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Black Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos

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I’ve been craving Fish Tacos. But not any kind of Fish Taco, I mean Ensenada, Baja California Mexico Fish Tacos. The real deal. These “the” original fish tacos are often imitated, and sad to say but rarely duplicated. How can something so simple in principle, can be so hard to replicate? I really believe its all in the ingredients, and the particular sazon of the cook. Have you ever tried the authentic Baja tacos?… If not, please do. Tale says that the Baja tacos where created by the street stand “Tacos El Fenix” in Ensenada Baja California, Mexico. What is so special about a Baja taco? Well let me describe it. Imagine a tempura like battered piece of the freshest morning pacific caught white flesh flaky fish, on a Mexican corn tortilla, light mayo-crema, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and a spoonful of spicy green or red spicy salsa and a squeeze of lime. The bite is ethereal, crunchy, tender, fresh, savory, acid, spicy your tastebuds go on ecstasy.
I have not eaten Baja Fish Tacos in almost 10 years!, would you believe that?…No?, me neither.

Recreating a craving from a memory of flavor could be a little daunting. I did not wanted to even attempt to relay into my 10 year taste buds memories to try to replicate these unique Baja tacos.

So I opted for a 360 degree of separation alternative recipe to tease and ease up my Fish Taco craving. I made these Black Sesame Seared Tuna Tacos. Sometimes my tastebuds act in a mischievous ways. On these tacos I opted to seared Ahi Tuna steaks covered in Black sesame seeds instead of the deep frying battered fish.

If you never seared tuna before, it is really easy, hot sautee pan, rippling oil and counting 20 seconds per side, just follow step number 4 on the recipe. You will have the best succulent seared Ahi Tuna steaks. The black sesame seed crust its what makes the whole different story on this taco. Black sesame seeds add flavor and texture to this lean flavorful meaty fish. When the tuna steak hits the hot pan, the sesame oil creates a nutty and unctuous exterior coat, while the inside of the steak still pink, tender and fresh.

Black-Sesame-Seared-Ahi-Tuna-Tacos_ingredients

Now imagine this delicious Ahi tuna slices over a hand made corn tortilla. Add the following accoutrements; fine shredded cabbage, quick pickled radishes, carrots and jicama for crunch and texture. Fresh pineapple slices, a squeeze of lime for a sharp acid note, and an avocado-wasabi mayo that adds creaminess and spice it up. Do you read what I mean? Taco catharsis warrantied.

Lets’ do this, To make these tacos you will need:

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Sweet Corn Crab Cakes with Saffron Aioli

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This recipe has a long name but short preparation. Crab was never on Ian’s or my menu when growing up, but we really enjoy seafood: Mussels, Oysters, Razor Clams, Lobstah’, shrimp, fish… we love seafood the same way we love all food we sea.

So I decided to give it a shot, and make some crab cakes. I always liked how Seafood is prepared in Spain, simple, fresh but there is always an element of kick. Either from the freshest olive oil, a pinch of paprika, garlic, or a simple side of pimientos del padron. There’s always that good unexpected accent.

With this in mind I create today’s recipe  which combines sweet corn, orange zest, green onion action and sweet Louisiana crab with a delicious creamy saffron aioli with a garlic kick.

The first time I made these crab cakes we just fell in love with their flavor. These subtle flavors are a match made in heaven with the sweet crab. I could go on and on about them, but I think the photos will do the talking…Shhh, They taste even better than they look…
Crispy panko bread crumbs surround the outside of this cakes and a tender flaky and moist inside the crab just sings. The sweet corn kernels add great texture and sweetness. They are serve warm with a squeeze of lemon and the bright creamy saffron-garlic aioli on the side…mmmm, seriously good.

The recipe makes about 10 crab cakes if you use a standard ice cream scoop to portion them. They can also be made with a smaller size scoop and make bite size appetizers, Small to bigger crowds will love them.

If you are in a crabby mode, please consider this recipe as one of your top contenders.
Serve them along with green bib lettuce and some fresh tomatoes, these Sweet Corn Crab Cakes with saffron aioli it is all you need for a great Summer dinner. Have fun!

