poolside in baja

[twitter]Every day for a week, I’d walk the 100m from the pool to the beach bar cafe and order tacos. Chicken, beef, pork, fish, it didn’t matter. A cerveza, and a plate of three open-faced tacos with a cup of salsa and guacaomole would be handed over and I’d walk the 100m back to my book and pool chair to soak in the sun.

It was paradise.

Now, as I return to the cold of late winter and early spring on the prairies, I’m searching for ways to relive that perfection. If I can’t do anything about the weather, I’ll try my hardest to do something about the food and imagine I’m away. First there was this wonderful roasted tomato Mexican soup to warm up a cold day and bring my mind to the beach.

But I miss the tacos and cervezas. Beer is easy, I have a fridge full of that. But what about those wonderful simple tacos. A corn or wheat tortilla, a fistful of spicy meat and the most perfect sauces on the side.

All you have to do is watch half an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unkown to realize the best food on this planet doesn’t sit perfectly presented on a plate from high end kitchens. The best food comes from the heart and is simple; like tacos on a beach in baja.

Old el Paso fish taco kit

Old El Paso has a Restaurante line of taco kits they released last year to swing away from the usual spiced ground beef and toppings that we’re used to. They delivered a carne asada kit, a chicken tinga kit, and a baja fish taco kit. Over the past few months I’d served them all except the fish. Now, after a week where I had the real deal Baja fish taco, I wanted to compare. Could I make baja fish tacos at home?

Here’s the beachside offering. Deep fried, crispy whitefish, some onions, a bucket of guacamole and pico de gallo. Plain, simple, easy, perfect.

baja fish tacos

Here’s the Old El Paso Baja fish taco offering. The cilantro, the squirt of lime, the crispy fish, the slight heat in the sauce were all great.

baja fish tacos

Was it the same? No. There’s something magical about hand-made tortillas in Mexico and I’m still learning how to properly fry things in oil so they crisp up without sticking to the pan.

Was it close enough? Damn straight. Dos cervezas, por favor.

Disclosure: I’m a paid brand ambassador for Life Made Delicious

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