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Food52 "Play Me A Recipe" Podcast - Arturo Quesada makes Swordfish and Pork Cheek Tacos

Whether you love the crispiness of a fried fish taco, or the punch of chile morita-braised pork (or both!) chef Arturo Quesada of L.A.'s Encanto restaurant has a taco recipe for you. This week, he shares Encanto's recipes for flavor-packed swordfish tacos and pork cheek tacos.

On Play Me a Recipe, your favorite cooks will walk you through their most treasured recipes, offering all the insider tips, stories, and tricks you won't get from a written recipe—and you'll be right alongside them, every step of the way.

Recipe: Swordfish Tacos
Serves 4

  • 1lb swordfish
  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ¼ cup potato starch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup beer
  • 6 oz vodka
  • Rice bran oil for frying
  • For garnish - Red Cabbage Slaw, Pico De Gallo, and Mexican Crema (a dollop of sour cream with a squeeze of lime)
  1. Heat your rice bran oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for frying
  2. Mix together your flours, starch, salt, beer, and vodka
  3. Cut your swordfish into rectangle pieces to fit inside the tortilla
  4. Dip your swordfish into the batter and place it in the fryer
  5. Fry battered fish for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown
  6. Build your tacos by placing a piece of fish on one tortilla and topping it with red cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, and Mexican crema

Red Cabbage Slaw

  • ¼ cup red cabbage, sliced
  • ¼ cup red onion, sliced
  • 1 oz Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 1 oz EVOO
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix together and let marinate for 1 hour or up to 1 day.

Pico de Gallo

  • 1 pint Roma tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup jalapenos, diced
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.

Mexican Crema

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • zest and juice of 1/2 lime

Mix together thoroughly.

Recipe: Pork Cheek Tacos
Serves 4

  • 2 lb pork cheek or pork shoulder
  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 chiles moritas
  • ½ tsp fennel
  • ½ tsp bay leaf powder
  • ¼ tsp coriander
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garnish with avocado tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, and pickled red onions
  1. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large pan and begin to saute onions
  2. While the onions are turning golden brown, season pork with salt, fennel seed, bay leaf powder, and coriander
  3. In a blender, blend chiles, chicken stock, and garlic cloves together
  4. Check on your onions, once they are golden brown, take them off the pan and set aside
  5. Begin searing your pork on the same pan in which you cooked your onions. Sear for a few minutes on each side
  6. After searing, add onions and sauce (from blender) and bring to a boil
  7. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan and let simmer for 2-3 hours
  8. Once the pork is done slow-cooking and is tender, begin building your taco
  9. Top your corn tortillas with the tender, slow-cooked pork and caramelized onions, avocado tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, and pickled red onions.

Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

  • ½ avocado
  • 2 tomatillos
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 serrano
  • 2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Combine all into a blender, until mixed into a thick salsa.

Is there a recipe you'd like to hear us make? Tell us all about it at podcasts@food52.com

Podcast episode contribution by Arturo Quesada


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