Mardou well, she’s just a boho-beatnik-babe character from an old kerouac novel called the Subterraneans. She’s into jazz and being free spirited. Milpa or “Las tres hermanas” is how I epitomize a community should be. A Milpa is a crop growing system that includes (but not limited to) maize, beans and squash. These plants are nutritionally complimentary and feed off of one another to grow and yield for many milpa cycles to come! Just like a community they each rely on one another to grow. I find it appropriate to utilize those two names to describe the contents of myself and this food blog.￼
Community plays an ENORMOUS role in cooking. It unites people, stories are told, recipes are shared, hands of all ages and ethnicities are helping, senses are activated and memories are made. You create a bond with your food, you make a connection and you share a piece of yourself with someone where you might not find the words to convey and express emotionally. That is what I hope to do for all of you, share a piece of myself through my recipes in hopes that you will in turn try them at home or with friends & family. With that said lets get cooking!
I wanted to start things off post Cinco De Mayo with one of my favorite things ever, Seafood Tower or “Torre De Mariscos”! Being from a border city it is inevitable that two cultures will merge creating an entirely unique one of its own. For that I am thankful because El Paso has introduced me to some of the best mariscos I’ve ever had. Granted Juarez is not a coastal city like the state of Sinaloa (where you will most definitely find a traditional torre de mariscos) but we know how to get down with some ceviche/mariscos El Paso style. We drench everything in hot sauces, chamoy, limon, tamarindo and Clamato. From Japanese peanuts to chicharrónes (fried pig skin), lagers, fruit, elote and obviously seafood is definitely no stranger to these condiments either. You cant forget to have a Michelada (red beer) with your meal. It’s usually a lager mixed with tomato clam juice, lime juice, hot sauce and rimmed with salt. Other people will argue that a Michelada is only made with lager, lime juice and a rim of salt but thats a debate for another time. Personally I like to add Worcestershire and pickle juice but you don’t need to take it that far. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
I’ve created a video that shows you how to create a “salsa negra” of your own. Which is truly the star of this recipe as well as how to assemble and layer your tower. You can omit/substitute some ingredients but try hard not to! Let me know what you think!
Torre De Mariscos
- 6 oz. Tilapia (chopped 1/4 in. pieces)
- 6 oz. Yellowfin Tuna (chopped 1/4 in. pieces)
- 6 oz. Large Shrimp (chopped 1/4 in. pieces)
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1tsp salt
- 2-3 Avocados (used for layering later)
- 1 bushel of cilantro (roughly chopped used for later)
In a shallow dish place seafood in one flat layer and pour citrus juices over seafood. Make sure citrus covers seafood add more juice if needed. Sprinkle salt, cover and keep in fridge to “cook” for 45 min.
Pickled Mango Salsa
- Thinly sliced English cucumber with skin
- One diced medium mango
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 3 diced Roma tomatoes
- 2 jalapeños thinly sliced
- 1 black radish thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients in a sealable container such as a mason jar with lid and shake to mix well and set in fridge for 30 min.
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1/4 white onion
- 3 black garlic
- 2 cloves regular garlic
- 1 Tsp of cumin
- 1 Tsp of coriander
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 Roasted Jalapeños
- 10 Toasted Chile De Árbol
- 2 Tbsp Ground Guajillo
- 1 Tbsp Toasted Pepitas
- 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds
- 2 Tbsp Ponzu
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire
- 2 Tbsp Maggie Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Mexico Lindo 7 Mares Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Chipotle Cholula
- 1/4 cup of sunflower-coconut oil
In a processor combine all ingredients until smooth. About 5-7 minutes. Stopping every so often to scrape down sides with rubber spatula. Put in Squeeze Bottle and set aside. Prep 2-3 Avocados by slicing them into thin pieces for layer assembly as well as a bushel of Cilantro roughly chopped.
On a plate place your ring mold or make shift a mold with an old yogurt container by carefully cutting the bottom out. Pull out your seafood, mango salsa, salsa Negra, sliced avocados and cilantro and begin to layer:
shrimp, drench with salsa Negra, avocado, mango salsa, cilantro
Repeat with rest of seafood pressing down as you stack. Once you’ve reached final layer garnish with cilantro and mango salsa remove mold and serve with totopos or saltadas!