Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 30, 2014 Lunch La Perla at San Pancho (San Francisco Beach) Dinner Fish Stew

November 30, 2014  Lunch  La Perla at San Pancho (San Francisco Beach)  Dinner Fish Stew

I ate fresh pineapple and banana with yogurt for breakfast.  I walked to the juice lady at the bridge and bought two fresh squeezed orange juices for 25 pesos each and brought them home, Suzette make a banana, pineapple and orange juice smoothie.

Then we walked to town to the Sunday Arts and Craft sale.  We selected two Oaxacan tablecloths, one round 50%cotton/50% Dacron one for the TV room for 260 pesos and a larger 80 inch by 100 inch all cotton tablecloth for 750  pesos, but Suzette negotiated a total price of 750 pesos.  After we purchased our tablecloths, I asked the lady who owned the stand about her vanilla and she showed me the prices.  When I said I had lots of vanilla, she said she had vanilla beans for sale and she had her companion pull out a bag of vanilla beans from under the table.  There were ten vanilla beans and she sold them to me for 100 pesos.  She then thought better of that and said she thought they should sell for more, but then when I handed her a 100 peso bill she took it and agreed on that price because she could not recall what she had paid for them.

We had decided to eat the fish soup for dinner so we then we walked up hill through the Flea Market to the Le Gourmet and bought a fresh baguette for 25 pesos.  We wanted to decorate the house with holiday flags like the Mexicans do so we then walked to the paper shop and bought two six meter lengths of banners for 55 pesos each.   
It was about noon. So we walked back to the condo and deposited our purchases and drove the car to San Francisco beach by way of Las Lomas where we bought a 3 kilo bag of salt for 30 pesos.  Mavi Graf had told us that the best oysters I the area could be found at San Pancho.  When we got to the end of the main street at the beach we went into the restaurant named La Perla and asked the chef if there were fresh oysters and he said yes.  We first took a table in the patio just outside the restaurant but then the chef said the restaurant owned al the tables all the way to water’s edge, so we moved out to at table at the end of the covered palapa on the beach.  We ordered fried oysters and asked for a bucket with ice, which the waiter brought.  Suzette would not drink the Austrian wine, which was bitter, perhaps because it was capped and not corked and ordered a margarita.  I kept drinking the Austrian wine to my later regret, as it was not good and it gave me a light headedness.

We loved the oysters and asked for crema and catsup and made a lighter sauce than the red sauce they were served with.  Suzette particularly like taking the oysters out of their batter shell and eating them with the sauce on the toasted bread they were served with.  I ordered a side order of beans, or which I was not charged.  In Mexico all prices for each meat item om a menu are usually inclusive of all the side items such as crema, rice, beans and tomatoes, etc. that usually accompany them main dish.

After lunch we walked around San Pancho and were unimpressed with the town.  For whatever reason, it has not achieved the commercial success of Sayulita.  I think it is because it has a steep beach with a strong undertow and is not suitable for swimming and water sports like Sayulita, but Suzette disagrees.  At least it has wonderful seafood restaurants.

After lunch we drove back to Sayulita and took a nap.

Around 6:00 we started making dinner.  We heated the fish stock and then I micro cubed about 2 Tbsp. of smoked tuna, the remaining seven or eight shrimp and other red snapper filet that had frozen.  I then minced the two remaining potatoes, and the three squashes and two carrots and Suzette cooked them in the fish stock.  Devon Chapman, who is Terry’s partner and arrived last night, came by to chat and we invited her and Terry for dinner. So when everything was heated, we toasted about 2/3 of the baguette in the toaster oven and made a cup of rice and opened the bottle of Sancerre and called out to Devon and Terry who live next to our unit that we were ready for dinner and to bring soup bowls.  When they arrived, Suzette filled the bowls with rice and then the fish stew and I poured wine and cut up the baguette and we carried our bowls to the palapa on the veranda near the beach and had a quiet dinner with pleasant conversation getting to know them as we ate and drank wine.

