Healthy Baja Mediterranean Fusion Mexican Cuisine

My Baja Newsletter Summer 2017

My Baja Newsletter Summer 2017

Loreto Mexico Sunrise

 

Summer Activities in Loreto, Mexico

    • Kayaking improves your cardiovascular fitness while strengthening your core and improving muscle tone in your arms, shoulders and legs. To get ready for kayak season you should include aerobic, strength training and stretching.  Push ups, crunches, squats and lunges will help to get you beach ready. Swimming, biking, walking and running are great aerobic conditioning exercises. incorporate some high intensity interval training (HIIT) for maximum aerobic benefits in the least amount of time.  Kayaking is good for your brain and safe for the environment. It’s difficult to stay stressed out as you glide over a calm sea, watch colorful fish dart among the rocks or quietly cruise through a mangrove and listen for the abundance of shore birds who make the Baja their home. Kayak rentals are inexpensive and readily available at most beaches.
    • Hiking strengthens your heart and soul. You’ll improve your cardio fitness, increase your balance and chisel your legs and butt muscles. You will become one with nature while exploring new arroyos, mountain streams, and rugged desert terrain. Keep your eyes open for wandering goats, burros and stray cattle. Meep beep, be awake for the enchanting road runner who will undoubtedly cross your path. A confused coyote won’t be far behind. Many ranchers carve out a living in La Sierra Giganta Mountains so please respect their boundaries. A kind wave and a smile is always welcome in the mountains. You can find directions to beautiful hikes with the guide book Hiking Loreto.
  • Fishing for sport or to fill your freezer; the Sea of Cortez is home to red snapper, yellow tail jack, dorado, rock fish, pinto bass, cod and other large game fish.  Choose your panga captain wisely. Ask around for recommendations. A day on the water fishing will cost you about $200 US so share the cost with fellow fisherman and bring home 7-12 pounds of fish fillets ready to eat as sashimi, grill or freeze for later. You can find a fishing report here.

Easy Tapas Make Ahead

 

Invite your friends and make everything in advance so you can enjoy the party. These ideas should help but don’t forget your signature dish. My signature dish of tail on shrimp with cocktail sauce is always a hit and it’s easy and inexpensive to make in Baja.

Don’t feel like cooking? You can suggest a theme or assign categories, which isn’t my style, or keep it flexible and ask your friends to bring any appetizer that makes them happy. I supply 1-2 hearty appetizers and a variety of Mexican red and white wines. I’m always amazed when potlucks magically come together with a variety of foods that taste delicious together. Let your friends surprise you.

Include several types of appetizers that can be eaten with a glass in your hand. You want your guests to mingle and chat with no large plates to juggle.

    • Include a hearty meat or meat substitute main appetizer. Try Chorizo and mushrooms or vegan chorizo on a sliced baguette.
    • A seafood appetizer like tuna poke or tail on shrimp
    • A cheese course
    • A hand held salad
    • Fresh fruit
    • A vegetarian or vegan dip for crisp crudités

Yellowtail Poke

 

Mexican Yellowtail Poke
Ingredients:
1 lb fresh yellowtail or substitute ahi tuna, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced Serrano chili or to taste
1 tablespoon reconstituted and chopped wakame seaweed (optional)
1 tablespoon black and or white toasted sesame seeds
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1 key lime or 1 tablespoon of lime juice
Instructions:
Prepare fish and keep chilled. Mix remaining ingredients. Combine fish with marinade when you are ready to serve and not a minute sooner. You do not want the fish to be cooked in the lime juice. Serve with tortilla chips for a Mexicana flair or crackers. Wasabi on the side is a nice touch for the sushi lovers in the crowd.
I serve this as an appetizer accompanied by cold cerveza, a margarita or a fruity vino blanco.

Perfect Cold Shrimp

Easy Chilled Shrimp

Use a large enough stock pot to accommodate your shrimp, a kilo of shrimp is enough for 8-12 guests. Sauté 5 cloves of chopped garlic in olive oil, add 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds or a chopped fennel bulb, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika and enough water to fill your pot by two-thirds. Bring water to a boil and then simmer for 10- 20 minutes.  Peel and devein medium to large shrimp. I prefer to leave the tail. Bring broth back to a boil and add shrimp. Boil for 5-7 minutes until shrimp are pink. Drain and immerse in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and keep chilled until the party. Serve with cocktail sauce or citrusy ponzu.

 

Chipotle Cilantro Hummus

Chipotle Cilantro Hummus
Ingredients:
• 1 can or 1 1/2 cups of low sodium chickpeas
• 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
• 1 large clove of garlic
• 1 canned chipotle pepper
• 1 lime squeezed

Directions
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and whirl until the desired consistency. Adjust by adding more pepper or a dash of salt or more lime. Serve immediately on fresh toasted cut up tortillas or as a dip for crudités.

 

Easy broiled artichokes with parmesan and prosciutto

Wrap frozen or canned artichoke hearts with 1/4 slices of prosciutto and top with grated parmesan. Broil until bubbly, about 7 minutes.

 

Caprese Salad skewers

Caprese Kabobs

Thread  cheese cubes, preferably fresh mozzarella or quéso panela cheese, cherry tomatoes, and basil leaves on tooth picks and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Watermelon of dessert

Fresh Fruit

 

Pick fresh in season fruit and cut it into finger friendly pieces.

Try watermelon slices with a dash of chili lime seasoning or melon wrapped in prosciutto.