It’s already been 8 days since spring officially started, and oddly enough I spent most of my weekend curled up with a book and a glass of wine, reading by the window because there was hardly any sun, and it poured cats and dogs most of saturday and all of sunday. Not that I’m complaining, rainy weather is my favourite kind. In my opinion, summer is a month (or two) too long here in Mexico. But spring is my second favorite. Because spring means seafood, rosé and sunny terraces. And light dresses and a friendly sun, not a scorching-I-feel-menopausic-one. And that’s exactly why I prepared this recipe for the weekend, because it’s the perfect meal to enjoy on this time of the year. It’s fresh, mexican, delicious, and healthy.
I’ve raved about amaranth as a substitute for breading before, right here, and this time I won’t do it again. Instead I’ll rave about the colourful, yummy combination that’s purple cabbage, with avocado, cilantro and different favoured tortillas. But as if all of those together weren’t enough, why not top it off with a scrumptious spicy mango sauce? Still not enough? Then a second, creamy labneh and cilantro dressing will make absolutely everyone happy. You can dress your tacos with either of the sauces, or as one of naughty guests did, mix them both in the same taco! However you eat them, make sure you have plenty of tortillas, because you’ll probably end up having one too many tacos. (As is usually the case with tacos, of any kind)
Recipe after the jump.
As I have stated many times before, one of my favorite things to do is sit on nice, sunny terrasses, sharing a few glasses of wine on a sunny afternoon along with some seafood, in good company. Mexico city has plenty of these kind of places, and the weather is usually mild and sunny and all around perfect for it. But this year we had about two weeks of this… the rest has been intermittently rainy (and don’t get me wrong, I do love rainy weather, but nothing spoils a good carpaccio like having it flooded) and sparingly cold. So those sunny afternoons have been quite scarce… and so has been the time spent in the kitchen making ceviche or salads. But nevertheless, I’ll share with you this delicious recipe; an octopus and green tomato carpaccio, with a delicious avocado and spearmint purée. If you can’t have it outside, with a glass of rosé (as would be ideal) it’s still delicious, fresh, and light. A perfect hors d’oeuvre, or a good entrée. It’s an original dish, and the purple and green ingredients look striking together. And the best part, it takes about 15 minutes to have it ready! And you can keep it in the fridge if you make it ahead of time. Tempted? Read more for the recipe! Continue reading
Here in my end of the world we had a practically nonexistent winter. Which means its february and its already a hundred million degrees outside. And that, in my opinion is weatherchannel code for wearing silky dresses, sitting on sunny terraces eating carpaccio and having rosé. Sounds heavenly, I know. And that is what I try to do with my time…when I’m not having emotional meltdowns/family fights/random bursts of craziness. Which is what happens post holidays in my world. (And yes, february is still post-holidays) But since the weather permits it, I can pull my old trick of making ceviche right and left, because as I once told you over here, there is nothing as therapeutic, calming, relaxing, forget-everything-else-ing, as grabbing your sharpest knives and just spending 20 minutes dicing away. There’s something about the clean cuts, the even tiny cubes, and the simplicity of ceviche that just makes everything feel in order, in its proper place, balanced out with all the flavors in the mix. And that is how I like my head to feel. So even though I missed winter, I’m glad I have an excuse to make so much of this summery, light, brilliant dish. On to the recipe? Read more. Continue reading
You know how people are always telling you how you’ve gotta do things your way and live your own life and be your own man (woman!!) and then down the road you’ll be horribly succesful and get absolutely all that you desire and the world will bow at your feet? Well I’ve been trying to do that all my life and I have yet to see even my very spoiled dog do any bowing. Not even a curtsy, seriously. But I have been doing all the things that I enjoy and bring me peace and satisfaction, and even if its hard at times in the end it’s always rewarding. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it twice; DO WHAT YOU LOVE. I don’t mean to be preachy, but seriously, I think it’s the most important thing in the world! I can only imagine being 70 and looking back…I wonder what I’ll want to tell myself? I’m glad I have all this money in the bank or…I’m glad I ate gravlax and spent my bucks in riding and cooking and gardening and buying oil paints every time I felt like it? Ok I’ll be frank, I’ll probably want to tell myself both. But I’m sure I’ll get there! Everyone says so right? And we all know that if everyone says so then it must be true. And plus, even Frank Sinatra sang about it. So that’s what I tell myself every time I go to the market and I see a huge salmon fillet, just waiting to be played with. And I did play my way; I put a little twist on the classic Nordic dish. I made my gravlax with loads and loads of spearmint (’cause its so much milder than dill) and lime rinds, because those three together even when non-gravlaxed make a great combo, imho. And when you put it over pumpernickel and a deliciously creamy labneh sauce, (also called jocoque, aka strained yoghurt) rich in chives and a drop of lime on top…..well you’ll certainly be glad you’re doing it your way. Don’t lie, you want to read more for the recipe, right?
(Note: you could also substitute the labneh for homemade cheese!)
I could write this post by telling you about how much I love ceviche. About how it’s incredibly light, delicious, and healthy. About how there’s no type of ceviche I won’t eat (ok…if it’s got bellpeppers I won’t, but shhh), and about how I’ve been making tons of different ones due to the endless possibilities when it comes to ingredient mixing. But I won’t do that. Instead, I’ll tell you about how I find incredibly soothing and satisfying the process of actually making the ceviche. My sister and I have this saying “anguish, anxiety, desperation” which we use to describe that feeling when you need to be doing something different, you just don’t know what. You know the feeling, the one that usually strikes on sunday? (happens to everyone ….right?) Anyway, I’ve found that the best cure for that feeling, in my case, is making ceviche. There’s just something about the dicing and chopping and waiting for it to be ready that’s mysteriously relaxing. It’s a way of making a great dish without stressing over anything. I don’t know…it’s just zen. Maybe that’s the way sushi chefs feel all the time! If that’s true…then I certainly need to look into that. But back to the actual ceviche recipe, this one is the result of a lonely leftover clementine (from me making clementine pound cakes almost every day this week) and a present from my sister; a lovely unidentified chile plant, which I suspect is a type of habanero. Feel free to substitute with any other available kind, such as serrano or de arbol. Just be sparing, if it’s too spicy it’ll overpower the fish and citrus. Read more for the recipe.
Wawi – Isn’t that a cute word? It is what the huichol or Wixarikas, the indigenous people of western central Mexico, call this lovely grain. It is my favorite to croute things in. This plant, of a sacred quality to the prehispanic peoples of Mexico, can endure drought, thus providing them with food even when corn died due to lack of water. Through a long process, they managed to produce an abundance of the white seeds, and then “pop” the result into those little grains, which make them easier to digest and easier to get at all the proteins.
Now imagine fish sticks coated in this delicious grain, which not only absorbs less fat when frying, it’s also incredibly rich in flavor and nutrients, such as A, B, C, B1, B2, B3 vitamins, calcium, iron, phosphorus and folic acid. It contains much more protein than other cereals; twice as much as rice, and over 70% more than wheat. And imagine those fish stick sitting on top of a delicious broccoli, wilted arugula, and goat cheese salad. Sounds delicious and nutritious? On to the recipe then (It’s quick and easy, too!):