On May 5, 1862, France (considered the best army of the time) fought against a ragtag, poorly supplied, vastly outnumbered, hardly trained, Mexican army and lost the battle at Puebla de Los Angeles. In a pure military sense there are some parallels to our own victory against the mighty Greeks of the Seleucid period.
Since kosher transcends the boundaries of a distinctive national cuisine, why not try some of these great dishes this very Shabbat, Cinco de Mayo?
Ceviche with Avocado and Tortilla Chips
Here’s a confession: I never serve gefilte fish. That favorite has been replaced on my table by this more exciting dish, which will do wonders for your menu as a starter or light main. Tangy with fresh lime, the ceviche also pairs buttery avocado and crunchy chips, a terrific textural play. And the dish almost makes itself, a big plus when you’ve got other cooking to do.
- 1 ½ lbs fluke, flounder or other non-oily, white-fleshed fish, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2.5cm square)
- 1 medium tomato, skinned, deseeded and diced
- ½ cup mango ¼ inch dice (optional)
- 4 scallions thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic chopped fine
- ½ jalapeno finely chopped
- 3 ounces good fruity olive oil
- 3 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 2 avocados sliced
- tortilla chips
- In a medium non-porous bowl, combine the fish, tomato, spring onions, coriander and mango, if using.
- In a separate small bowl or large measuring jug, combine the garlic, jalapeño, oil, lime juice and salt, and stir to blend. Pour the mixture over the fish and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Strain the ceviche.To serve, arrange a few avocado slices on a plate, mound some strained ceviche in the middle and garnish with tortilla chips and serve.
To dismantle an avocado for slicing, first cut it lengthways and gently twist the halves apart. Embed the stone on the blade-heel of a large knife, twist and lift to remove the stone. Peel the avocado, then slice the flesh as required. I’ve found that jalapeños with a brown line or veins on the outside are hotter than those without.
Tomatillo pepita mole with chicken
- 1 cup peeled pumpkin seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon savory-optional
- ½ teaspoon coriander seed
- ½ teaspoon oregano- Mexican if you can find it
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 4 small tomatillos halved
- ½ large onion rough chop
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced- or more if you like heat
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- ½ cup parsley leaves
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless, thin cut chicken breasts
- tofu sour cream optional
- In a large sauté pan toast the cumin, savory, coriander seed, oregano, and the pepitas, (pumpkin seeds), until fragrant. Remove to bowl of food processor and pulse until finely ground.
- In the same skillet heat the oil and add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, and tomatillos. Sprinkle with salt and sauté until soft and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
- Add this mixture to the ground spices and pepitas along with the parsley, cilantro, and chicken broth and process until smooth. Put back in sauté pan and simmer over very low heat for 10 minutes.
- Place the chicken into a large casserole or roasting pan. Cover with ¾ of the sauce and bake at 325 for 20 minutes.
- Serve with extra sauce on the side and tofu sour cream.