Salsas 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.25.11 Condimental: Taco Belle

I grew up eating Mexican food, in Mexico and in California. Although my mother was raised in California, her family was from New Mexico, so her version of Mexican cooking betrayed subtle influences of that, and of Sunset magazine, the bastion of California living. In a sad twist of fate, she became paralyzed for the last 14 years of her life, which put a definitive end to her reign in the kitchen. On visits, I cooked quite a bit, but we also had our local sources for good Mexican takeout. Christmas Eve meant tamales from El Paisano, and no trip home was without at least one visit to Tacos Moreno, where the choice between al pastor, carnitas or quesadillas often resulted in an order of all three. I associate fish tacos more with Southern California, where the competition for who has the crispiest batter or the best sauce is quite fierce. I do love fried fish, but when summer rolls around, grilling makes this dish even easier. The real trick with fish tacos is not to get lazy. Don't just shove a bunch of unseasoned fish into a limp tortilla with some raw cabbage and a glug of bottled hot sauce and expect it to be sublime. What really takes it to the next level are a combination of flavors—you guessed it: hot, sour, salty sweet—and textures that complement each other.
Tagged — fish tacos