Bon Appetit

Bon Appétit     

November 29, 2014 Breakfast Shrimp Salad Omelet Lunch Oaxacan Chicken Mole Dinner El Jackal Seafood Cocte

November 29, 2014 Breakfast Shrimp Salad Omelet   Lunch   Oaxacan Chicken Mole  Dinner  El Jackal Seafood  Coctel

Because Suzette is under the weather with a stomach problem she did not eat her second shrimp stuffed avocado salad two days ago.  So today we decided to make a shrimp salad omelet with the PPI shrimp salad for breakfast.   It was quite good although the mayonnaise curdled a bit and made for a slightly clumpy texture.

We decided to make our chicken mole for lunch. 

We measured out 1 liter of chicken stock and added the Oaxacan mole paste to it.  It went into solution quickly but was a little thin, just like when we made it at home last time.  We cooked the sauce until it thickened a bit and then added 1 shredded whole breast of the roasted chicken, which was a bit too little meat to the quantity of sauce.  We served the mole over rice with Mexican squash sautéed in garlic and olive oil, which was delicious.

We swam in the ocean twice today and had massages in the tent near our condos on the beach.  The massage place is near an entrada from Palmar where an American woman set up a bar on the beach.  

As we walked up the entrada we saw an Quincenera celebration being set up in the Entrada, which seems to be a public access area available for all kinds of uses. 

For dinner Suzette was still off food so we walked across the street to El Jackal and I ordered a coctel of bay scallops, shrimp and octopus.  I have never had a coctel like this, it had the agua like texture but this coctel was fresh ingredients served in  a warm caldo.  Very interesting with a warm and cool texture and ingredients.

After dinner I ate the rest of the chocolate mousse with brandy and tea.

Bon Appetit

Bon Appétit
November 27, 2014  Thanksgiving Dinner on the Beach at Yelapa

We got up and Suzette wanted to eat yogurt and pineapple, so I peeled the pineapple we had bought on Tuesday.  When we tasted it, it tasted a little young and acidic, so Suzette suggested that we melt some honey to sweeten the yogurt and pineapple.  After she did that the yogurt and pineapple tasted great.

I wanted a little extra food so I took two raw shrimp from the fridge and cut two slices of bread and sautéed them in butter and olive oil.  Then I turned them over and sautéed them on the other side and then I removed the shrimp and bread and sautéed an egg in the skillet and then constructed a shrimp and egg sandwich.  We ate our yogurt and pineapple and the egg sandwich with cups of honeysuckle tea.

At around 9:00 we then took off for PV and Boca de Tomatlan to catch a water taxi to Yelapa for lunch.

The traffic was intense on the National Highway (big trucks driving slowly), so it took about an hours to get to PV instead of the usual 30 minutes. Traffic was intense in PV as usual and there were lots more topes (Road humps) on the road south out of PV, so we did not arrive at Boca de Tomatlan at the far south of the Bay of Banderas until around 11:30.  We changed to surf shoes and walked to the dock at around 11:50 and were told we could take the noon taxi that would return at 4:00 wo we purchased two round trip tickets for 140 pesos each.  The ticket taker was wearing a Domingo’s Restaurant shirt and we did not realize until we arrived at Yelapa that he was also a waiter at one of the beach restaurants.

The boat ride to Yelapa takes about 45 minutes and the scenery along the southern coast of Banderas Bay is magnificent, all tropical jungle rising from the rock faced ocean.  When we passed Las Animas, where the family played on the beach and Willy para-sailed a few years ago the small bay was filled with 2 party boats and lots of tourists and I had a ,moment of fear that the same fate may have befell Yelapa.  

Yelapa used to be a frontier city on the southern point of the bay because it was without electricity, a road or telephone, but that has changed now and Yelapa has electricity and telephones. Still everything from civilization must come in by boat.  The favored means of transportation is a long open narrow boat named about twenty to twenty-five feet long called a ponga that is powered by one or two outboard motors, usually 100 hp. They fly across the water cutting through waves and banging into the gullies between the waves; quite an exciting ride.

When we arrived at Yelapa, due to the quick drop off of the beach, the boat made its usual straight into the beach landing where the boatmen hold the boat in the rolling surf and everyone jumps into the shallow water to get out of the boat. 

