Just about every year I take a trip to Mexico. I love everything about it, the people, the culture, the architecture, the folk art and especially the FOOD! My friends, Peter and Tari Bowman, moved down to Puerto Vallarta and bought a beach front restaurant called Daiquiri Dick's 35 years ago and about 10 years ago they opened a home furnishings/design store, Banderas Bay Trading Company. This year, they invited me to join them on a buying trip to Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque, Patzcuaro and San Miguel de Allende to stock the store, I couldn't say no. My plan is to take notes on the food while we are on the road and then share my version of my favorite bites with you, here on the bird blog.
I arrived in PV last Sunday and yesterday, after hiking all over town in the heat and humidity trying to find a 'cute little café' that I had eaten in a couple of years ago and finding it gone (aargh), I headed for the nearest ice cold Negra Modelo. I ended up at a small fish restaurant next to the vegetable market. On their menu they offer a shrimp aguachile
(a type of ceviche from the Sinaloa region of Mexico). I LOVE aguachile so I ordered one. WOW, what a great idea that was! I immediately (well. after one more cerveza fria) went next door and purchased the ingredients to make my own agauchile for an easy appetizer for dinner, it goes together in minutes. Here is my version.
1 lb shrimp, 20-25 size, raw, deveined (be sure to remove both veins by cutting all the way through but leaving both ends attached)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 - 2 serrano chilies or jalapenos (or one of each) stemmed, seeded and cut into chunks
1 bunch of cilantro, washed, dried, stems cut away, no need to be too fussy
2 T water (the agua part of aguachile)
1 lime, zested
4 limes, juiced
1 small mandarin orange, juiced (optional)
1 large cucumber, peeled cut in half lengthwise and sliced in 1/2" slices or diced
1 avocado, sliced or diced depending on the presentation
tostada chips for serving (I use the big ones intended for tostadas)
Place the shrimp on a plate and sprinkle all over with salt, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 2 hours. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine chilies with a pinch of salt, the water, lime zest and juice and the cilantro (add the mandarin juice now too, if using) and process until thoroughly blended. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Pull the shrimp from the refrigerator and in a mixing bowl, toss shrimp with chili-lime marinade, onion, and cucumber. Serve right away with tostadas and avocado.
The small inset picture is the actual plating from the restaurant in PV. I thought it would be fun to show you the original inspiration. Very authentic but a bit 'heavy handed'. You get the idea.
You can present as a first course, plated and even put some greens underneath or serve as an appetizer in a small asian style spoon as pictured above. Be sure to use all of the sauce, that's what makes it great!
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
"Love your recipes! Pat made your avocado toast a few weeks ago, delish! I'm taking them to a party in a few weeks, although the mushroom crostata looks pretty darn good!"