There is nothing better than get together with a “paisana” (compatriot) from Ensenada, Baja California and cook together a feast of fresh seafood and fish menu, that is definitely my kind of fun and that is what Haydee, the clever lady in charge of social media from Mextrade and I did.
Haydee and I are both from the same city in Mexico and I feel very lucky that I had the opportunity to meet her last year, we both like cooking, eating, taking pictures (although she IS a professional photographer) and having fun, so since we met, we became very good friends. My “vecina” (neighbour), as I called her, because she lives very near to me, is the creative mind behind many different photography blogs. You can follow her work on instagram @littlestories or @mextradeuk and I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.
We decided to do a Cooking Comadres collaboration and cook food inspired by our lovely home town and we agreed we would cook “fish tacos” the authentic Ensenada style way or Baja style like many people know them, we know that there is many ways of cooking fish tacos and everybody has their own recipe, but believe me, this is the way that we, Ensenadenses (person from Ensenada) eat our fish tacos, there is nothing of purple cabbage or avocado slices and who else better to cook fish tacos than two very good cook ladies from Ensenada!
It was a very fun day cooking some of the dishes we grew up eating. We prepared some oysters and scallops ceviche and we talked about Mexican food memories and how proud we feel of being from Ensenada because at the moment there is a lot of things happening there, food wise. The young generation of chefs are changing the way we see Mexican food and the estate of Baja California is one of the places in Mexico where everything started. Nowadays we even have a gastronomy faculty at one of the most important universities in the city.
So with this humble menu, we want to share a little bit of the wonderful things you can eat in the lovely “Bella Cenicienta” Ensenada, where seafood and fish are always very fresh and where you can just grab amazing seafood on all the street stands around the city. If you decide to cook one of these recipes, I am sure you will feel like you are in Mexico!
COOKING COMADRES ENSENADA STYLE MENU
Prep 5 min
Cook 5 min
- 8 Oysters washed and cleaned.
For the toppings
Ancho Chilli Topping
- 1 Tbsp ground ancho chilli*
- 1 Lime cut in wedges
- Salt and pepper to taste
Chorizo and Lime Topping
- 2 tbsp cooked and fried chorizo, finely chopped
- limes wedges
- pepper to taste
Shallots, Red Wine Vinegar
- 4 tbsp chopped shallots
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp ground pepper
- tiny pinch of salt
- Open the oysters with an oyster knife. Make sure that they are cleaned. Keep the water that it comes inside the oyster.
- Place the open oyster on a bed of ice.
- Just before eating, place the toppings on the oysters.
*You can find ground Ancho Chilli with www.mextrade.co.uk they specialised in getting high Mexican quality products.
Scallops and Hoja Santa Ceviche over a bed of Avocado Mousse
Makes 8 small tostadas
Prep 10 min
Cook 10 min
- 5 scallops cleaned and chopped
- 1/2 fresh hoja santa finely chopped*
- 8 small corn tortillas
- 1/2 red onion finely chopped
- 3 tbsp chopped cucumber peeled
- juice of 2 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- Valentina or Huichol Salsa**
- 1 ripe avocado
- To make the tostadas. Heat the oven on gas mark 6 or 180 C. Place the corn tortillas on a baking tray and put them in the oven for around 10 min. Take them out once they are hard and put aside.
- To make the ceviche. Mix all the vegetables and the scallops, add the juice of the lime, salt and pepper to taste.
- To make the avocado mousse. Open the avocado and remove the stone. Place the pulp in a bowl and add salt, pepper, a bit of lime juice and 2 tbsp of water and blend with a hand blender.
- To serve. Spread some avocado mouse over a tostada, add some ceviche on top and put some huichol or valentina salsa.
* If you live in the UK it is impossible to find fresh or maybe even dried Hoja Santa, but Mextrade, who specialised in getting special Mexican ingredients can get them for you, otherwise you can replace it with coriander.
**Huichol or Valentina Sauce are sold in some of the online Mexican shops.
Authentic Ensenada Style Fish Tacos
Makes 8 tacos
Prep 30 min
Cook 15 min
For the batter
- 300 gr cod or any white fish cut in thin, long strips
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- garlic salt or Maldon salt to taste
- pinch of oregano
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- pinch of ground pepper
- 1 cup dark beer
For the tacos
- 2 cups vegetable oil
- 8 normal size corn tortillas
- 2 cups white cabbage shredded
- 1/2 sour cream
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
Pickled white onion
- one white onion cut in thin strips
- the juice one lime
- 1 habanero pepper chopped
- 3 tomatoes finely chopped
- 1 white onion finely chopped
- a small bunch of coriander finely chopped
- salt to taste
- squeeze of a lime
- Prepare the salsa bandera by mixing the tomatoes, onion, coriander, salt and juice of a lime. Leave aside
- To make the pickle onion. Wash the onion strings and add some salt. Leave aside for 10 min. Then add some lime, pinch of oregano and the chopped habanero. Leave aside.
- Make the mayonnaise. Mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, pinch of salt and pepper and a few drops of lime. Reserve.
- Shred the white cabbage and leave aside.
- To make the batter, mix the flour, baking powder, egg, garlic salt or Maldon salt to taste, pinch of oregano, Dijon mustard, pinch of ground pepper and dark beer. Place the pieces of fish in the batter and leave aside.
- Heat the oil. Once the oil is very hot, place some of the fish strips and fry them for 3 min on each side. Then drain the excess of oil by placing them on a paper kitchen towel.
- Heat the tortillas and cover them with a fabric kitchen towel to keep them warm.
- To serve the tacos, get a warm corn tortilla, spread some mayo and place one or two pieces of fried fish then add some shredded cabbage, some salsa bandera, habanero pickled onion and if you want to add a bit more heat, add some spicy salsa of your preference. Enjoy them with some really cold beer.