Baseball’s Winter Meetings in San Diego are drawing to a close, and the Tigers fan base is on edge with so many rumors popping up (and being subsequently shot down). I’m sure you are all hungry for some Tigers news by now. Well I don’t have any hot takes for you, but I did come up with something to cure your hunger, TACOS! And not just any tacos, but Detroit Tigers themed tacos. Each ingredient inspired by an individual or group of current Detroit Tigers.
The Winter Meetings are being held in San Diego. Google tells me that San Diego has many good cuisine choices, but one food stands out as a signature dish, Fish Tacos. This also, according to Fielder’s Choice, is the food the best fits Nick Castellanos. I like fish tacos. They are delicious, self-descriptive, and are tacos, which is good for our exercise. Tacos are the Hot dogs of Latin cuisine. You can put darn near anything on them and have it taste good.
First we’ll need to make the shell. Taco shells are usually made from fried flour or corn. They are also crunchy. You know what else is made from corn and crunchy, and personally endorsed by Justin Verlander?
These sugar coated dehydrated corn stuff pieces will work great as a base, but we’ll need to pulverize them first. Put a few handfuls into the food processor and obliterate them, with all the rage you feel when Verlander himself serves up three-run home runs. We’ll need some binder though to help us shape this into flat taco vessels. Another place that is in the same taco region of the world is Venezuela, and the Tigers have a rich history of players from there, including Eugenio Suarez and Bruce Rondon. A delicacy in Venezuela are empanadas. I looked these up on Wikipedia and they closely resemble something I already have on hand (kind of):
Lunch treats for lazy kids! Nothing says homemade like mass-produced stamped PB&J’s. Toss two of these into the blender and give it a whirl. This is a good time to introduce our next ingredient to the party. While researching this I tried crowd sourcing some of the information out. @MMerithew was kind enough to provide me some valuable feedback on the Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler.
@Tigerfan_PJK White cake with whipped frosting. omg.— Marian Merithew (@MMerithew) December 8, 2014
@Tigerfan_PJK Because they both make you go yuuuummmmm. Eat the cake and go omg and look at kins and go omg.— Marian Merithew (@MMerithew) December 8, 2014
Okay…sure, why not.
Cupcakes are fun and happy, just like watching Kinsler turn a slick double play, or mock a jerkwad pitcher on the mound. In they go. You can leave the wrappers on if you’re lazy. Its just paper, and it probably won’t hurt you . Spin these up and let’s see what we have.
Oh wow, getting kinda thick here. We’re gonna need to add some liquid to this. There’s a Tiger whose name resembles a famous liquid I have a wee bit of on hand. I talk of course of JD Martinez, and we all know what JD means…
Get out some wax paper and a rolling pin and flatten this sucker out the width of 1 electron. You’ll be amazed how large a tortilla that ball will make.
Trim about half of the sheet away to fit it into your skillet. Carefully move it into the skillet and turn up the heat to 2011 Verlander. After a few minutes, it will start to bubble and brown around the edges.
Looking good and about done. The kitchen is starting to smell like burning sugar. Now, here comes the tricky part, removal. Carefully try to slide a spatula under the tortilla and move it to a…
Fudge. Maybe it wasn’t done? But we are Tigers fans. Do we scream bloody murder and give up at the first sign of trouble? Nnnnnnneeeeee…..okay that wasn’t the best analogy. But the point is, we come back for more! Roll out the remainder of the crust ball and pop it in the pan.
Now maybe the problem with the first one was that tortilla shells are normally fried? Well I think our next ingredient can take care of that, and then some. Our frying medium hails from the land of Mexico, and is derived from the agave plant. Tigers setup/future closer Joakim Soria is also from Mexico. I speak of course of:
And we’re going to do something very special and appropriate with this. We’re not just gonna fry with this. Oh no. Not with an ingredient representing a member of the Tigers’s 2014 bullpen. That bullpen was a complete dumpster fire. So that’s what we’ll do too. Flambe! Now I do have to get serious here. DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME!!! Fire is extremely dangerous . You could burn yourself or your house down. If you just throw alcohol in a frying pan and light it, bad things will probably happen. Seek out professional advice on how to safely learn this technique. Now with that said, I give you my representation of the Tigers 2014 bullpen in food form.
