El Catrin Destilería | Toronto

It was during 2017 that I found this place, El Catrin Destilería. On a vacation/preparation trip for me moving to Canada and attend Brock University, we ended up in Toronto. And there, when exploring the distillery district, we found El Catrin.

We were seated outside on the patio, and in the middle of all the tables there was a big fire burning. To start us off we brought in some guacamole, that we had to mix ourselves. Basically, we were only given the ingredients and a big mortar to mix them with. When we asked the waitress for a recommendation, she said that we should try the Baja fish taco. And boy, did I like the Baja! Actually, I liked the restaurant so much that I tried it three times in less than two weeks, always coming back for their fish taco Baja. Even though fish tacos are a very basic dish, the preparation and accoutrements took this simple street food to a whole other level. Apparently, the Baja fish taco is so popular that the Executive Chef has two shifts a day totally dedicated to the Baja Taco station.

Another cool experience from Toronto was I had dinner in the CN Tower together with my dad. It was pretty cool, not only to eat at that altitude, but also because the whole floor was moving. One spin took 15 minutes, and that way you got to the all of the Toronto skyline, no matter where you were sitting in the restaurant. All the tables were numbered as well, just so that people wouldn’t get lost if they went to the bathroom. Just imagine if it would have been possible to combine El Catrín with the CN Tower… I would have gone bankrupt, because I would have eaten there every day!

The Baja Fish Taco
125 gr skinless haddock cut into 3 long strips
2 tbsp chipotle aioli
½ cup coleslaw (See recipe)
3 small flour tortillas
1 tbsp cilantro
1 batch Stella Artois batter (See recipe)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups canola oil
2 lime wedges (about ¼ of a lime)

Chipotle Aioli
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp canned chipotle in adobe
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp lime juice (about ½ a lime)

Coleslaw
½ cup green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 tbsp chipotle aioli
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp lime juice (about 1 lime)

STELLA ARTOIS Batter
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tall can (500 ml) of Stella Artois
Combine dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients. Combine wet into dry and stir until smooth. Reserve.

How To Do It
Add flour to a shallow bowl. Add oil to a medium saucepan (pot). Heat on medium-high until hot. Tip! The easiest and safest method to test if your oil is hot is to stick the end of a wooden spoon into the oil. If you see many bubbles form around the wood and they start to float up, your oil is ready for frying. If it is bubbling hard, the oil is too hot; let it cool a bit and check the temperature again.

Once hot, lower heat to medium to hold the temperature. Season the fish with salt and dredge in flour to coat. Dredge in beer batter and carefully fry in hot oil until golden brown (approximately 3 minutes). Carefully remove fish from oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Heat your tortillas either on a dry (no oil) comal or in a frying pan over medium heat – 30 seconds on each side. Evenly distribute 2 tbsp of chipotle aioli over 3 tortillas. Add fried fish. Evenly distribute coleslaw over tacos. Finish with cilantro and plate with your lime wedged on the side.

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