Unfortunately for those of us like me who do not know how to exit a boat in the pitching tide, I got one foot down on the sand but fell into the water to my waist when I tried to step out of the boat with my other foot s it rose as the next wave hit the sandy beach.  I was helped to my feet by the boatman without any ill effect and the stretch of my legs may have even helped my sore right thigh by stretching it. We shall see in a day or two.  The boatman with the Domingo’s shirt seated up at a table at Domingo’s Restaurant and suggested we start with guacamole salad (70 pesos), which we agreed to and then we ordered one lobster dinner (250 pesos) to share. 

Guacamole Salad
  The lobsters are usually about 1 lb. and one lobster makes one dinner, but the lobsters were small today and so a dinner included 1 and ½ lobsters, which was okay because we found out quickly that the most fun in eating spiny lobster is removing the meat from the feet and head.  This can be done by running the tine of one fork along the thin shell and along its length.  The other thing that is wonderful about the spiny lobster is that its flesh is dabbled with red and white, just like its shell.  The lobster was served with a dab of refried beans and a small pile of rice and a large spoonful of sautéed vegetables, mostly carrots and Mexican and squash.  We were also served a basket of warm tortillas.  The guacamole that was brought before the lobster was not the best because it had been smashed finely, so it had a thick stew like quality to it but its flavor was excellent.   The reason we like to eat lobster at Yelapa is because the lobsters are caught just off shore on the Pacific side of the peninsula and so are fresh.  As we ate our lobster we saw an oyster man carrying platters oysters that appeared to be caught fresh in the area, so after we picked our way through the lobster we ordered a platter of oysters for 150 pesos.  The oysters were small but delicious and we ate them with dabs of catsup on them.   

Spiny Lobster Dinner at Domingo's on Yelapa Beach

dipping lobster into mojo de ajo sauce

Vouvray Chenin Blanc champagne

The occasion was made even more special because we brought the last bottle of Chenin Blanc sparkling wine we had bought at the wine fair in Vouvray on our last trip to France two years ago.  It was a demi-sec and had a delightfully light sweetness to go along with the lemony Vouvray citrusy flavor.  There were not as many bubbles as good champagne but we did not care, because the tulip shaped wine glasses dispelled the bubbles anyway and we were more interested in eating lobster in the strongly garlic flavored mojo de ajo sauce.    The waiter brought us an ice bucket filled with ice and water and we kept the champagne cold and even put our two bottles of Noche Buena into the bucket to keep chilled.

The oysters were good with the champagne also and we had a great meal.  After lunch we lay on lounge chairs on the beach and drank a beer and walked on the beach.  

Suzette reading on the beach after lunch
Finally at 4:00 the boatman told everyone that we would board the boat at the pier, probably for my sake, so we all walked to the pier on the side of the small bay and boarded the ponga with no further incidents for our return trip.

Suzette drove home and it was much faster because we took the bypass around PV and there was no traffic on the jungle road.  We arrived at sunset which is the time that the baby sea turtles are released, so we walked to turtle catchery on the beach near our condo and saw the last of the day’s hatchlings released onto the sand enter the water. 

We were not hungry after our big Thanksgiving dinner, so we did not eat anything for dinner and felt fine.  This may be the secret to losing weight; eat one great meal a day and several small healthy snacks.

Bon Appetit

Bon Appétit 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 28, 2014 A day of shopping, cooking and eating real Mexican food with Mavi Graf

November 28, 2014  A day of shopping, cooking and eating real Mexican food with Mavi Graf

A little after 9:00 we drove to PV for our 10:00 appointment with Mexican chef, Mavi Graf.  We arrived at the Marina a few minutes early but it took us about ten minutes to locate her condominium complex in the forest of other condos.  As soon as we met, Mavi immediately loaded us into her Jeep Cherokee to go shopping.   She said she was unable to find the raw milk and rennet for the chongos Zamoran I had asked about.  Mavi teaches a menu of three dishes for U.S. $140.00 person.   We had agreed to learn Rellenos Nogadas and as we shopped we asked for instruction in the cooking of octopus and nopales, since we could not find squash blossoms for the huiclochote and squash blossom quesadillas.