Scorching Soria! Such a wonderful representation. And maybe it just happened to put the finishing touches on our taco shell. So after the flames die down, carefully try to move the tortilla to the … damn. It fell apart again, much like the bullpen. Figures. You know what, just wad up all the fried pieces and roll them out again and trudge on
Look at that, it actually not half bad. Set it in the fridge to solidify for a while and lets move onto the filling. Starting with the main ingredient of fish taco filling, fish.
Putkonenfish! Okay he’s actually Finnish but it’s all part of Scandinavia so just work with me on this. I imagine that this is a stabpe of any reasonable hardy Scandinavian diet. Toss these in a bowl and lets consider the other elements of our filling. For that we look to shortstop Jose Iglesias. He hails from Cuba, where a traditional dish is Arroz con Frijoles, which translates to rice and beans.
We have rice, which is white, bland, and ultimately unfilling. A good description for Ian Krol. And we have beans. This is something Alex Avila is unfortunately too familiar with, given all the beanings he takes behind the plate. Dump these in the bowl as well and mix it all up.
Set this aside to marinate while we consider toppings. For me, I can’t have a taco without sour cream. It's quintessential to the taco experience, like gravy on mashed potatoes, ranch dressing on pizza, and cheese on ice cream. So for this culinary adventure, we’ll undertake making sour cream ourselves. I’ve never done this before, but it should be easy enough. I mean the name is self explanatory. Something sour and cream. The inspiration for the sour part comes from David Price, who came to the Tigers from the magical land of Florida. There's one thing that is sour that screams Florida more than anything:
Florida Key Lime sourness. Next, the cream. There are lots of options here but for my money the best cream out there is ice cream. Ice cream is usually served cold, and there is no place that knows cold stuff better than Canada. They are also the source of our two most recently added outfielders, Rajai Davis and Anthony Gose. And this is where I think the food gods were really speaking to me, because there is a uniquely Canadian ice cream called Tiger Tail. According to Wikipedia, Tiger Tail ice cream is a flavor combination of orange and black licorice. Oh sweet Jeezuz that sounds disg-..I mean fantastic! Bring it on!
Yes I know its sherbet, but they didn’t have orange ice cream at the local grocery store. The Tigers don’t have a full outfield either right now and is Dombrowski worried? No, and neither am I . In a pot they go.
Turn up the heat and try to melt that licorice down so no one even knows its there.
Hmm, well we’ll just call it chunky style. Spoon in the pie filling and topping, but try to avoid the crust. Don’t want some strange flavors contaminating our masterpiece.
Once that’s mixed all up, set it aside to cool and thicken. Lets turn our attention to the final details of our toppings. We have a plethora of Tigers represented here.
Obviously we have lettuce for Andrew Romine, a jar of concentrated Miguel Cabrera, dried chile peppers for Al Albuquerque as chiles are a staple of New Mexican food, smarties for Brad Ausmus, Dartmouth grad, and finally, from the list by Fielder’s Choice, cheddar cheese for Joe Nathan. Our list is complete. Time to plate.
First take your solidified shell from the fridge and put it on the plate. Next add the Scando-Cuban stuffing.
Then pile on the toppings, and don’t be shy about it.
Finally top with sour cream and fold the shell over.
Success! We’ve just created a fish taco any restaurant in San Diego would be proud to serve. And there’s enough caloric energy contained in this to last you through the rest of the cold cold off-season.
Bon Appétit Tiger Fans.
A BIG thank you to @FieldersChoice5 and @MMerithew for their help and input on this. And of course to the most diabolical internet chef @IAmSpilly for the inspiration on this. You can check out his work here.