How to Cheat the Cold

Sunny day? Icy wind? Yeah....such a friggin' tease. If you find yourself facing the sun, in the lee of the wind, you just might kid yourself into thinking that those sub-freezing temps are long gone.


No, not in Boston. We've got maybe 8, possibly 10 weeks of chill. It's the hardest non-existent "Spring" season of the year.

But. If you want just a little help to get yourself through these tough weeks ahead? Eat like it's summer. And this Sunday's NYTimes had the best fish taco recipe I've made in a long time. I think it's the peanut oil and Wondra flour that makes the big difference.

You can nearly taste yourself right over to La Jolla, CA.

Zachary Zavislak for The New York Times. Food stylist: Liza Jernow. Prop stylist: Kim Ficaro.Plate and White Bowl: Global Table

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut crosswise into half moons (optional)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 limes, 1 halved and 1 cut into wedges
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canned chipotle pepper, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup flour, preferably Wondra or other fine-milled flour
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup peanut oil, plus a splash more for greasing pan
Pat of butter
1 pound flounder or any firm white-fleshed fish, cut across the grain of the flesh into strips about 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches long
12 6-inch fresh corn tortillas
2 cups shredded green cabbage
A saucy hot sauce, like Tapatio or Frank’s.

1. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro and jalapeño (if using).

2. In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise and sour cream until combined. Season to taste with the halved lime, salt, pepper and chipotle (if using).

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, chili powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons each of kosher salt and black pepper. Pour the milk into another medium bowl, and place the fish into it.

4. Pour 1/4 cup of the peanut oil into a 12-inch frying pan and place over medium-high heat until it shimmers and is about to smoke. Remove the fish pieces from the milk bath and dredge them lightly through the flour mixture, shaking to remove excess. Add the butter to the pan. Place some fish pieces in the oil, without crowding them, and cook until deep golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn carefully and cook for 1 minute more. Remove to a warmed, paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining fish.

5. Meanwhile, lightly grease a skillet with a drizzle of oil and set over medium heat. Heat the tortillas, one or two at a time, until they are soft and hot. Keep them warm, wrapped in a dish towel.

6. Fill each tortilla with 3 pieces of fish, browned side up, followed by tomato salsa and a pinch of cabbage. Drizzle with the cream sauce. Serve 2 to 3 tacos per person, with lime wedges and hot sauce on the side. Serves 4 to 6.

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