Salsa sea delicacy: Shrimp Ceviche

barco camaroneroCeviche is a refreshing dish based on fresh fish or shrimp marinated in lime juice. You can find many different styles on the American continent, from Peru to Mexico. This Ceviche recipe is typical from Sinaloa, the shrimp capital of Latin America. The tastiest Ceviche is made with fresh shrimp, but you can make it with frozen shrimps too.

Ingredients

2,20 lbs or 1 kg of peeled shrimp

1 cucumber, peeled

1 or 2 Roma tomatoes

½ red or white onion

1 or 2 Serrano chillies

½ cup lime juice

Cilantro to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

ceviche sinaloensePreparation:

Cut the peeled shrimp in pieces and add to a bowl with the lime juice, salt and pepper. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
In the meanwhile, cut in cubes the cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and the Serrano chillies. Make sure to remove the seeds from the cucumber, tomatoes and chillies. Chop the cilantro finely.

Take the shrimp from the fridge and drain the lime juice. Then add the chopped ingredients and add extra salt and pepper to taste. If you like a very sour Ceviche you can add extra lime juice.
Serve this Ceviche with ‘tostadas’ or salty crackers.

Provecho’ (= Bon Appetit)

* NOTE: if you want to make a fish Ceviche, add the same ingredients and strips of fresh firm fish.

 

LELA hits the road

Salsa LelaLELA (Lead, Encourage, Live and Act), the symbol of the altruistic side of the Salsa and Salsa tour, has recently turned 3 years old. She started a a little piggy bank at Salsa and Salsa in Mazatlan in 2010, filled with hope, positivity and love for the community. Since then LELA has collected over $30,000 USD for many organisations and charities world-wide and continues to touch the hearts of many guests who visit Salsa and Salsa in Mazatlan, Cozumel and Cabo San Lucas.

LELASalsa and Salsa also takes care of the communities, with charitable giving, which is awesome!” – Jonathan S.   South Carolina

We also gave to L.E.L.A. and paid it forward to help those in need!” – Heidi Bradshaw

They also have a program of donation to deserving organizations.” – Travelsalotindiana

 It was the perfect excursion: great staff and family-friendly – plus Salsa and Salsa even supports various charities.”  – Glenn F, Texas

Many guests who joined Salsa and Salsa and donated to LELA themselves, suggested their favorite charity to the Dancing Chefs. The simplicity of paying it forward has been the driving force behind this initiative. LELA has supported small and big charities alike.

Hands On NashvilleCozumel humane societyBack2Back

LELA has grown up and the time has come for her to discover the world. The Dancing Chefs are very proud and excited to announce that LELA will hoof out to discover unknown trails. During the last 3 years charities were embraced by LELA at 3 locations in Mexico, but now LELA will visit and help out your charity with the most amazing FUN-raiser you can think of. Yes… it’s true: the Dancing Chefs will hit the road and visit your location to with the #1 Tour from Mexico.

Do you need to spice up your charity dinner or event? The Dancing Chefs will teach everybody how fun cooking and dancing can be…. Salsa style! For more information and availability, send an email to salsaandsalsausa@gmail.com.

And finally…. one last big OLÉ!!!!!!!    🙂

“Be a tourist in your city” – Dancing Chef Melissa re-discovers Mazatlan

Each year my love of Mazatlan grows bigger and bigger. This is all for the simple fact that I keep a tourist mentality. I never let myself forget the reasons why so many tourists including nationals and foreigners are attracted to this amazing place I live in. A few ways of keeping a tourist state of mind is to re-visit tourist attractions, attend city events, re-create local dishes at home and lastly, don’t be afraid to join in on touristic activities!

Enjoy the beach in MazatlanI always make sure to keep re-visiting Mazatlan’s historic sites, favorite restaurants, best beaches, close-by small towns, and everything else that makes this city what is it. I love visiting the beautiful Cathedral near the downtown market. It is a beautiful site and I never get tired of admiring the beauty that it holds. I also enjoy visiting the little town of “El Quelite,” where you find the best fresh baked goods and incredible homemade cheeses.

Re-creating local dishes in my home is another great way to appreciate the pride I have in the taste of Mazatlan. “Aguachile”  and “Caldo de camaron” are delicious dishes that I am working on mastering in the comfort of my own home. Aguachile is basically a raw shrimp dish made with lime, cucumber, tomato, onion, chili serrano and salt and pepper- it is a like a ceviche. The caldo de camaron soup is a shrimp broth in which you later add seafood and vegetables.

