- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 2 pounds skinless firm whitefish fillets, such as flounder or grouper, cut into tranches about ½-inch thick (see Note)
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cornmeal
- 1/3 cup instant flour, such as Wondra
- 1½ teaspoons ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- Corn and Tomato Salsa (recipe follows)
- Serrano Crema (recipe follows)
- Eight 8-inch flour or corn tortillas, warmed according to package directions
- Avocado slices, for serving
- Lime wedges, for serving
Corn and Tomato Salsa
- 2 ears fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from the cob
- 1 pound heirloom tomatoes, diced
- 6 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
- ½ red onion, finely diced
- ½ orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and finely diced
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ cup grapeseed oil
- Salt, to taste
- ½ cup sour cream
- 6 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground white pepper
Preheat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Season the fish fillets with 1 teaspoon ofthe salt, and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cornmeal, instant flour, ancho chile powder, chili powder, cayenne, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and mix well.
In a small bowl, combine the eggs and buttermilk and whisk well. Prepare a dredging station by setting up three shallow dishes or pans. Divide half the flour mixture between two of the dishes and pour the egg mixture into the third dish. Working in batches, dredge the fish in the flour mixture, then in the egg mixture, and then in flour mixture. Drop the fish into the fryer and fry for 3 minutes, or until the coating is golden brown and the fish is tender. Take care not to overcook the fish. As the fish pieces are done, transfer them to the prepared baking sheet to drain.
6. Divide the fried fish, Corn and Tomato Salsa, Serrano Crema, and avocado slices among the warm tortillas. Serve with the lime wedges alongside.
Note : Tranche is a French culinary term used to describe a cut of fish, meat, or poultry. In general, a tranche is a thin cut that is made across a fillet to provide more surface area.
Corn and Tomato Salsa:
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving. The salsa will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.
Combine the sour cream, serranos, chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt, and white pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to serve.The serrano crema can be made in advance and kept, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.