As she drove us to the food markets in the center of PV a little after 10:00, Mavi asked us if we had eaten breakfast and when we said no drove us to a small taco stand located on the north side of the block just west of the intersection of Peru and Panama streets that slow cooks lamb in a maguey leave lined horno pit with heated rocks.  The maguey leaves catch the juices of the cooking lamb.  I had a delicious bowl of lamb consommé and we each ate shredded lamb meat tacos.   According to Mavi this is a pre-colonial form of cooking.  Both the lamb taco and the consommé were delicious, so I was already feeling good about our day of cooking.

I thought I knew the markets in PV, but according to Mavi their locations have changed in the last few years.  The ones along the river are all gone.  We visited two of the other three, one on San Salavador street about seven blocks up the hill from the beach and the other is about three blocks up the hill near a children school, where the fish market is located.  I think Mavi said that the third that we did not visit is Libertad Market in the center of town, near the river.

After we ate breakfast we visited Mavi’s favorite butchery shop named Carneceria Zoraya at No. 210 Honduras, where the owner was hand cleaning the silver skin and tendons from the beef and pork that his two assistants were cutting.  Mavi ordered a kilo of beef and a kilo of pork for her lesson on Saturday and a ½ kilo of each of beef and pork chopped and mixed for today’s rellenos Nogadas.

Chopping our lunch meats
We then went to the fish market and saw an amazing array of fish including several I have never seen before such as a big ugly sea bass named something like chalacone.  Here is a picture of its head:

pulpa de tamarindo

octopus salad

octopus tostado

stuffed chile relleno

stuffing a relleno chile

adding the sauce

nopales salad

the view from the table 

We saw lovely medium sized octopus and I asked if we could have a lesson in cooking octopus and Mavi said yes and bought two octopus.

We had been talking about spices and chillis for our intended Holy Mole buffet at Christmas Eve, so Mavi said she would help us find some of the ingredients. .We then visited the other food market looking for vegetables and chillis. The Californian store at the second market did not have squash blossoms but did have the largest selection of dried chillis.  We bought both dried mulato and dried cascabel chilis plus a couple of bananas and carrots. MAvi bought poblano chillis for the rellenos and star fruit and a bag of thinly sliced nopales from a vendor on the street.  We then walked across the street to the Cremeria de Vallarta and Mavi bought a bag of requesón for the sauce for the rellenos and we stopped to taste three types of queso fresco, one with whole milk, one with skim milk and one perhaps with more salt and skim milk. 

Then around 1:00 we returned to Mavi’s condo at the Marina to cook, when we arrived we were greeted by her helper, Elisa?, who had made a small platter of guacamole.  We started by making a salsa in Mavi’s volcanic stone Molcajete (mortar and pestel).  I took the duty on of smashing the 1 clove of roasted garlic, ½ of a roasted serrano and about ¼ of a roasted onion into a paste and then smashing three roasted Roma tomatoes into the salsa.   We tasted the salsa and it was delicious with the fresh grease fried tortilla chips that Eliza had made for us.

Then things took off in three directions.  Mavis showed us how she cooked octopus in a pot of simmering water with celery, carrots and onion and two strips of papaya skin (the secret) for no more than twenty minutes to prepare an octopus salad.

They also simmered the ingredients for the Rellenos stuffing starting with the chopped beef and pork, with comino seeds and cloves and then made a pastor sauce to add the chili flavors to the dish by rehydrating three or four different dried chilis (a guajillo, a ?, an ancho, and a pasilla) in 1 cup of water and then blending them and adding the meat of three tomatoes and then adding chopped almonds and finally raisins and walnuts.

Mavi explained that Rellenos Nogadas was a dish dating from the Mexican Revolution of 1821 when the troops were marching on Mexico City and stopped in Puebla, because Puebla was one day’s ride from Mexico City.  The troops had to be fed with whatever was available and they put together this dish with the assortment of fruits, nuts and chilis that they had. 

