The last time I was in Mexico, was 19 years ago. I wasn’t into my food dairy like I am today. Although, I have to admit, the moment I stepped off the plane in Cancun, I swear I smelled cilantro! It was a heavenly smell, I kept asking my friend who accompanied me on the trip, “do you smell that beautiful aroma?” It was like a perfume fragrance, it put me in a calm atmosphere. My best friend said “It’s cilantro!” And, from there, I’ve been using the spice ever since. Any who, on a particular occasion about a year and a half ago, one of my adult nieces picked me up from work on a cloudy afternoon, and suggested we go to this new, hip, cozy Mexican restaurant in her neighborhood. She had told me about it a couple months prior to this day, and she said, “the food and drinks are so delicious!” Getting off from a hard days work, having a drink sounded good to me! A short walk later, we were at “La Chula Taqueria Resturant, in Harlem.” The restaurant is a little small, but cozy, there was a free table and we sat down immediately. I ordered a margarita, ceviche and a pastor soft taco. My niece ordered the same, with the exception of the ceviche, and we had guacamole with fresh corn chips. Our food consisted of just appetizers, needless to say, it all was delicious. Unfortunately, the food and drinks were devoured so quickly, and the conversation was a pleasant distraction from a busy work day, that I hadn’t taken any pics of the meal.
Couple weeks later, I decided to have my own little homemade La Chula experience. I used fresh ingredients, I enjoyed using these ingredients, because I had not used a couple of them before. Putting the flavors together stimulated my palate. I enjoyed making these dishes.
Making ceviche for the first time, was a little intimidating, because I didn’t want to be over powering with the hot spices. Thank God for neighbors who don’t mind being guinea pigs! Also, them being of Spanish decent gave me great insight to being close or to far from how my ceviche should taste! My ceviche was spicy, just like La Chulas, but to me, also just as good. 😋
Shrimps frozen in the bag already cooked
Fresh Lime juice or lemon
Pita chip ingredients
Fresh Lemon juice
Red bell pepper
Salt & pepper to taste
How to make
Please keep in mind for those who don’t know, ceviche is a raw dish. The seabass is cooked in the lemon or lime juice. However, the shrimp should be peeled, clean and boiled for couple minutes.
Peppers and vegetables should be cut small dice (for extra spiciness, leave some pepper seeds) optional of course. Seabass should be cut in medium size cubes.
Combine the mixture with fresh lime and/or lemon juice either one or both. Make sure you add salt for taste.
Instead of making corn chips, which would of taken hours. I made some pita chips for a more flavorful experience.
To make the pita chips, slice the bread in triangles. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Garlic should be cut small dice.
Brush olive oil over pita slices, then sprinkle garlic. Bake for 7 minutes.
Sprinkle salt over pita chips directly after coming out of oven.
Avocados should be nice and ripe. Peel and use a fork to gentle separate avocados. Especially, if you want it a little chunky. 😋
Jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, and red bell pepper should be small diced. Add to mashed avocados. Mixture should be thoroughly combined. Add a little olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Margarita recipe in the future!