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Recipe: Fish tacos and jalapeño-avocado sauce for National Daiquiri Day

Chef Kevin Belton uses battered and fried Pompano fish and a jalapeño-avocado sauce with warm toasted tortillas, making a great side for any blended-ice beverage.

NEW ORLEANS — National Daiquiri Day is Sunday, and Chef Kevin Belton has put together the perfect dish to go with any blended ice beverage on a hot New Orleans day.

Fish tacos are one of the best things to pair with a daiquiri, the chef said. Crispy fried fish fillets with fresh sliced cabbage covered in a cool but spicy jalapeño-avocado sauce — all in a warm, toasted corn tortilla.

Chef Kevin Belton chose to use Pompano fish, native to the Gulf of Mexico, but any firm white fish will do. Trout, cod, or catfish would work.

Don't forget to be safe with hot oil. Adding water to hot oil to see if it's ready to fry can be dangerous, the chef said.

Here's the list of ingredients

Jalapeño-avocado sauce:

  • 1-2 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped 
  • 1/4 cup green onions, cut
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 lime, juiced

Fish tacos:

  • 2 lbs. firm white fish 
  • 1 cup flour 
  • 2 eggs, beaten 
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cumin, ground 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 12 flour or corn tortillas
  • cilantro for topping
  • Queso Fresco and thinly sliced cabbage for topping
Credit: WWL-TV
Chef Kevin Belton uses battered and fried Pompano fish and a jalapeño-avocado sauce with warm toasted tortillas, making a great side for any blended-ice beverage.

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Here's what to do

Sauce:

  • Puree all the jalapeño-avocado sauce ingredients in a food processor until the preferred sauce consistency is reached. 
  • Then, add a little more oil or water to make the sauce looser to drizzle.
  • Adding a squirt of lime juice before a last 2-second blend will keep the sauce fresh and adds a nice acidic flavor to the sauce.

Fish tacos:

  • Pat the fish dry, and season fillets with 1 Tbsp. Creole seasoning
  • Cut into 2-3 inch pieces. 
  • Put flour in a shallow bowl, set aside. 
  • In another bowl, mix eggs and water.
  • In a third bowl, whisk cornmeal, cornstarch, remaining Creole seasoning, cumin, and salt. 
  • Pour enough oil in a frying pan so that the fish will be partially submerged while frying. 
  • Heat the oil to 360 degrees, and remember: safety first.
  • Place each piece of fish in the plain flour, then egg mixture and finally the cornmeal mixture. 
  • Fry the fillets on each side for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove the fillets from the frying pan and transfer them to a plate with paper towels to drain.
  • To tase, sprinkle salt on the fillets while they're hot and let them cool slightly.
  • In a skillet over medium heat, warm the tortillas on both sides for about 30 seconds.
  • Put it all together: Use a taco tray or an upside-down muffin pan to hold the tortillas, add the fillets, cilantro, Queso Fresco, cabbage and jalapeño sauce.

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