It was at this point that Mavi asked us if we wanted to try her favorite type of Margarita.  Of course, we said yes and she made us margaritas using the following recipe per margarita:

1 shot tequila
1 shot of Damiana licor
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 heaping Tbsp. of tamarind pulp

She then moistened the rim of a margarita glass with lime juice and dipped the rims into a sugar and chili mixture she had bought somewhere.

Needless to say we loved the fruity sweet margaritas.

Here is some information on Damiana from Wikipedia
Turnera diffusa, known as damiana, is a shrub native to southwestern Texas in the United States,[3] Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. It belongs to the family Passifloraceae.[2]
Damiana is a relatively small shrub that produces small, aromatic flowers. It blossoms in early to late summer and is followed by fruits that taste similar to figs. The shrub is said to have a strong spice-like odor somewhat like chamomile, due to the essential oils present in the plant.[4] The leaves have traditionally been made into a tea and an incense which was used by native people of Central and South America for its relaxing effects. Spanish missionaries first recorded that the Mexican Indians drank Damiana tea mixed with sugar for use as an aphrodisiac.
Damiana has long been claimed to have a stimulating effect on libido, and its use as an aphrodisiac has continued into modern times. More recently, some corroborating scientific evidence in support of its long history of use has emerged. Damiana has been shown to be particularly stimulating for sexually exhausted or impotent male rats[5][6] as well as generally increased sexual activity in rats of both sexes.[7] It has also been shown that damiana may function as an aromatase inhibitor, which has been suggested as a possible method of action for its reputed effects.[8]
Damiana might be effective as an anxiolytic.[9]
Damiana is an ingredient in a traditional Mexican liqueur, which is sometimes used in lieu of triple sec in margaritas. Mexican folklore claims that it was used in the "original" margarita. The damiana margarita is popular in the Los Cabos region of Mexico.[10][11]
Damiana was included in several 19th-century patent medicines, such as Pemberton's French Wine Coca. The leaves were omitted from that product's non-alcoholic counterpart, Coca-Cola.[12]

Things were now coming together quite quickly.  Eliza blistered the skins of the poblano chilis with direct heat from the gas burners on the stove and made a slit in the side of each and removed the seeds.  I peeled and removed the seeds from a fresh pomegranate while Mavi made the sauce for the rellenos with the requesón and milk and few other ingredients and finished the octopus sald with lime juice, rounds of cucumber and slivers of onion and threads of red and yellow bell pepper and made the nopales salad, a little onion sliced thinly and then some lime juice, ground sage, some parsley and threads of yellow and red bell peppers.

On the way to Mavi’s condo we had stopped at the local Europa liquor store and bought a bottle of Mexican olive oil (160 pesos) and a bottle of 2011 Madero Winery’s blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (240 pesos) to drink with dinner.

Mavi filled high ball glasses first with the rounds of cucumber from the salad and then the rest of the octopus salad.

After we ate the octopus salad Mavi plated up the rellenos by filling each poblano cavity with warm nogada filling (the stove had been turned off, but the lid had been kept on the filling) and then garnished each relleno with a liberal amount of the requesón sauce and finally a liberal sprinkle of fresh pomegranate seeds. Mavi said you can use pecans instead of almonds as they do in Texas and New Mexico, but Mavi uses her Mexican recipe learned from her Mom in Sinaloa.

After we ate our octopus salad, which was fantastic, Mavi said she wanted to give us several other ingredients we needed for our Christmas dinner so we followed her to the garden area of her condominiums and she cut us fresh leaves of hoja santa and avocado and bagged them for us.  She also cut off the seed ends from her epizote and bagged them, but I think we forgot to take them when we left after lunch.

Mavi’s table on her balcony overlooking the marina was set for lunch for two and soon after cutting the leaves and she plated our rellenos nogadas and filled small ramekins with nopales salad, we were ready to eat our lunch.  We took seats at the table and poured wine and ate our lunch and talked some more about how Mavi got into the culinary teaching business.

