by Carla White
Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012 — the San Felipe Ceviche Festival!
There is very little that piques my palate more than a heaping bowl of chilled ceviche, redolent of Mexican lime and cilantro. For the uninitiated (seriously? If you don’t know what it is, you don’t know what you have been missing!), ceviche is a uniquely Central and Latin American dish composed of the freshest raw fish or seafood marinated in citrus (usually lime juice), and seasoned with bright green chopped cilantro leaves, chopped onion, sometimes bits of tomato and mild chili pepper and other spices. It is often garnished with succulent avocado slices or even a slice of orange. It is always delicious…and what could be better than a whole festival of it at the San Felipe Ceviche Fest 2012 that is taking place on Saturday, September 1, at the lovely malecón that borders the Sea of Cortez, from 12 noon-10 p.m.!
The festival features 12 different styles of ceviche and the cost is only 100 MXN pesos (less than $10 a person), including tastings and a beer. There will be live regional folk music, dancing, and plenty of fun. There will even be a children’s area.
For anyone who has had the chance to attend the famous San Felipe Shrimp Festival held annually in November, you will know that the malecón comes alive during festival time. Booths line the seafront street and there is an authentic atmosphere of an old-time, community carnival. San Felipe is a small town — almost a village — and to wander from one end of the boardwalk to the other is a pleasure, particularly on a summer evening after a hot day, when the sea breezes are soft on sun-tinted skin. Here is a schedule of events for the Ceviche Festival:
12 :00: Opening
12:30 to 6:30: Tasting
12:30 to 3:30: Group Jukebox/rock and oldies
3:00: Folk dance school, Dance Gena Jazzo
4:00 to 7:00: Group of Salsa Candela
5:00: Folk Dance
7:30: Awards Ceremony
How to get to San Felipe: Highway 3, Ensenada-San Felipe, cutting south at Highway 5 on the Sea of Cortez Coast (from Ensenada, a 2.5-3 hour drive). Highway 5 from Mexicali brings you right into San Felipe (about a 2-2.5 hour drive).
What to bring: Summer clothes, a hat, and sunscreen.
Where to stay: El Dorado Ranch, Hacienda de la Langosta Roja, Hotel Cortez, San Felipe Marina Resort, and more.
For more information: Information at COTUCO, telephone in Mexico, (686)577.2300
Carla’s Ceviche Recipe
1 lb of sea bass or 1.5 lbs of fresh, deveined shrimp (if I use shrimp, I cut them into half-size chunks. Sea bass should be cubed or diced. If you are really lucky, you can find and use the famous San Felipe blue shrimp).
1 cup of diced tomato
1/4-1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
6-8 Mexican or key limes (you need to squeeze enough juice to fully cover the fish
A tablespoon or two of white wine vinegar to mix with the lime juice
1 medium onion finely chopped (I prefer red onion)
Salt, pepper and oregano to taste (I prefer a good dose of fresh ground black pepper and I use Ocean’s Flavor low sodium sea salt — love that stuff!)
Dash of Tabasco sauce
Directions: Dice the fish or cut the shrimp. Marinate fish in the lime juice in the fridge overnight (this step cooks the fish). Stir it periodically and even add in a little more fresh lime juice to keep the flavor fresh. Pour off most of the lime juice but not all (you want to keep it moist). Add remaining ingredients and let sit in the fridge for a few hours before serving. When you are ready to serve, garnish with sliced avocado. Serve in a bowl, in a cocktail glass or on crispy tostadas!
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