Rick says: "For many years the beaches on the north coast of Cornwall were patrolled by Australian lifeguards, originally because they had the surf life-saving skills that were unfamiliar to the locals. For me, this meant many summers of friendship with pleasant Australians, all of whom seemed to be sunny and optimistic. Well, you would be, wouldn’t you, with a summer in Cornwall and lots of locals finding you irresistible? One such lifeguard was Rudi, who used to return year after year. Everyone was extremely fond of him – so much so that we filmed a little sequence about a trip he’d made to Ensenada on the Baja California coast, where they made fabulous fish tacos. We cooked some on the beach in Cornwall by the lifeguard hut, and Rudi took Chalky, my Jack Russell, out for a little surfing lesson."
12 x 15cm Corn tortillas
600g Cod fillet
100g plain flour, seasoned with pinch of salt and 6 turns black peppermill
1 litre corn or vegetable oil
For the batter
200g plain flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
275ml ice-cold beer
For the toppings
¼ small white cabbage, finely shredded
1 avocado, stoned, peeled and diced
For the pico de gallo salsa
2 large ripe tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
½ onion, finely chopped
A handful of coriander, chopped
1 green serrano or jalapeño chilli, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
Juice of ½ –1 lime
Warm the tortillas in a dry frying pan, in a microwave or in the oven. Get your toppings – shredded cabbage, diced avocado, and hot chilli sauce – ready. Mix the ingredients for the crema and set aside.
To make the pico de gallo salsa, mix all the ingredients in a bowl, starting with the juice of half a lime and adding more to taste, if desired.
To make the batter, sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a roomy bowl. Using a balloon whisk, incorporate the beer until you have a smooth batter. Set aside.
Cut the fish into fingers about 1cm thick. Heat the oil in a large pan to 190°C. Dip a few pieces of fish into the seasoned flour, shake off the excess, then dip them into the batter. Fry for 2–2½ minutes until crisp and golden. Repeat until you’ve cooked all the fish, draining each batch briefly on kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Serve the fish immediately in warm tortillas, with the toppings on the table for guests to help themselves.