The wine was surprisingly good and better than many of the wines of Mexico from the past.  Actually Mavi said Madero is one of the oldest wineries in the hemisphere dating back to 1597.  In 1597, Casa Madero was founded by Lorenzo García in the town of Santa María de las Parras (Holy Mary of the Grapevines) as the oldest winery in the Americas.[2] This area of Coahuila soon became a major wine producer due to its climate and good supplies of water. The vines that were established here were later exported to the Napa Valley in California and South America.[3] , Wikepedia.  We thought the wine was okay, but not up to French or Spanish standards for an $18.00 bottle of wine.

Alternatively, the food was excellent.   The Relleno had a warm mixture of meats, fruits and nuts and the white sauce was creamy while being a bit tart and the overall tartness of the dish was enhanced by the pomegranate seeds’ tartness.

The nopales salad was slimy, as usual, but tasted very refreshing and healthy, so I gladly dug through the slime.  Suzette is under the weather with tourista so she did not eat much ofher lunch and Mavi and Eliza was kind enough to pack up the leftover rellenos for us to take home.

At around 4:00 we thanked Mavi for the day of shopping, cooking and eating and said good bye.

The road was crowded but we arrived back at the condo in Sayulita at around 5:00.

While Suzette lay down for a nap, I went to the beach and the flag for releasing baby turtles was up, so I made a mojito and got Suzette around 6:00 and we went to the beach and watched as three batches of turtles were released.  I think that turtle eggs are gathered from beaches near Sayulita and incubated here in the sand and then when the babies hatch they are released at sunset on the day they hatch.  It seems that the turtles lay their eggs in the sandy beaches from June to December. This is the second time we have seen releases of baby turtles near Thanksgiving. 

We then went across the street to El Jackal where I ate a seafood crazy coctel with bay scallops, shrimp and octopus.  It has turned out to be a good day for octopus (100 pesos) and a Corona beer for 25 pesos.  Suzette went across the street to the Artists’ Café where there was a Latin jazz band, which turned out to be a female singer, who played the guitar and a percussionist, who played several different drums including the Argentinian drum.  She sang Mexican and Argentinian songs ala Marta Gomez and we listened to three songs.

Suzette is still suffering from turista, so went home and she went to bed while I drank a cup of tea and a shot of brandy and ate the rest of the chocolate mousse I bought last night and blogged.

Bon Appétit        

Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 26, 2014 Breakfast - Shrimp omelet Dinner – Shrimp Salad filled avocados

five shrimp let to peel

making the shrimp omelet

fish and shrimp stock

shrimp omelet 

 a nice gate in he neighborhood

the neighborhood tacos al pastor stand
We are settling in and trying to relax today.  We have nothing more planned than to sit on the veranda and watch the ocean, although we made plans to go to Yalapa tomorrow for a lobster dinner on the beach for our Thanksgiving Dinner and we signed up for a Mexican cooking course on Friday, so activity will pick up soon. 

This morning I shelled the 30 or so shrimp we bought yesterday we started a fish stock with the shrimp shells and the bones and head from the red snapper we bought yesterday for a fish soup.  We then made a shrimp omelet with about 10 shrimp, some sliced onion, tomato, cilantro, some shredded Manchego cheese and garnished it with slices of avocado.  We drank the fresh squeezed orange juice that we also bought yesterday for breakfast.  After breakfast we made mojitos to mix with the last of the orange juice, which made an interesting drink and took them to the veranda that stands about fifteen feet above the beach and lay in deck chairs and read and dozed off all morning and well past noon.

Finally around 2:30 we became hungry again and decided to make shrimp salad stuffed avocados, one of our favorite salads.  We walked to the center to our favorite grocery market.  When we arrived there was a lady sitting beside a large pickup truck filled with the largest limes I have ever seen.  A sign advertised them for 10 pesos per kilo, which seemed like a good price.  I said we would take 1 kilo and she said she had a 2 kilo bag if I wanted it and that the bigger limes were juicier.  I said yes and we bought 4.4 lbs. of huge limes for about $1.50 (the exchange rate is $1.00 =13 pesos).  As I said yesterday, the ingredients that are locally grown are fabulously fresh, ripe and large.

