Weekly Winner: Baja Meets Broadway

I seem to be into mixing my food metaphors lately.  Last week’s Weekly Winner had some unique food combinations, but that’s nothing compared to this week’s entry!  This was seriously funky…. it a tasty way.   I think the reason it appealed to me is that it is a culmination of all the places I’ve been.  I was born in New York and grew to love the delis there.  Much later in life I lived in Southern California where Mexican food and, in particular, the famous Baja fish tacos were incredibly popular.  Finally, I moved to Chicago where we’ll try anything once — culinarily speaking, of course.

So… without further delay I present this week’s Weekly Winner:  Fried Fish Reuben Tacos.  No really!  I did not make this up.  I would not be brave enough to put these things together.  I got the recipe from Food & Wine Magazine and when I saw it, I thought “you’ve got to be kidding me!”  But yet, I was intrigued.  So I tried it.  And boy, was I glad I did!

Fried Fish Reuben Tacos

Serves 4


1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon baking powder


1 ¾ cups club soda

½ cup mayonnaise

1 large dill pickle, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons ketchup

Vegetable oil, for frying

Four 6-ounce flounder fillets

Four 8-inch flour tortillas

¾ cup drained sauerkraut

¾ cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese (about 3 ounces)

1 cup microgreens or baby arugula


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and a pinch of salt. With a fork, blend in the club soda until incorporated; it’s OK if the batter is lumpy. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, pickle and ketchup and season with salt. In a deep fryer or a very large saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of vegetable oil to 375°. Pat the flounder dry and season lightly with salt. Dip 2 of the fillets in the batter and let any excess drip off. Fry the fish, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 1/2 minutes. Drain the fish on a rack set over a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining fish fillets and batter.

Warm the tortillas in the oven for about 40 seconds, until hot and pliable. Spread the Russian dressing on the tortillas. Top with the sauerkraut, fried flounder, Jarlsberg cheese and microgreens. Fold the tortilla over the fillings and serve right away.


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