!VIVA RICK BAYLESS (he recommends sal del mar)!

rick-bayless-is-top-chef-masters
rick-bayless-is-top-chef-masters

I have at least four Rick Bayless cookbooks. He is masterful at translating traditional Mexican cuisine with modern interpretations. As you may know I live in Mexico but I never get Mexican food here better than when I make a dish from one of his cookbooks. Imagine my thrill when I received word that Chef Bayless is recommending Sal del Mar to all his followers on OpenSky.

In celebration of “the thrill,” we are going to make his recipe for Avocado-Dressed Shrimp a la Mexicana for dinner tonight.  Here’s his recipe…perfect for a hot summer evening.

Fiesta at Rick's Cookbook Cover
Fiesta at Rick's Cookbook Cover

Avocado-Dressed Shrimp á la MexicanaCamarones a la Mexicana con Aguacate, Makes about 3 cups

This version of Camarones a la Mexicana con Aguacate uses sun-dried tomatoes instead of fresh.  You'll find the original recipe in the Fiesta at Rick's cookbook.  The oil packed sun-dried tomatoes won't work well in this recipe.  Look for the recipe ready version which is usually sold in the produce section of select grocery stores.  They come in a re-sealable package.

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 oz. medium cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces, rinsed under cold running water and drained
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped recipe ready sundried tomatoes + extra for garnish
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • Hot green chiles to taste -- usually 3 serranos  or 1-2 jalapenos, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium, ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin
  • 1/3 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro, thick bottom stems cut off + extra for garnish
  • Sal del Mar to taste
  • Mini baked tostadas (we like the Sanissimo brand)

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, onion, and 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes. Measure the lime juice into a food processor or blender. Cover and turn on.  Drop the chiles and when chopped, turn off and scoop in the avocado and cilantro. Process until smooth. Thin to a "creamy dressing" consistency with water, usually 2-3 tablespoons. Taste and season with Sal del Mar, usually about 1 teaspoon.  You should have about 1 1/2 cups. Mix the dressing into the shrimp mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the shrimp and refrigerate.  When you're ready to serve, scoop onto the mini tostadas and decorate with cilantro and diced sundried tomatoes.

Buen provecho!

Our New Arrival

I think I now know what fashion designers go through before they show a new line each season. Well, it might not be quite as intense, but I certainly experienced the anticipation and excitement while creating our latest bag design which we named the "Oyster Shell."

I love the design. I was inspired when I Googled “Sea of Cortez Pearl” and found that the Sea of Cortez is famous for its pearls. In fact, the Cortez Pearl was discovered by Spanish Conqueror Hernán Cortez on one of his first expeditions in 1533 (click here if you want to learn more).

I give our embroiderers in the village of Sabinito most of the credit because their intricate craftsmanship gave the design something that couldn't be drawn on paper...life and beauty.

The Oyster Shell bag is available through our website, select stores and markets throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

Give a Mermaid this Holiday Season

For the last 10 months, I have been working on producing a holiday bag design for Sal del Mar. It has been exciting from start to finish. It started with an off-handed comment from a retail store owner in Tucson who loves our original palm tree and sea creature design, but said, "you should have a mermaid embroidered on your bags..."

With the idea incubating in my head, I asked Paula Hamilton to sketch a design featuring a whimsical mermaid surrounded by waves holding a seashell and we added a jaunty Santa's hat for the holidays.

To make a long story short, I gave the sketches to our group of embroiderers in Sabinito, Sonora, Mexico and they created their own version of "a mermaid in a Santa hat" and voila, we had our “Holiday Mermaid.” The embroiderers are the most important part of our team -- their artistic freedom allows each embroiderer to create a unique bag that we then fill with Sal del Mar gourmet sea salt. The result is a masterpiece of naive beauty.

Well, I received the first delivery of our Holiday Mermaids, and they are ready just in time for early holiday shoppers. The unfortunate/fortunate news is that the she is available in a limited number -- one has to remember that the Sal del Mar bags are all hand-crafted and not mass produced.

Hopefully you will like the Holiday Mermaid design as much as I do. You can buy them on our website or at specialty boutiques around the country and Mexico. Feliz Fiesta!