We walked into the grocery store and asked about lettuce and the lady went to a cooler and brought out two types of romaine lettuce, one type was a single large head in a plastic sleeve just like in the states and the other was a bag with several hearts of romaine in a single bag, just like in the states. 

We chose the single head since we only needed if for one or two salads.  Suzette also selected several avocados and a red bell pepper.  The total was 64 pesos.

We walked back to No. 11 Palmar to the condo and Suzette started a pan heating with butter and olive oil, while I chopped up about ¼ onion and about ¼ of the bell pepper and 1Tbsp. of fresh cilantro.

I pulled the limp outer leaves off the lettuce and then six firm inner leaves.  Suzette cleaned the six inner leaves in purified water and laid three of them on each plate.

Suzette then sautéed the pepper, cilantro and onion with about 10 shrimp for a few minutes until cooked, while I made a mayonnaise dressing with about ½ cup of mayo, ¼ cucumber finely diced and 1 tsp. of green chili sauce.  I also sliced two avocados into halves and laid two halves on each plate.  

When the shrimp were cooked we mixed the shrimp mixture with the mayo mixture and ladled half onto each of the plates with the two avocados.

We decided to drink the rest of our Côtes de Provence rosé with our salads and took them out to a small table on the veranda and ate our salads as we watched the ocean and the human activity in the water and on the beach.

selfie on beach at Sayulita
When we finished our salads it was around 4:30 and we decided to walk to town and investigate the shops and watch the sunset from town and see if we could meet up with Nazario and Lise? at Bungalow Auzinko and see if we could work up an appetite for dinner.

When we arrived at Auzinko at around 6:00 Lise? was in the office and we began to talk.  She said Nazario was surfing and would return soon.  We talked about our kids and politics mostly.  Their son, Kali, is a surfer and will take over the business and has become a certified surfing teacher.  At around 7:00 Nazario arrived as fit as always from his surfing and we talked a bit longer.  I suggested that we get together for dinner on Saturday or Sunday night. 

We walked down Marlin to Don Pedro’s and then through the side street back to Delfines and back to the main street but rather than turning left onto the main street we walked up the passage between the two main upper streets to the Le Gourmet Bakery and Deli where we saw the owner sitting doing paperwork.  I asked to buy a chocolate mousse and he packed one up in a clear plastic container.  It cost 40 pesos (about $3.00) for about 2/3 cup of mousse.

Suzette suggested that we buy a bottle of brandy to drink with the mousse and we stopped at a liquor store just down the block from the French bakery and bought a 50 Cl. Bottle of Presidente Brandy for 68 pesos.

When we arrived home, we were still not hungry enough to eat a dinner.  Suzette did some yoga while I made tea and sliced two slices of the good onion bread and spread peach preserves on them and then sprinkled Manchego cheese on the preserves and toasted the bread until the cheese melted.  I poured each of us glasses of brandy and I ate the toast and then some chocolate mousse with my tea.  

The chocolate mousse was terrific, dark rich creamy and topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream topped with about a dozen small dark chocolate truffles.  I could only eat about four or five small spoonfuls before I became satiated, so there is more than half left for another meal.

Bon Appétit 

Bon Appétit 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 25, 2014 Sayulita Day 2 Lunch Jackal and Dinner Baked Red Snapper topped with Chorizo and Panko

November 25, 2014 Sayulita Day 2 Lunch Jackal and Dinner  Baked Red Snapper topped with Chorizo and Panko

We started the day by making an omelet of smoked tuna, machego cheese, and onions, topped with slices of avocado and eating it under the palapa by the beach with cups of honeysuckle tea.

Then we walked the three blocks to the town center and went to a new fish store and our old favorite grocery store.  The new fish store had large red snappers and fresh head on shrimp, so we said we would return.  We then bought string beans, a pineapple, two bananas, 1 kg. of sugar, and four squashes at the grocery store.  We still needed mint to make the sugar water for our mojitos, so we walked to the square to the super mini grocery store.  Amazingly, the lady who owned the store had a bag of fresh spearmint in the small refrigerator he kept beside the cash register and we bought a large handful for $.50. 

