Chef Telmo and Some of the BEST Fish Tacos You’ll Ever Have

Thank you Chef Telmo Faria of Tacolicious for such an awesome class. We will definitely be making these again….

Creamy and Mild Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa (T-Lish Green)

As one of the three classic Tacolicious salsas, this one seems to be popular with almost all of our guests. Bright from the tomatillos and creamy from the avocados this salsa works on just about anything.

5 tomatillos, peeled
1 avocado, peeled, cored and cubed
½ jalapeno pepper (lengthwise), stem removed and chopped
1 small clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon of toasted, ground cumin
½ lime, juiced
½ cup water
2 teaspoons of kosher salt

To easily peel the tomatillos, soak them in a bowl with warm water for about 5 minutes. The husks should come right off and keep your fingers from getting sticky.

Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees, place the tomatillos on a baking sheet and into the oven for about 12 minutes, until they are roasted and softened. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.

Once completely cooled, place the tomatillos in a blender with the remaining ingredients and puree on high until completely smooth. If salsa is too thick to pour, adjust with a little more cold water.

Makes about 2 cups

Baja-Style Fish Tacos

1 ½ pounds rock cod fillets, sliced into 12 pieces (about 4 x 1 ½ inches in size)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 cups canola oil

1 ½ cups plus all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons kosher salt
12 ounces light-bodied beer
½ cup ice cubes

1 ½ cups cumin-lime crema
3 cups shredded green or purple cabbage (or both!)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
12 wedges of lime for serving

Sprinkle the fish with salt and set aside.

Fill a large, deep, heavy pot with canola oil to about 1 1/2 inches deep. Heat the oil to about 350°F, using a deep-fry thermometer.

Meanwhile, prepare the batter: Mix the flour, baking powder, ice cubes, and salt in a medium bowl and stir in the beer until smooth.

To cook the fish, work in batches so as not to crowd. Using tongs, dip each piece of fish in the batter. Let the excess drain off and carefully submerge the fish in the hot oil. Fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Salt again and serve in warmed tortillas topped with a drizzle of the cumin-lime crema, shredded cabbage, cilantro, and a wedge of lime.

Cumin-Lime Crema

A lighter, and more flavorful alternative to regular crema or sour cream, cumin-crema will brighten up just about any dish that you would top with sour cream. At Tacolicious, we use it on our Baja-style crispy fish tacos.

1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup sour cream
1 lime zested and juiced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons kosher salt (1 teaspoon)

Add the cumin seeds to a small dry, heavy skillet over medium heat. Stir the seeds for about a minute until the aroma of cumin hits your nose. Remove to a clean spice grinder (or a mortar and pestle). Let cool, then grind and set aside. (If you want to save time and use pre-ground cumin, we get it.)

In a ceramic or glass bowl, mix the yogurt, sour cream, ground cumin, and salt with a whisk. Using a zester, grate the lime zest over the bowl, then cut the lime in half and squeeze the lime juice into the bowl, straining to discard any seeds. Whisk until well combined.

Roasted Tomato Mint Salsa

6 small Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
½ large yellow onion, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds
1 small jalapeno, stemmed
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
¼ cup packed chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Position a rack on the top level of the oven, about 4 inches from the broiler. Turn on the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place the tomato halves, cut side down, the onion slices, and the jalapeno on the sheet. Broil until the vegetables are soft and a bit charred, 10-12 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

In a food processor, combine the roasted vegetables and any juices from the pan with the vinegar, cilantro, mint, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is almost, but not quite, smooth. If necessary, add up to ¼ cup water to achieve a consistency similar to that of a thick soup. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve right away or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 3 days.

Makes 2 ½ cups