one of the coolest things that we get to do in our culinary classes is having guest lecturers in to talk about various world cuisines. helen chen, daughter of joyce chen, came in to talk about chinese food, and we cooked everything you can think of in a completely delicious whirlwind – stir fried vermicelli with chicken and veggies, steamed salmon with black beans, cucumber salad, pork fried wontons, yang-zhou slippery shrimp…amazing. we’ve got italian with lisa falso, japanese with sam huang, and indian with robyn deluca coming up…but my favorite was (and probably will remain) cooking mexican food with leo romero of casa romero in the back bay.
i love mexican food. my mother grew up just a few miles from the mexican border in arizona, and i was born in southern california – i grew up eating delicious mexican food, and i can’t seem to ever get enough. if you’ve never been to casa romero, get over there as soon as you can. i’ve been lucky enough to eat there once before, and i plan to take my parents the next time they’re down here, because i know they’ll love it.
my husband and i have taken to spending saturday mornings at the farmer’s market in union square, where pick up fresh produce seafood to cook that night. after my awesome mexican cooking class, i knew i had to recreate one of the better dishes of the evening – ceviche, acapulco style. i also made mussels a la mariniere, which were (of course) delicious.
ceviche is a refreshing, light, addictive combination of fresh seafood, marinated in citrus juices until it’s “cooked.” it’s super easy to make, but never fails to impress, and makes for a delightful summer meal. it makes a great appetizer, but also works really well as a main course. this is the original recipe provided by leo romero, though i substituted haddock for pollock – this recipe will work with any firm, inexpensive white fish.
ceviche of pollock, acapulco style – from leo romero
1 pound fresh pollock filets, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and stem removed, finely chopped
2 lemons and 2 limes, juiced
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 avocado, peeled and sliced into wedges
place the fish and onions into a non-metallic bowl. add citrus juice, salt and pepper, toss well, cover and allow to marinate in refrigerator for two or three hours. when ready to serve, strain the fish and onions through a sieve and discard liquid. combine with tomato, jalapenos, olive oil, cilantro, and additional salt and pepper if necessary. serve in individual bowls and top with avocado wedges as garnish.