Sweet-Corn-Crab-Cakes-with-Saffron-Aioli_ingredients

For the Recipe you will need…

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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

 

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Hold your horses! Hide the children! What you are about to see is food rated “R” at its best! My Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is to die for. Fresh, delicious, and savory; it’s the perfect simple light meal for a hot summer afternoon. This juicy cold and light savory cocktail is a meal in itself. What makes it Mexican style? Well the whole combination of vegetables, accoutrement, and the cold broth. It’s a savory broth made with shrimp shells and seasoned with fresh orange and lime juice, ketchup, and some dashes of hot sauce. The result is this light fresh savory broth that goes incredibly well with the shrimp. In my opinion there’s no need to buy those bottled clam juices when you can get the most natural flavor out of your shrimp!
This Mexican Shrimp Cocktail is an entrée rather than an appetizer with a dipping sauce as served in the States. In Mexico, this cocktail is typically served on the coastal cities as an iconic refreshing staple and a must have if you are spending your day on the beach. In the city, shrimp cocktail is widely known as the number one ‘hangover elixir.’
There are many variations in which more than one shellfish is added to this concoction. Common ingredients include octopus, clams, oysters, baby scallops. It is called “Vuelve a la vida” which translates to “come back to life” because its invigorating attributes. That, I can not guarantee, however I assure you that it will refresh and invigorate you on a summer afternoon. In my case, I just love the simplicity of flavors and the way the shrimp skins cooked as a base produce a magic broth with depth and character!

Prepare this dreamy cocktail for yourself ! You can make it in advance, since it is served cold on chilled glasses. For parties you can serve it with all the vegetable accoutrement on the side which allows your guests to customize their own. Keep it ice-cold at all times. It is truly a great summer crowd pleaser. Enjoy!

I can assure you this recipe will be part of your repertoire for many years to come.
Happy Summer, Enjoy!

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_ingredients

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Serrves 2 sailors 4 mermaids

This cocktail is light and refreshing, it can serve two as a meal or four to six as an appetizer. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled upon family size, or a friendly party crowd.

1 – ½ lbs. Jumbo or medium large shrimp, peeled save the skins and deveined.

For the shrimp stock:
The reserved skins from the shrimp.
2 celery stalks
¼ wedge of a white onion.
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Seasonings for the cold cocktail broth:
The juice of one small Valencia orange
3 large limes + 1 or 2 more to garnish.
¼-1/2 cup ketchup sauce
A few dashes of your favorite Mexican Bottled Hot Sauce, I prefer Cholula, Valentina or Huichol.

Prepare cocktail with:
2 roma tomatoes, small diced
1 small white or purple onion, small diced
1 medium cucumber seedless such as jade or English cucumber, small diced. 
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
1 chile Serrano or Jalapeno with seeds.
1 small Hass avocado

Serve with:
Saltine crackers or Tostadas
Plantain Chips
And a really cold light Mexican beer (I prefer Modelo Especial or Victoria oh yeah!)

Preparation Method:

1. Place two glass serving bowls in the freezer. (Mason jars, or glass mugs will work too.)
2. Peel and de-vein the shrimp, reserve the skins and leave 4-6 unpeeled, tail-on shrimp for garnish.Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_peel-and-devein-the-shrimp
3. In a non-reactive pan place the shrimp skins, along with the celery stalks, onion wedge, thyme, a pinch of sea salt and some cracked black pepper. Add 3 cups of water and simmer for about 15- 20 minutes.

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_save-the-skins-to-make-a-broth
4. Meantime, prepare all your vegetable accoutrement. Dice and chop the tomato, cucumber, onion, serrano or jalapeno peppers, limes, avocado and cilantro. Set aside.
5. Check on your broth. With a slotted spoon, remove the skins and all the vegetables from the broth. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the hot broth and simmer the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes or until they change color and curl up.~Shrimp cook very fast so be attentive! You do not want rubbery overcooked shrimp!~

Mexican-shrimp-cocktail_how-to-boil-shrimp-
6. With a slotted spoon, pull out the shrimp a little before you think they are ready. They will keep cooking with their residual heat. Place the shrimp on a plate with ice underneath. (see picture below).
7. Fill a bowl halfway with ice and place a metal or glass bowl on top of the ice. Place a fine sieve on top of the bowl and drain the broth. With a wooden spoon, start whisking to cool off the broth until the temperature of the broth feels fresh and cooler.

