Beer-Battered Fish Tacos with Avocado Jalapeno Crema

Isn’t it wonderful to watch someone you love find their passion in life? Sometimes, it’s better than finding your own way.

I don’t think I really understood this concept until I watched Sean conquer nursing school. After a few cycles of rejections from Physician Assistant programs, he was frustrated. Understandably, those rejections hit him hard in the confidence gut.

Then he applied to nursing school on a whim. It was a “just in case,” a back-up option in case the waitlisted PA programs didn’t pan out. Suddenly, though, he was on a high speed train toward a nursing career, excelling at every turn. He got into the program immediately, then rose to the top of his class semester after semester. He tutored the younger students in the hardest topic areas. His professors loved him and he was given the most sought-after clinical rotations. He graduated with honors, absolutely nailed his NCLEX, then got a highly competitive job in the Cardiac ICU at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle — a job he had been told was impossible for new grads to get.

I’ve always been a career climber myself, a highly motivated type A person focused on getting to the top. But lately, I’ve been enjoying watching Sean, the person I love most, climb his career ladder instead. There’s nothing more satisfying — not even achieving my own dreams. Last week, he started his new job at Swedish. And make no mistake, chasing your dream career is hard work. He’s been exhausted all week. But you know, life is pretty damn cool sometimes. If you’re open to it, it can really surprise you.

This week’s blog posts are all about comfort food, including these amazing fish tacos which dedicated to Sean’s new, exhausting, exciting career path.

Beer-Battered Fish Tacos with Avocado Jalapeno Crema

Serves 2 for dinner, plus leftovers. Batter recipe adapted from All Recipes.
  • several portions of cod or halibut, about 8-12 oz (this recipe will also work with shrimp)
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1-1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 t cayenne
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1.5 cups beer (light beer is best — I used a Blue Moon)
  • 4 tortillas (large or small, flour or corn — up to you!)
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 T sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1/2 jalapeno, diced without seeds
  • 2 chives, sliced thinly
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 T cilantro, chopped small

Fill a saucepan with 1.5 inches of vegetable oil and set to medium high heat. Meanwhile, combine flour, cayenne, salt, pepper, egg and beer in a bowl, whisking until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Then cut your fish fillets into 2 inch wide strips, patting them dry as you go.

In a small bowl, mash the avocado, then add sour cream, diced jalapeno, chives, a squeeze of lime juice and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine thin slices of red onion with 2 T red wine vinegar and another small pinch of salt. Toss to coat red onions, then set aside.

Wrap the tortillas in foil and throw them into the oven to warm.

Use a spoon to drop a tiny bit of batter into the frying oil. If bubbles appear around it and it begins to sizzle, your oil is hot enough. If not, turn the heat up a bit and wait for 3-4 minutes, then try again. Once the oil sizzles around the batter, dredge each piece of fish in batter (using tongs) then drop them into the oil, one by one. You might need to do this in two batches, as it can get crowded. Cook for 2 minutes on one side before flipping the fish over — it should be golden brown. Once the fish is done, set it on paper towels to drain.

To assemble the tacos, place one piece of fish in the center of the tortilla, drizzle it with avocado crema, then top with the pickled onions, a squeeze of lime juice, a pinch of cilantro, and a sprinkle of cheese. Enjoy!

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