Seaside Fish Tacos with Surf Shack Dressing

I’ve been feeling a little homesick this week: homesick for my second home. Well, it’s not really OUR home, but my family has been renting out the same house in a beachy town since before I was born. So, it really has become a house full of memories and fun that I’ve spent every summer in. That classifies as HOME to me! Anyway, we are heading back there in roughly 3 months, and I can’t wait! There’s nothing like family, sunshine, the ocean, good food, and lots of laughs. It’s my happy place.

The weather has been cold, rainy, and crummy here today, not spring like at all, and it made me more anxious for our upcoming vacation! So, I decided to make one of my favorite foods to eat while there. There’s a local surf shack with tacos, burritos, and such. There’s nothing like a crispy, hearty, fried fish taco or burrito after a long day of swimming and surfing, and they serve the BEST I’ve ever had. I got a major craving for them just thinking about it. So, I decided to cheer up my rainy day and try to recreate their dish!  These babies are marinated, beer battered, and fried to crispy perfection. Served with a homemade Surf Shack Dressing and Salsa.

You always know that your meal is being thoroughly enjoyed when not a single word is spoken until the whole plate is clean….and this was one of those meals. After about 3 minutes of chowing down, I got a “Wow. are there any more?!” Success. I guess I’ll have to make double for my family next time.

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Seaside Fish Tacos

Make 4 generous tacos

What You’ll Need:

+ About 1 pound tilapia fillets (you can use pretty much any white fish)

+ 1 cup buttermilk

+ 1 Tablespoon hot sauce (add more if you like it super spicy!)

+ 1 teaspoon lemon juice

+ 1 teaspoon salt

+ 1 Tablespoon cilantro (preferably fresh)

+ 1 teaspoon parsley

+ 1 cup all purpose flour

+ 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

+ 1 teaspoon salt

For the Creamy Surf Shack Dressing:

+ 1 cup mayonnaise

+ 1 teaspoon lemon juice

+ 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

+ 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper

+ 1/4 teaspoon parsley

+ 1/4 teaspoon cilantro

You will also need:

+ About 4 fajita sized tortillas

+ your favorite fixin’s. I like lettuce, cheddar cheese, and my Homemade Salsa (click to view the recipe).

Guacamole would be awesome, but I try to avoid it, because as much as I love it, I have a small allergy to avocados! 😦 Strange, and horrible, I know!

Slice your fish fillets into 1-2 inch pieces.

Combine the buttermilk, hot sauce, lemon juice, cilantro, salt, pepper, and parsley in a medium bowl. Toss in the fish, cover, and allow to marinade for about an hour.

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Meanwhile, make the surf shack dressing. Combine the mayo, cayenne, lemon juice, salt, pepper, parsley, and cilantro. Pop it into the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

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Once your fish is done marinating, place your tortillas in foil and place them in a 200 degree F. oven to warm up while you cook.

Heat oil in a pot over medium high heat (enough oil to make about an inch in the bottom of the pan). If you don’t want to waste a lot of oil, use a smaller pot and fry in smaller batches. You just need it deep so the fish won’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Take a piece of fish at a time, remove from marinade and toss into flour, baking powder, and salt mixture.

Once the oil has reached 350 degrees F, start carefully adding your fish to the pan. Don’t over-crowd them or they won’t cook evenly. They need to have an even flow of oil all around them.

Fry for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy. You can cut into one to check- once it is no longer translucent looking and pure white, it is cooked.

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Once all of the fish is cooked, assemble your tacos, and enjoy!!

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