

• White Onion

• Jalapeño

• Avocado

• Tajín Seasoning

• Pork Lard

• Tapatío

• Lime

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Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, combine masa flour, water, and lard. You want to add about a tablespoon of lard per cup of masa flour and enough water until the dough has a sticky Play- Doh-like consistency. Where most people mess up their masa is by making it too dry, you want it to be pliable but sticky, as the dough sets it will dry more.
  2. Once you have thoroughly combined all the ingredients, start making golf ball sized portions of dough and set aside to let rest for 10 minutes before you start to form them. You can either form tortillas by hand, making plump tortillas AKA “gorditos”, or you can use a tortilla press.
  3. When using a tortilla press it is important to line it with either parchment paper or a large ziplock bag you have cut in half.
  4. Preheat a hot griddle or cast iron pan. Delicately place your tortilla down flat, after about 30 seconds you will notice it start to change color, when that happens you’ll need to flip them carefully. Wait another minute, flip again and again until you start to get color on both sides. If you have done all the above correctly, your tortilla will fill with steam and puff up.
  5. When using your hands to flip, be extremely careful, the trapped steam will burn your hand if you are not paying attention. Once your tortilla has puffed up it is done. Remove from the heat and set aside in either a tortilla warmer or pot until you are ready to start assembling your tacos. It will take some experimenting and trial by fire, but once you master tortilla making you will never want to go back to store bought dry tortillas again.
  6. For your bass, cut your fillets into taco sized portions and coat in beer batter to fry. Make your beer batter by combining rice flour and ice cold Heineken into a runny batter. When frying, be careful not to over-crowd the fillets in the oil, they will stick together with this batter and turn into one big fritter. Fry until golden brown and drain off excess oil.
  7. Now it’s time to assemble your tacos: Standard and mandatory taco toppings are white onion, cilantro, and lime, from there, the sky is the limit. Pair with a Michelada or Tequila blanco.

Dan Renna

Dan lives his life with his wife on a small homestead in Western MA where he raises livestock, hunts, and farms to fill their pantries and freezer. He balances family, work, and life, but also maintains the connection to his food and its origins.

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