Sample recipes from Fiesta at Rick's

Herb Green Ceviche with Cucumber

This is one of my favorite dishes of all times that seductive texture of fresh fish with a citric sparkle, the savor of roasted garlic and green chile, and the oh-so-attractive vividness of fresh cilantro and parsley. Add a little farmers market cucumber and buttery avocado, and youve made a dish no one will forget. My inspiration was an all-green ceviche late in Mexico, prepared by my Veracruzana friend Carmen Ramirez Degollado, and the chimichurri they serve on steak in Argentina. I dont usually follow regular ceviche procedure here, thoroughly cooking the fish in lime juice for several hours before serving. Instead, I toss the raw fish with lime and flavorings, scoop it into something pretty and carry it to the tablethats the essence of freshness. But if that doesnt sound good to you, stir a couple of cups fresh lime juice into the raw fish, refrigerate it for a couple of hours until the fish has a cooked texture, drain it and add the herb mixture and vegetables. Or just use cooked shrimp instead of raw fish, which I did last week for dinner and loved the outcome. One thing to keep in mind youll have more than you need of the herb mixture (we call it Mexican chimichurri in our kitchen). Youll thank me for that. Store it in a covered container in the refrigerator (pour a film of oil over the top). Itll keep for a month or more. I smear it on chicken before grilling or roasting it. I stir it into scrambled eggs. I add it to salad dressing and cream sauces. Itll make your everyday cooking taste special-occasion.

(1 Votes)

Roasted Tomato Shrimp-and-Octopus Cocktail

Makes 4½ cups, serving 8 as a starter

(1 Votes)

Creamy Chicken and Greens with Roasted Poblano and Caramelized Onion

When youre setting out some small dishes for friends to enjoy nibbling through, this is the creamy go-to dish to balance your tangy and less-saucy offerings. For me, this dish has the perfect balance meaty from chicken, vegetable-y from greens and onions and roasted poblanos, creamy from crema. Its straightforward good cooking that practically everyone finds incredibly delicious. A few notes about ingredients (1) Though the chicken is delicious sauted, as described here, in summer I grill it to add a little smokiness. (2) Ive made this dish with all kinds of greens, and each adds something special. Spinach is sweet and velvety, chard is more toothsome and bold flavored, lambs quarters are meaty and richly, sweetly green tasting (like French beans). (3) Many of the commercially made cremas available in Mexican grocery stores are more like mild sour cream (though theyre a little less curdy) than Mexican crema, which is rich and velvety. For true Mexican taste and texture, make your own crema (see Notes) or use store-bought crme frache.

(1 Votes)

Avocado Dressed Shrimp a la Mexicana

A simple creamy shrimp salad with fresh vegetables. Creamy from avocado, lively with green chile and cilantro, and toothsome with crunchy...

(1 Votes)

Plantain-Stuffed Chipotle Chiles in Escabeche

Spicy-sweet-savory-tangy-that’s one of my favorite flavor combinations. And these little tiny stuffed smoky chipotle chiles deliver on al...

(1 Votes)

Spicy Jicama, Cucumber and Fruit Skewers

Here’s a slightly dressy way to serve that beloved street food snack of fruit or jícama or cucumber (or, in this preparation, all of them...

(1 Votes)

Pork Picadillo Sweet Corn Tamales

There are first tastes you never forget. The flavor of local strawberries made into shortcake or pasta with homemade pesta or fresh-caught fish cooked on a campfire. For me, one of the most vivid is a fresh corn tamal filled with sweet-and-savory pork picadillo eaten at a market stall in the old downtown Veracruz market. The stall was makeshift and tiny, a few stools crowded in front of a counter that supported a gas burner on top of which was a steamer full of fragrance. Banana leaves, earthy corn, sweet spices. The pudding-like texture of the sweet tamal dough encased the savory spiced pork with raisins and nuts. And I was seduced. The corn is different here, but that didnt stop me from creating a very close facsimile.

(1 Votes)

Wood-Grilled Whole Fish Puerto Vallarta Style

Along Mexicos west coast. It seems like all the best seafood restaurants are flipping hinged flat baskets of butterflied, marinated fish over wood fires, fragrant with garlic and smoldering branches. And this flipped fishpescado zarandeado is how that translates into Spanishis for the locals about as celebratory as a cochinita pibil in the Yucatan or huge pot of mole in central Mexico. Theres strong Asian influence along Mexicos west coast (many Chinese settled there after helping build railroads in the late nineteenth century) and it surfaces here in the use of soy sauce in the marinade and Chinese toasted chiles in oil as a condiment. But Ive never quite understood why the marinade at Tinos (the famous Fish Zarandeado place near Puerto Vallarta) starts with achiote. A spice thats used practically nowhere but the kitchens of Yucatan. My marinade echoes Tinos quite accurately except that Ive replaced achiote with red chile puree. Butterflying a whole fish In most places, cooks simply layout a fish (scaled, gills removed) and, holding a butchers knife parallel to the work surface, cut the fish in half, starting at the lips and cutting straight through the head, then the body, then the tail. Once past the head, the knife typically stays on one side of the backbone, so that the finished fish winds up in two flat half-fish pieces, one with the backbone, the other without. At Tinos, they go one step further. Ensuring even cooking and easy eating. They split the fish in half as I described, but then remove the backbone from the piece that still has it. The two marinated sides (they look like fillets, With head and tail still attached, rib bones still in place, backbone removed) get grilled along with the marinated backbone, which Tinos clientele enjoys picking at for the tasty nuggets that cling to the bones. If youre not a wizard with a knife, ask the person behind the fish counter to butterfly your fish as I described (you may remove the head and tail if you wish), making sure to keep the bones to marinate and grill along with the boneless parts.

(1 Votes)

Achiote-Seared Shrimp with Quick Habanero-Pickled Onion

Achiote, that earthy-orange seed with the earthy-floral aroma, stains so much food in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula the color of glowing emb...

(1 Votes)

Chipotle-Glazed Baby Back Ribs

This is a rather unconventional approach to rib cooking First, baby back ribsnot the larger spareribsare showered with a dry rub that...

(1 Votes)
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