 

Aguachile and CevicheI never feel embarrassed to join in on the touristic activities. Time and time again I will hear neighbors and friends say “I haven’t been to the beach in ages even though it is right here” or “I am not going there: it is just a lame tourist trap.” It is a privilege to live near the ocean. People dream about visiting the ocean and enjoying the beach. Take advantage of the natural beauties in your city, because you will regret it if you leave. Also I hear the term “tourist trap” many times, however visiting those places give you a different perspective on your city and you may be surprised that you may just enjoy yourself!

 

“SER TURISTA EN TU CIUDAD”

🙂

Dancing Chef Melissa

Dancing Chef Melissa

Fa la la la la…. Singing Chefs!

It might not come as a surprise that the Dancing Chefs are vibrant women who are active in their communities. But did you know that Dancing Chefs Cherine and Maaike share the same passion: singing! Cherine has recently started as a lead singer with a rock band and Maaike has participated as a choir member in famous opera’s like ‘La Boheme’ and ‘Carmen’, as well as classic works like ‘Requiem’ of Mozart. Here’s their story:

When and why did you start singing?

iona

DC M. – Singing has always been a part of my life. It became a serious hobby until I was in college. The local church was looking for people to sing Celtic music  to record a CD and I decided to join. There’s  something about the harmony of voices that brings people together, even if you don’t know each other.

rock.on

DC C. – I started singing in my high school band (ahem, a few years ago). I decided then and there that when I grew up, I was going to be a famous Rockstar! And guess what? I am a Dancing Chef which in my book… is so much better!

I started at my newest band ‘Tierra Firme’ only a few months ago. My “manager” (good friend of mine) was chatting with his musician buddy, when he told him about how they wanted to expand their bands repertoire and how an english female singer could probably attract different venues and events for them. Next thing I knew, I was auditioning with my “Manager” (friend) and “Bodyguard” (Husband)! I showed up to the audition with my hefty entourage….. everyone (including myself) got a real kick out of that night!

What is your favorite genre?

DC C. – I  like classic 70’s through today’s tune, although I feel that many of these latest tunes and bands lack a certain “je ne sais quoi”.

Singing chef Maaike

DC M. – I love to partipate in operas, because it’s so versatile. You get to sing, act and dress up all at the same time (that must be my inner child!). I’m a member of the Angela Peralta choir from Mazatlan. The interesting thing about the Angela Peralta choir is that its members are all volunteers. Nobody has a degree in music and the choir director teaches everbody from the basics to semi-professional level. Some choir members like Adan Perez have made it big time in e.g. the Metropolitan Opera House. This makes me very proud to be part of this local choir.

What’s your most memorable performance?

DC. M – A few years ago the Angela Peralta choir was invited to sing in Mexico-city. There were a total of 5 choirs plus a full orchestra (over 500 people!)  from different cities around Mexico that had to rehearse and perform ‘ Te Deum’ from Berlioz. We sang this concert in the San Juan Bautista church in Coyoacan. It was exhausting but so worth it!

encuentro de coros

DC. C – That will be in about 2 weeks from now, as I am in full rehearsal mode since joining my band  ‘Tierra Firme’!  I can’t wait to share these photos with all of you!

Olé!!!

Run LELA run…..

In the wake of the Ironman in Cozumel and the Maraton Pacifico in Mazatlan, Dancing Chef Stephanie shares her story about being healthy. We are very proud to present our $890 USD donation to Fred’s Team that was collected by LELA in October 2012.

Dancing Chef Stephanie’s road to the top

On January 8th of this year I took a decision that took me 22 years to take… that’s kind of hard to believe isn’t it??

I was born as a healthy baby with normal weight, but as a toddler I developed asthmatic bronchitis, this lead to several complications that took me in and out of the hospital several times as a kid. The doctor’s recommendation was no running or any kind of activity that will give me a good work out, plus lots of medicine that included cortisone. Those two of course plus the pampering of my parents took me straight to being an obese child.

During my adolescence I wanted to drop weight and look good, I tried several different diets but again very little to no exercise. I dropped some weight but never got to my ideal size. I don’t want to sound like weight was all it was in my mind, but as a child and adolescence bullying affects you psychologically a lot and makes your defects stand out every day. When I got out of high school I focused more in my schooling and let go on my strict diet which made me gain back the weight I lost.