We walked around the square and down the other one way street back to the fish market, stopping to check out the Le Gourmet French Bakery and to buy two glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice just beyond the bridge.  Suzette picked the largest red snapper and we determined it was 85 peso per kilo (about $3.00/lb.).  We also bought 1 ½ lb. of heads on shrimp for about $5.00/lb. and then carried all of our provisions to the room. 

We had read Trip Adviser reviews of restaurants in Sayulita and fund that the highest rated restaurant was just across the street from the villas where we were staying, so after walking the beach to the main beachfront area and taking a short nap, we walked across the street at 2:30 for a late lunch.  We both ordered a seafood tostada for 30 pesos each ($2.35) to go. When we arrived the cooks in the kitchen were making a chorizo and potato dish for the staff’s lunch and I asked if I could try the dish.  

Soon we were brought a small plate filled with the chorizo and potatoes with a bowl of tostados and two types of salsa.  Tostados appear to be the all-purpose delivery system for chopped foods and salsas. They are thinner, more delicate and less oily than the typical chips in the states.  The chorizo is died red and imparts a red color to the grease, which colors the food.  When the tostados were delivered In a to go bag, we walked back across the street to the compound, grabbed two beers and walked to the palapa by the beach that has become our dining room and enjoyed our fresh tostados, with octopus, marlin, bay scallops, and shrimp in its appealing matrix of micro chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, Serrano chili, and onions balanced delicately on a tostado with an extra tostado to spread out the pile of seafood salad.

We loved the dish and will return to El Jackal.

We fetched our cameras and went to sit on the veranda overlooking the beach and snapped pictures of the sunset.  Finally around 6:00 we noticed a group of people a ways up the beach where they incubate the sea turtle eggs and walked over to see if they were letting loose turtles.  We met a lady on the way who said the days release had just ended.  We were saddened that we missed the release and determined to see the next one, which is highlight of the trip usually.  
looking south earlier

looking north with Suzette
a panorama of the entire beach from southern to northern headlands

 a little later looking south
We went back to our condo unit and cooked dinner.  I chopped up about 2 oz. of chorizo, quartered three potatoes and minced about 1 Tbsp. of cilantro, while and Suzette snapped about 1/2 cup string beans and split one of the red snapper filets in half, sautéed the chorizo and piled it and some panko onto the filets and then broiled it in our tiny toaster oven for about twenty minutes. While the fish was baking Suzette boiled the string beans and then sautéed them with the potatoes, while I opened a bottle of Côtes de Provence rosé. 

For some reason, I had thought the wine was a Coteaux de Provence, which is usually a slightly sweet and fruity wine.  The Côtes de Provence was an entirely different animal; bone dry.  We were hungry for a good wine and did not mind that is was not perfect.  In fact the chorizo was not picante and so the dry wine went well with the fish to moisten the toasted panko and chorizo.  The fish could not have been fresher.  It still had that internal inter-cellular moisture of sea water, just like the seafood in the seafood tostado had had earlier.

another view of dinner
the ceiling of our dining room

red snapper with smashed potatoes and green beans

After returning from food shopping this morning I had cubed one of the bananas and eaten it with some yogurt and the banana was fabulous, because it seemed to be tree ripened.  

After dinner we made honeysuckle tea and heated the PPI brownie from yesterday’s pasta lunch and had a small dessert course to complete our meal.

One of the things I like the best about Sayulita is the availability of really fresh ingredients. Although limited, the ingredients that are available are plentiful, cheap and at their maximum freshness or ripeness.  Most people shop daily, so are used to freshness as the rule.  And sometimes we are surprised like today’s find of fresh mint.

We have enough food now for several meals. Tomorrow morning we will make a shrimp omelet and Oaxacan mole for dinner. The next day, Thanksgiving Day, we will make fish and shrimp soup for dinner.  After that perhaps one of our lunches will be BBQ tuna and shrimp on tostados.

In two days we are planning to take a boat ride to Yalapa for lobster on the beach for our Thanksgiving Dinner with a bottle of the Chenin Blanc champagne we bought in France last year.


Bon Appétit