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_cooling-the-broth
8. You should have around 2 to 2-1/2 cups of broth left, transfer the broth into a liquid measuring cup if you have more than 2 ½ cups discard the extra broth.
9. Start seasoning the broth. Squeeze the juice of 3 limes, the juice of 1 small Valencia Orange, add Ketchup (I used my favorite: Sir Kensington’s spicy ketchup!) add a couple of dashes of hot sauce, the sea salt, and whisk. Taste and adjust flavor for salt or pepper.

Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_Season-the-broth
10. Pull out the frozen glass serving bowls and start arranging your cocktail. Start by layering the ingredients and add the seasoned broth at the end. No rules here! You can add as much or as little veggies as you want. Avocado is a must, highly necessary!, A little extra squeeze of lime juice, sprinkle some cilantro and an extra dash of hot sauce…Prepare for the stampede!.. you are gonna love it. Enjoy!
Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_ready-to-serve!Mexican-Shrimp-Cocktail_authentic

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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

www.yes-moreplease.com

Refreshing, light this Mexican cocktail its perfect for a pool party or a weekend of leisure at home. remember to have a very very cold beer, Ceveza bien fria! Enjoy!

Course Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes
Servings 4 sailors or 4 mermaids

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 ibs. Jumbo Shrimp, peeled, save the peels and deveined

For the shrimp stock:

  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 wedge of a white onion.
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Seasonings for the cocktail broth:

  • 1 the juice of one small Valencia orange
  • 3 large limes, plus 1 or 2 more to garnish.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup ketchup sauce
  • A few dashes of your favorite Mexican Bottled Hot Sauce, I prefer Cholula, Valentina or Huichol.

Garnish with:

  • 2 roma tomatoes small diced
  • 1 small white or red onion, small diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, such as jade or English cucumber. small diced
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Chiles Serranos or jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 small Hass avocado

Serve with:

  • Saltine crackers or Tostadas
  • Plantain Chips
  • And a really cold light Mexican beer (I prefer Modelo Especial or Victoria oh yeah!)

Instructions

  1. 1. Place two glass serving bowls in the freezer. (Mason jars, or glass mugs will work too.)

    2. Peel and de-vein the shrimp, reserve the skins and leave 4-6 unpeeled, tail-on shrimp for garnish.

    3. In a non-reactive pan place the shrimp skins, along with the celery stalks, onion wedge, thyme, a pinch of sea salt and some cracked black pepper. Add 3 cups of water and simmer for about 15- 20 minutes.

    4. Meantime, prepare all your vegetable accoutrement. Dice and chop the tomato, cucumber, onion, serrano or jalapeno peppers, limes, avocado and cilantro. Set aside.

    5. Check on your broth. With a slotted spoon, remove the skins and all the vegetables from the broth. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the hot broth and simmer the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes or until they change color and curl up.~Shrimp cook very fast so be attentive! You do not want rubbery overcooked shrimp!~

    6. With a slotted spoon, pull out the shrimp a little before you think they are ready. They will keep cooking with their residual heat. Place the shrimp on a plate with ice underneath. (see picture below).

    7. Fill a bowl halfway with ice and place a metal or glass bowl on top of the ice. Place a fine sieve on top of the bowl and drain the broth. With a wooden spoon, start whisking to cool off the broth until the temperature of the broth feels fresh and cooler.

    8. You should have around 2 to 2-1/2 cups of broth left, transfer the broth into a liquid measuring cup if you have more than 2 ½ cups discard the extra broth.

    9. Start seasoning the broth. Squeeze the juice of 3 limes, the juice of 1 small Valencia Orange, add Ketchup (I used my favorite: Sir Kensington’s spicy ketchup!) add a couple of dashes of hot sauce, the sea salt, and whisk. Taste and adjust flavor for salt or pepper.

    Pull out the frozen glass serving bowls and start arranging your cocktail. Start by layering the ingredients and add the seasoned broth at the end. No rules here! You can add as much or as little veggies as you want. Avocado is a must, highly necessary!, A little extra squeeze of lime juice, sprinkle some cilantro and an extra dash of hot sauce…Prepare for the stampede!.. you are gonna love it. Enjoy!

    Happy Cooking!

Music Pairing: Vereda Tropical-Esquivel

 

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