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A display of American flags lined a portion of Tijuana´s Coahuila Boulevard and environs over the July 4 weekend. Old Glories were put into position in anticipation of holiday visitors from el otro lado (“the other side”).

The annual rite has seen more draping of the red, white, and blue over the past few years, as local saloons and dance halls attempt to lure back Americans who are reluctant to visit Tijuana.

Vintage rock ’n’ roll reverberated from inside cavernous bars like the Chicago Club, at the crossroads of Constitución and Coahuila. This reporter hadn’t heard so much Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis since his grammar school days. The sale of bottlerockets, firecrackers, and roman candles was up at the local tiendas that offered them.

Tijuana celebrates Independence Day twice a year -- on July 4th and the 16th of September, which is when Mexico broke ties with Spain in 1810 and began fighting for independence.

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David Dodd July 5, 2009 @ 2:25 p.m.

Finally, a positive story about Tijuana. Good job.

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magicsfive July 5, 2009 @ 2:36 p.m.

how cool...looks like a great place to spend the 4th!! how was yours, refried?

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David Dodd July 5, 2009 @ 2:41 p.m.

My sister-in-law and her husband came over and I made fish tacos for everyone. Want my recipe?

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magicsfive July 5, 2009 @ 2:46 p.m.

absolutely...my kid LOVES fish tacos!!!!!

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David Dodd July 5, 2009 @ 3:08 p.m.

Gringo’s Baja Fish Tacos

Batter

3 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder 1 tablespoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon cayenne 1 teaspoon dried whole oregano, crushed 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tablespoon prepared mustard 16 oz. cold beer (plus one to two more cans to thin the batter as necessary)

Instructions: Mix flour, baking powder, garlic, cayenne, crushed oregano, salt, and pepper. Add mustard and beer and mix with electric mixer or with fork, adding more beer if necessary.

Cream Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise ½ cup sour creme 1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar Juice from 1 lime 1 1/2 tablespoons milk

Instructions: Blend mayonnaise, sour creme, vinegar, and lime juice well. Add milk slowly, until the sauce drips freely from the spoon and does not hang on. Chill for at least one hour.

Fish Tacos

2 pounds firm, meaty fish fillet Vegetable oil, for deep-frying Fresh corn tortillas, steamed or warmed Guacamole or sliced avocados Lime wedges Cream Sauce (recipe above) Salsa (fresh from the deli section of the market) Very finely shredded green cabbage Chopped cilantro leaves (optional) Chopped white onion (optional)

Instructions: Cut the fish into strips, perhaps one inch by four inches. Preferably in a deep fryer, heat the oil. If no deep fryer can be used, heat enough oil in a deep enough pan so that fish can be completely submerged. In the top tray of a rice cooker filled with a cup of water, steam the corn tortillas. Otherwise, heat them the best you can manage. Dip four to six fish pieces into the batter, and deep fry for four minutes or until the batter is golden brown.

Repeat this process until everyone is stuffed.

To serve tacos, place one to two pieces in a steamed tortilla, add cabbage and drizzle on cream sauce and your favorite red sauce as desired. Add avocado or guacamole, onion, cilantro, and lime juice if desired.

I have a good recipe for red sauce if you want it.

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magicsfive July 5, 2009 @ 3:27 p.m.

mmmmm wow refried that sounds amazing....with your permission i would like to add that to my family tree cookbook?

thank you! mmuah xo

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magicsfive July 5, 2009 @ 3:31 p.m.

and i must have the red sauce recipe....at your leisure. sounds yummy!!!!

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David Dodd July 5, 2009 @ 3:57 p.m.

Add away. It really helps to have a deep fryer and a rice cooker, everything seems to come out better and easier.

My red sauce:

First, get ahold of some dried chile de arbol, they're small chiles with great flavor. Take about thirty, de-stem them, and boil over low heat for a couple of hours, along with five dried and de-stemmed chile California. In leiu of chile California, you can use a small can of salsa de chile colorado.

Second, throw about eight red jalapenos into a pan after cutting of the stems and boil for about a half-hour. If you can't get fresh, a small can will work just fine, and there's no need to boil the canned chiles.

Third, throw the chilies into the blender and add a little of the water from the pot. Add a teaspoon of salt, a crushed clove of garlic, and a quarter of an onion. Blend well.

Finally, strain mixture through a fine strainer into a sauce pan, and heat on low heat until it boils, for about five minutes. Allow to cool.

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magicsfive July 5, 2009 @ 4:01 p.m.

is this going to burn my tongue off? ;)

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David Dodd July 5, 2009 @ 4:29 p.m.

Nope. It's hot, but it's not THAT hot.

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magicsfive July 5, 2009 @ 5:31 p.m.

lol ok thanks hon i can't wait to try it!! xoxo

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David Dodd July 5, 2009 @ 8:49 p.m.

Let me know when you're ready to make the fish tacos, I'll give you a few pointers.

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magicsfive July 5, 2009 @ 8:55 p.m.

i imagine i will be making them in the next day or two. thank you refried, i appreciate that! i am sure i will need all the pointers i can get!! xoxo

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David Dodd July 5, 2009 @ 9:05 p.m.

Magics, they're pretty easy. But here's a couple of things to consider:

If you have a deep fryer, great. Heat the oil at 375, with the basket dropped to the bottom. When ready, one by one, use tongs to drop the batter-coated fish in, apart from each other. They will have a tendency to stick together (which isn't horrible, just bothersome). If you don't have a deep fryer, you'll need something that can get oil hot. Cast iron works great, that's what I used before I bought a deep fryer. And be careful.

The batter needs to be thin, but not TOO thin. You want it to just stick to the fish, but not be gloopey (is that a word?). Don't be afraid to use more beer to thin it.

The cream sauce needs to be the consistency of whipping cream. It needs to run off of the spoon without plopping off of it. Thin it with whole milk.

Make the sauces way in advance. They keep wonderfully for a couple of weeks or more. Especially the red sauce.

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magicsfive July 5, 2009 @ 9:57 p.m.

i think gloopey is a word lol...if not i know exactly what u mean ;) good pointers. i think i will make them on tuesday. i'm sure we will speak before then but, following your directions to the letter i know they are going to be fabulous. i thank you for taking the time to write all this out. oh and btw...i have a favorite quote from cat's cradle. it' an exchange between Ms. Faust and Dr. Breed, when she was dancing on the desk...she states, "I'm indestructible. And even if I did fall, the Christmas angels would catch me" Dr. Breed: "They've been known to miss." i thought that was so cute... xoxo

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