Deep Dish Fish and Black Bean Tacos is a small-kitchen-friendly version of pan de cazon. In Campeche, Mexico, “dogfish bread” is among the classics. Of course, it’s not a bread at all and typically calls for mako shark, which often surprises the uninitiated. This species is plentiful in the area and a popular marketplace item.
While shark steaks are available in some areas of the U.S. and even online, it’s more convenient to use other fish species, such as the whiting for this recipe. A restaurant chef with plenty of kitchen space would prepare it like this:
Shredded shark, cooked in oil with spices and onions
Black beans, cooked to a refried texture
Tomatoes pureed into a sauce
Corn tortillas, dipped in sauce and warmed in hot oil
These would all be layered in a stack, served hot on the spot, and topped off with a habanero pepper or heat-infused sauce.
At home, it would be nearly impossible to put this together in larger quantities. Preparing the tortillas is a timely process that you can avoid with my deep-dish version. It’s the same concept, but baked and – I guarantee – it will even be a hit with those who don’t think fish is their idea of a great taco ingredient. The other nice thing is it can be prepared in individual casseroles for single servings or arranged in larger baking dishes. Add as many layers as you want and enjoy pan de cazon the easy way!
Deep Dish Fish & Black Bean Tacos
2 cans black beans, drained
1 large fish steak (or a whole whiting)
1 Tablespoon oil
½ onion, diced
½ jalapenos, diced
2 tomatoes, stewed and peeled (or 1 can diced with liquid)
2 cans tomato sauce
water as needed for sauce
salt, pepper, garlic to personal preference
16 corn tortillas
Drain the beans, mash, and set side.
Cook fish (any version), and shred.
In a saucepan, sauté onions and jalapenos
Add tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Add salt, pepper, and minced garlic
Simmer for about 15 minutes.
Coat a large casserole dish with cooking spray.
Cover the bottom with four corn tortillas.
Add about 2 Tablespoons of beans to each tortilla and spread out.
Sprinkle with shredded fish.
Add a little sauce.
Cover each base tortilla with three more tortillas and repeat, finishing off with a tortilla topper.
Spread the remaining sauce across the top and around the sides.
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 30-40 minutes.
Heat and add any remaining sauce for a topping.