Taco Farm’s Fish Taco by Nick Benninger
- 1lb Fresh Taco Farm Tortillas
- 3 Chili Banger, or hot sauce of your choice
For Fried Fish
- 1lb Whitefish from TnJ’s Seafood
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup Masa
- 1 tablespoon Paprika
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 2 cups Yellow Corn Flower
- 1 cup Corn Starch
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 can Soda Water
- 4 cups Canola Oil
- Salt Pepper to taste
- 2 cups shredded Cabbage
- 1 cup shredded Carrots
- 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
- Salt to taste
For Farm Sauce
- 1 cup Crema La Vaquita
- 1⁄4 cup chopped Green Onion
- 1 tablespoon Lime Juice
- 1 teaspoon Dry Chipotle
- 1 teaspoon Mexican Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- Salt to taste
- The night before, combine cabbage, carrots, apple cider vinegar and salt to taste. Allow to sit over night to fully soften cabbage.
- The next day, combine crema la vaquita, green onion, lime juice, dry chipotle, Mexican cinnamon, cumin and salt to taste in medium size bowl. Stir until well combined and refrigerate.
- For fish, carefully remove and bones from fish and cut into appropriate sized portions for your tortillas. Mix with lime, cilantro, salt and pepper and allow to marinate for 5-10 minutes.
- For dredge, mix masa, paprika, salt and garlic powder together and set aside.
- For batter mix all dry ingredients together and then using a fork slowly add the soda, continue to add soda until a pancake like consistency is achieved. A few lumps in the batter is a good thing so don’t over mix it, the lumps will add a feathery texture to the batter when its cooked.
- In a large heavy bottomed pot with enough room to fit the oil while still leaving 3-4 inches above the oil level bring the oil up to 350. Dredge the perch in the dry mixture, then in the batter and then very gently lower the battered fish in to the hot oil, holding in half in half out briefly so it doesn’t sink and stick to the bottom. After 3 minutes in hot oil, turning once or twice to ensure even cooking remove the fish to a plate lined with paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, warm tortillas on hot dry cast iron pan or in the oven. Place a piece of fish on each tortilla, top with crudito, farm sauce, hot sauce and fresh cilantro. Enjoy alongside a cold summer craft beer!
About Nick Benninger:
Nick found his calling to become a Chef at the age of 16 working at a summer camp in northern Ontario. He fell in love with the kitchen and cooking and since then has “rooted” his career in many of the philosophes he learned in that first encounter with food service. After attending George Brown College Nick completed his apprenticeship working at kitchens throughout Ontario and finally settling back down in his hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo.
In 2008 Nick opened Uptown 21 with his wife Natalie and in 2013 the couple went on to open Taco Farm. Uptown 21 has been included in Where to Eat Canada every year since it opened, and recently Taco Farm was featured on the television show You Gotta Eat Here!
In 2016 Nick added two landmark restaurants: Marbles Restaurant and Harmony Lunch to the portfolio of kitchens that he is managing in uptown Waterloo. Having grown his brand to 4 establishments it only made sense to create an umbrella company soon 2017 Fat Sparrow Group was born.
Nick has twice appeared on the Food Network, and in 2013 his contribution to the culinary community was recognized in Waterloo Region Record’s annual 40 under 40.
In 2017 Nick joined forces with a local filmmaker creating an independently made food show showcasing the highly under celebrated 519 food scene called Nick and Taylor Make A Food Show!
Once again in late 2018 Nick and the company he helped found, Fat Sparrow grew once more. Acquiring the Stone Crock Group in Sr. Jacobs would increase the portfolio to 6 restaurants, a catering company, bakery, butcher shop, 3 market stalls and a wholesale food producer totalling 180 employees.
An early adopter and leader in the local food movement, Nick is proud to showcase the cornucopia of great ingredients and produce found right here in Waterloo Region.