Introduction: Smoked Swordfish Tacos, Baja California Style
Greetings, People! This is my first Instructable, so please, be gentle...
This is my version of a popular dish form Baja California. Most of you guys must have probably heard of Baja from races and Spring Break, but I assure you there's a lot more to it than that.
Please notice that there's no Cheddar cheese, cumin or black olives involved. It's time we vindicate our food!
Friendly note to all anal-retentives:
Each and every food Instructable I've read is clouded with people's critiques on health
WE ALL KNOW THIS: This recipe involves large ammounts of smoked food (which has been linked to gastric cancer), fat, beer (yeah!) and Chiles and spices (double yeah!). It was also cooked outdoors at a public park by (god forbid!) a bunch of happilly intoxicated friends having a great time, not by people in lab coats and rubber gloves. We tried to keep it as clean as possible (after all, we're doctors), but we deffinitely didn't follow any public health codes.
If risk factors, people having fun cooking outdoors and alcohol consumption offend you, I encourage you to look elsewhere for recipes that more closely suit your tastes and lifestyle.
Step 1: The Ingredients
Sorry, guys, no pics of the fresh produce. We just chopped everything at home and kept it in freezer bags to take to the park to minimize food contamination and make things go smoother on location
Feeds 10 really drunk and hungry doctors (or about 16 regular people, coz we're pigs)
You will need:
5 lbs of smoked swordfish or tuna (I guess almost any kind of smoked fish would do, though)
2 large onions, sliced in half-moons
1 whole head of galic, crushed
1 head of cabbage, shredded
6 large tomatoes, cubed
4 large green bell peppers, cut into matchstick-sized sticks
1 large bunch of finely chopped cilantro
2 large containers (about 300g) of tomato sauce
1 large can of corn
1 large can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
about a cup and a half of vegetable oil
Corn and flour tortillas
Lots of shredded manchego cheese
Also a large, oval baking dish or anything that can hold all this food and take the flames
Step 2: Let's Get It On, Then!
First, you need to start your coals. I'm sure there's plenty of great Instructables out there on how to do this, so I won't steal their thunder. Make sure you get them white-hot before you start and that you go through at least 3 beers doing so
Step 3: The Actual Cooking
First, heat all the oil until smoking. Yes, it's a lot of oil, but the fish is really dry and you need something to lubricate it's way down your digestive tract
Step 4: Add Onions and Garlic
Dump the onions and garlic in the oil and don't stop stirring until the onions start becoming translucent. You want to sort of stir-fry the onions, not steam them, so don't let steam build up. And don't let the garlic burn or it will ruin everything
Step 5: Add Shredded Cabbage
As soon as the onions start changing color, add half of the shredded cabbage. Keep the other half fresh to use as garnish on the tacos. Keep stirring until the cabbage wilts
Step 6: Keep Stirring and Add the Bell Peppers
As soon as the cabbage wilts, add the bell peppers to the mix. Just be careful, the cabbage will release some liquid and the steam could burn your hands (and in case you forgot, you should have gone through 5 beers by now)
Step 7: Strangers Should Be Gathering Around You Right Now
At this point your pot will be fragrant and start attracting people eager to learn, so bloat in your magnificence and add the adobo sauce from the can of chipotles in a flamboyant fashion. Stir and then add the peppers, finely chopped, and stir again
Step 8: Add Tomatoes
Pretty much self-explanatory
Step 9: Add the Fish
Flake your swordfish on your vegetables. Try to keep the chunks large so they don't dissolve completely in the sauce and your tacos have some substance
Step 10: Add Some Liquid and Spices
As you stir your fish and vegetables, the fish will soak up most of the liquid. Now it's time to add the tomato and soy sauces. How much soy sauce is entirely up to you, but I've found half a bottle is a great meassure. After doing so, add your oregano and black pepper to taste
Step 11: Almost There, Almost There!
Simmer for a few minutes and add the corn. I trust that I shouldn't have to remind you to open your 8th beer as you do so. Stir and adjust salt as needed
Step 12: The Finishing Touch
Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes, then un-cover, stir in the cilantro and wait a few more minutes before serving. Cilantro should always be added towards the end of any dish to keep all of its flavor.
Step 13: ENJOY!
Heat your tortillas directly over the coals and stuff them with the smoked swordfish. No big deal here.
Traditional garnishes include the rest of the shredded cabbage, lime juice, fresh salsa (chop your preferred proportions of tomatoes, onions, cilantro and jalapenos, seeds and all) and Worcestershire sauce.
You can also meke quesadillas right over the flames and stuff them with the fish