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North Carolina Battered Catfish with Sweet Potato and Apple Hash, garnished with Salsa de chile de árbol topped off with Zaatar and wrapped in delicious Fresh Corn Tortillas

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Contributed by Brian Mount, sinker, Jake Spurlock, coleGillespie
North Carolina Battered Catfish =============================== Do it right and [stick your arm down a catfish hole in the muddy waters of a north carolina pond](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zc_huHb4PMc), take that sucker home at serve it up to your friends and family on some corn tortilas * 1 cup all-purpose flour * 1 cup cornmeal * 1 tablespoon baking powder * 1 tablespoon kosher salt * 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper * 1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer * 4 (6-ounce) catfish fillets * 1 tablespoon salt * 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper * 2 tablespoons granulated garlic * 1 lemon, juiced Preheat a deep-fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and cayenne and whisk to combine. Whisk in the beer, being sure to remove any lumps. Cut the catfish fillets in half lengthwise to make 2 strips. If desired, cut into bite-sized pieces. In a small bowl add the salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Season the fillets with the salt mixture. Dip each strip in the beer batter and add to the fryer, a few at a time, moving them around so they don't stick. Fry until brown and crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the fryer to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining fillets and season the fish with lemon juice. Cut them up into taco size portions and show your friends how amazing your catch tastes.
Contributed by Brian Mount, sinker, Jake Spurlock
Sweet Potato and Apple Hash =========================== Sweet potatoes are my go-to taco punch-up. I was going my normal route of making small (1/4" or so) cubes of sweet potatoes when I thought: Hey, it's fall, I'm going to add an apple in there. Fuck yes. * 2 Small sweet potatoes (you'd be amazed how little sweet potato you need for tacos) * 1 Small apple * One can diced green chilis * A couple pinches of chili powder * A squeeze of honey * Pat o' butter Mix this all into a pan, with about 1/4 cup of water, and boil it all up until the water goes away, toss in the butter, and continue to pan-fry until things get a little browned. tags: vegetarian
Contributed by sinker
Salsa de chile de árbol ======================= This is a go-to taco sauce in western Mexico and probably elsewhere. You can mix and match the techniques in the two variants presented here, and substituting or adding chiles is a ramp onto the combinatorial superhighway of Mexican food and can demystify the salsa bar at the local taquería. # Red * dried whole *chiles de árbol* * tomatoes * onion * *optionally*, garlic Take between .3 and 1 chiles per tomato, remove the stems and put them in a saucepan with a tablespoon or two of oil (olive, soy, etc.) The pan and oil should be very hot and the chiles should seem to be at risk of burning. Rotate the chiles around and let them get dark brown to black without actually burning them — this can happen quickly, which is good because your eyes, nose, and lungs may reach their maximum vaporized chile tolerance during this step. Add a bunch of chopped onion and garlic and lower the heat. Cut the tomatoes in half and throw them in with salt to taste. Cook until the tomatoes look stewed. If you have one of those blender wands that you can put directly in a saucepan, you can blend everything now (you may end up making this sauce frequently enough to justify the purchase of a blender wand.) Otherwise wait until the mixture is not hot and blend it in a standard blender. # Green * dried whole *chiles de árbol* * green tomatillos * onion * cilantro Take between .1 and .5 chiles per tomatillo, remove the stems and put them in a bare, hot saucepan. Toast the chiles without oil until they are dark. Add halved or quartered tomatillos, salt, and a tablespoon or two of water to prevent burning the chiles before the tomatillos release their juices. When the mixture has cooked for as long as you can stand to wait, remove the heat and let it cool. Blend and place in a little salsa bowl and heap with finely chopped onion and cilantro. One non-obvious little point is that skipping the oil in the chile roasting-toasting step seems to increase the spiciness of the final product. tags: vegetarian
Contributed by Brian Mount, sinker, Jake Spurlock, Charlie Loyd
Zaatar ====== _A.k.a. za‘tar, za’atar, zattr, etc._ Zaatar is a thyme-based Middle Eastern seasoning that adapts well to tacos. It has a pleasantly dry, faintly sour/bitter flavor. It goes well on savory bases like squash and lamb, and combines with other sour seasonings like lemon juice and radish. There are many kinds of zaatar, some quite different; this recipe is representative, not definitive. * 4 units thyme * 2 units oregano * 2 units sesame seeds * 0–1 unit salt * 1 unit sumac (to be found at a Lebanese or Syrian market, or at a yuppie grocery; in a pinch, lemon zest can substitute) * Other herbs to taste: fennel pollen, marjoram, cumin, etc. * Optional: trace olive oil or lemon juice as a binder (but not if you plan to store it) Toast the sesame seeds. Grind all ingredients together using any method, stopping when the mixture is not too fine to pick up by pinching. May be added to meat during cooking, or sprinkled over a finshied taco. The latest theories have not ruled out the possibility of a zaatar mole. tags: vegetarian, vegan
Contributed by Brian Mount, sinker, Tim Murtaugh, OpenShift guest, AhemNason, Tim Murtaugh
Fresh Corn Tortillas =================== This is the only way to go. So worth it. Makes roughly 15 tortillas. * 1 3/4 cups masa harina * 1 1/8 cups water 1. In a medium bowl, mix together masa harina and hot water until thoroughly combined. Turn dough onto a clean surface and knead until pliable and smooth. If dough is too sticky, add more masa harina; if it begins to dry out, sprinkle with water. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 30 minutes. 2. Preheat a cast iron skillet or griddle to medium-high. 3. Divide dough into 15 equal-size balls. Using a tortilla press (or a rolling pin), press each ball of dough flat between two sheets of wax paper (plastic wrap or a freezer bag cut into halves will also work). 4. Place tortilla in preheated pan and allow to cook for approximately 30 seconds, or until browned and slightly puffy. Turn tortilla over to brown on second side for approximately 30 seconds more, then transfer to a plate. Repeat process with each ball of dough. Keep tortillas covered with a towel to stay warm and moist (or a low temp oven) until ready to serve. tags: vegetarian, vegan