Featured Recipes

Sandi Beach Fish Tacos

Some of the best street food I've ever had was made from seafood in Ensenada, Mexico.  Among the many delicious offerings were the fish tacos.  I don't know what kind of fish they used, but my version utilizes a mild cod, fried to add a contrast of textures with the soft tortilla and the creamy sauce, as well as a flavor that marries well with the other components rather than competing with them.  Serve these with radish slices, Mexican pickled carrots, a corn and black bean relish or the (American) standard beans and rice and a slice of lime for a final hit of flavor before the bite.

Make the sauce first, and place it in the refrigerator and allow a bit of time for the flavors to come together.  Combine the batter ingredients.  Rinse and pat dry the fillets.  Dredge them in flour, and dip them in the batter.  Fry in 350 degree oil until the batter puffs and goes golden.  The fish shouldn't need more than a few minutes to reach doneness, depending on the thickness.  Remove to a wire rack to drain and rest.

To serve, cut the fillets into ~2 inch pieces, place in the tortillas, top as desired.
Red Beer Beef Kabobs

2 pounds sirloin -- 2 inch cubes
12 ounces beer
12 ounces tomato juice
olive oil
bamboo skewers, soaked in water or beer 30 minutes

Store bought "grill seasoning" -- or

1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Marinate beef in beer and tomato juice for at least one hour, or as much as 4 hours.  Skewer beef cubes, coat with oil, season generously, let sit for another 30-60 minutes.  If a meat-only kabob is not desired, or to stretch the recipe, add onion/bell pepper slices, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, squash, or mango or pineapple between the chunks of meat.

Grill over high heat until done but not overcooked.  Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes before service.

To serve, slide meat/vegetables off the skewers onto a bed of rice pilaf.

For the beer I would use a light lager like Tecate.  Light, not aggressively hopped, but also not cidery from an overuse of corn or rice adjuncts.  For a bit more impact, try a slightly more full bodied Sierra Nevada Pale.  Its got more barley and hop but maintains a nice balance.  Both have a faint, yeasty bottom note that contributes a nice, ever so slight tang.  Anything but Bud!  It's not fit to boil hot dogs in.

I wrote the recipe for sirloin, which is a good middle ground choice;  With the marinade, it grills up reasonably tender with the short cook time.  You can substitute other cuts, the more tough the cut, the longer you will want to give the alcohol and tomato acid to do it's thing.  On the other end of the spread, a short soak with a nice IPA and prime rib cubes, 'nuff said.

1 cup beer
1 cup flour +
pinch of salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1 pound cod fillets
peanut or veg oil

1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 chipotle in adobo -- mashed (optional)
1 clove garlic -- minced
For Service

warm (or grilled) corn tortillas
shredded cabbage
green onions -- sliced
salsa casera or pico de gallo