Amor y Tacos: Modern Mexican Tacos, Margaritas, and Antojitos by Deborah Schneider, includes recipes like Chicken Fajita Taco Dorado; Scallop Aguachiles in Volcano Sauce; and Mushroom, Rajas, and Corn Taco with Queso Fresco.
I first tasted this bright green aguachiles in Cabo San Lucas at bustling Taqueria Rossy, where it was made with small local scallops just a few hours out of the water. Aguachiles is simply raw shellfish, always sweet and fresh (usually shrimp or scallops, but any very fresh seafood may be used), combined with a vivid sauce and crunchy vegetables just before serving. It is even less "cooked" than ceviche. As the name warns, this aguachiles is very spicy, and for maximum heat and freshest flavor, it should be made just before you need it. Combine the seafood and salsa immediately before serving. The scallops cure before your eyes. Look for untreated or dry-pack scallops, which are naturally firm and sweet.
1. Peel the cucumber, trim both ends, halve it lengthwise, and cut it into very thin slices. Peel the onion, trim the top and bottom, and cut it into paper-thin slices.
2. Husk and wash the tomatillos, and cut them into quarters. Stem the jalapeños and cut them into several pieces without removing the seeds. Place half of the jalapeño pieces in a food processor with the tomatillos, cilantro, and salt. Puree to a smooth, bright-green sauce, scraping the sides of the bowl several times. Taste for heat—the sauce should be very spicy—and add more jalapeños as needed.
3. Pat the scallops dry and remove the fibrous muscle from the sides. Cut each scallop into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Toss the scallops with the lime juice so they are coated on all sides. Combine the salsa with the onions and cucumbers, then fold in the scallops.
4. Serve right away in a chilled bowl, with the julienne red pepper scattered on top and tostadas on the side. If the aguachiles will be on a buffet, set the serving bowl on ice.
Note: If you prefer not to eat raw seafood, the scallops may be briefly cooked and chilled before being combined in step 3.
Classic tostadas, crisp and delicious.
1. Heat about 3/4 inch of vegetable oil in a heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. (Set the pan on a back burner, for safety). Line a plate with paper towels or set a rack over a second pan.
2. When the oil is hot, fry the tortillas a few at a time until they are crisp and golden brown. Drain them well and sprinkle them while still warm with a little kosher salt. Serve immediately.
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This page created July 2010
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