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It’s National Taco Day, Come Get Your Taco on with L.A. Taco at Macheen’s Takeover of Northgate Market in Norwalk This Friday

This article is a sponsored post by Northgate Gonzaléz Markets.

While the origins of National Taco Day might be complicated, we here at L.A. Taco strongly believe that that the taco should be celebrated every day. For us, it is simply a way of life. 

We have partnered with the like-minded taquero Jonathan Perez of the ultra-ambitious Macheen who embraces a similar taco-losophy. This upcoming Friday, October 4th, at Northgate Market in Norwalk, Perez has put together a taco menu that is honoring the Mexican culinary tradition behind the taco, but also keeping the taco conversation going as we enter 2020.

His menu starts with a seemingly traditional Baja-style fish taco. However, it is taken up a few notches by subbing a thick and rich béarnaise sauce instead of the chipotle crema that usually sauces them. Taking cues from his fine-dining background by highlighting the European influence while giving it its own Latin American spin. Let this be a reminder that tacos can be fancy, too, and still delicious. Sparing you the textbook-like description of making a béarnaise that involves clarified butter, egg yolks, and white wine vinegar, Perez is swapping out tarragon with aromatic hoja santa, known for its distinct flavor which is often compared to licorice and eucalyptus. 

Secondly, Perez provides his updated take on tacos de canasta, the traditional steamed tacos wrapped up tightly in plastic and traditionally served out of a basket in Mexico City. The fillings range from whipped beans or potatoes, shredded chicken, chicharrón, or chicken in mole. Perez aims to amp up the flavor by steaming the tacos in a consomé made from the base of red pozole, using the guajillo chile as the main ingredient and reducing it into a form of demi-glace. All while making sure the braised pork is still the focal point of the taco. It will be topped with cabbage, radishes, and the hominy as a much needed cold vegetable salad to balance the richness of the tacos.  

Lastly, Perez offers his take on the vegetarian taco de queso, utilizing the pre-conquest plant-based flavors of with squash blossom, mushroom, and huitlacoche. Similar to a quesadilla, by using “Queso Oaxaca” sauteed with vegetables to create a corn-cheese blend using the floral flavors of the flowers. Perez sees it as an ode to the Meso-American roots of the taco.

Perez feels that this menu highlights the evolution of the taco itself. Through his elevated take, he hopes that we as a society are moving away from the notion of the dollar taco, along with a newly added curiosity developed from the popularity of the Netflix series Taco Chronicles. With these dishes, his ambition is to help people understand the hard work needed to make tacos and why a taco might cost four dollars, and five dollars, and six dollars—yet still be authentic in its own way. 

“You know it’s not just a taco.”

Here is a recipe for Macheen’s fish taco, in case you’re feeling like getting a little crazy at home. 

Béarnaise Sauce 

Makes a 1 1/2 cups

3 tablespoons shallots 

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons of white wine 

2 sticks of melted butter 

3 eggs, yolks reserved  

Fresh chervil 

2 ounces capers, chopped 

Directions:

In a small saucepan, melt your butter under low heat. Once it’s fully melted set aside.

In the same saucepan hot on medium, add your minced shallots. Cook until translucent, about five minutes. Add the fresh lemon juice as well as the white wine and let reduce, about 70 percent of the liquid. 

Separate the whites from the yolk of the eggs. 

Add the yolks and add them to simmering butter mixture, lower to low heat. Keep mixing until the mixture starts turning almost into a custard consistency. Once you get to that stage, remove the pan from heat, add your butter, and whisk until the consistency turns into sauce. 

Add the capers to the sauce move around taste your sauce. Lastly, add your fresh chervil and remove from heat. 

Frisée Citrus Mixture 

Makes 2 cups

3 ounces gooseberry, halved 

2 ounces olive oil

2 ounces salt 

1-ounce black pepper 

1 pinch white sugar 

2 cups frisée 

Smash gooseberries. 

Directions:

In a separate container, whisk the olive oil with salt, pepper, and sugar. Add the smashed gooseberry 

Toss the frisée in the dressing.

Fish Tacos

Makes 4 - 8 tacos, depending on how much fish you stack on tortilla

4 cups of canola oil

1 1/2 cups flour 

1 tablespoon baking powder 

1-ounce white pepper 

2 ounces salt 

3 whole eggs 

1 pound of cod, sliced into four filets 

2 cups  bread crumbs 

4 corn tortillas

In a large frypan, add oil under medium heat and bring the temperature to 350 degrees. (The oil should feel hot when you hover your hand over it).

In a mixing bowl mix all dry ingredients, except the bread crumbs 

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and set aside. 

Lay a plate down and add your breadcrumbs to coat later.

Pat the fish dry and dip each piece of fish in powder mixture thoroughly, using your hand to work the flour into the fish. 

Dip the dredged fish in the egg mixture, then coat it with the bread crumbs. Repeat with the rest of them.

Gently add each piece of battered fish to the oil and fry until golden brown. Repeat with all pieces and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to sop up excess oil from fish.

Bring a comal or cast-iron skillet to high heat. When hot, add corn tortillas. 

Assemble tacos on top of freshly toasted tortillas with fish, slaw, and béarnaise sauce.

Y a taquear. (Eat!).

Join us this Friday, October 4th for the Macheen Take-Over at Northgate, Norwalk in celebration of National Taco Day. 

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