This year I decided it was enough; I was not going to let anyone tell me I couldn’t do something I needed to do for myself. I signed up at the gym without knowing what to expect and committed with myself to do cardio for 1hr a day, at least 5 days a week, which I did for the first 3 months. Those months were rough, I felt like my lungs were too weak, my heart was going to pop out my chest and my legs wouldn’t stop hurting ever. It was definitely a struggle every day to get out of my bed and go do it. I was losing some weight but my skin wasn’t going back to its place properly so after researching I realized I had to get a personal trainer to start doing weights. Well that was scary because all my life I thought that if I did that I was going to look bulky and my body will turn manlish. It happens to be totally opposite if you have a professional by your side that knows your problematic areas that you really want to work out and make firm, you will focus on that.

By April I started personalized routines with my trainer who is amazing. I’m not going to lie they were a totally different challenge from my regular everyday cardio, but I was focussed on what I had to get done and always felt so proud to go from the person on the couch watching TV to this very active person. I was feeling better, I had more energy and I noticed I wasn’t getting sick every month like I used to. About every month I had a cold, cough, allergies or flu, suddenly I was off any kind of medication.

In summer time I started having knee problems which I have always had, but I guess the regular work out made it more noticeable. I went to the doctor to check on that and his first recommendation was no more working out. “But why???”  especially if I was feeling so well.  He gave me medication and pulled me out of the gym for a week, which made me feel awful mentally and physically. I had a goal that I was managing to keep and again my health was going to stop me. Well, I called my trainer and she said she has had several clients that have been injured somehow and they just work around it, making sure that you don’t overdo that part of your body. So I got back to the gym and I haven’t stop ever since. I try to do 7 days a week but if I do 5 I feel like I’m still following what I was committed to.

My lungs are stronger, my attitude is more positive and I feel so proud of myself. If you are going to work out I would recommend you to get a personal trainer that will guide you through very good routines as well as take care of you while training. Just so you know I have not gotten to my goal weight but I’m sure pushing it every day to make that happen, I want stay healthy for myself and my loved ones.

Olé!!!

Dancing Chef Stephanie

Heaven in Mazatlan – 490 feet uphill

Where in Mazatlán do you have a 360º view and can you see 12 miles north and south? It’s not the newest apartment building in town, but a natural reserve that few tourists know about. The Lighthouse or ‘Faro’ is home to many animals and plant species and is located in the far south point of Mazatlan. Named the world’s 2nd highest natural lighthouse, its altitude is 154 meters or 490 feet.

The Mazatlan lighthouse is located on an impressive rock formation called the Creston Hill. From afar you can appreciate its steep cliffs and triangular shape. The Creston hill boasts several deep caves, which are nearly impossible to approach because of the treacherous currents.

Mazatlan has been a cargo port since 1821, but at that time it didn’t have a lighthouse. The most important freight was gold and silver from the rich mines of Copala and Cosalá. Many ships came in from Europe and Asia, but entering the port was a dangerous enterprise. The captains would have to approach the port based on their experience, which put at risk their ships and precious load. Therefore the Creston hill, which used to be an island, was equipped as a reference point using torches or wood fires. It wasn’t until the 1890 that the actual lighthouse was built. The maritime signals had been manufactured in Paris, France, and consisted of a large oil lamp with mirrors to reflect and enhance light. Because the light was static, in the distance the light was often mistaken for a star. It was not until 1905, when the lamp was replaced by a turntable.

There are several interesting legends about the lighthouse caves. Some stories lead to believe that inside invaluable treasures have been hidden by famous pirates like the English Thomas Cavendich or the blond Dutch Spilbergen. They roamed the seas to plunder the loaded ‘Naos’ from the Philippines.

Climbing or ‘conquering’ the Lighthouse is a great adventure for all ages. I always take my children (aged 5 and 8) for an early Sunday stroll. You will have an easy start with a slightly sloped sand path. You will meet both exercising Mazatlecans and tourists along the way. About halfway the sand path leads into stairs. You will see lizards, many birds, butterflies, as well as cactus and tropical trees. Even two stray cats roam the Lighthouse stairs, where they are fed daily by the passers-by. Once you’ve reached the top of the hill, you will be amazed by the view. It makes the effort worthwhile!

Are you excited and you can’t wait to visit the Lighthouse?!? Here’s how to get there. You can take the ‘Sabalo Centro’ air-conditioned bus that drives through the Golden Zone all the way to the foot of the Lighthouse. You can also take a taxi, asking the driver for ‘El Faro’. I would advise to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat. Make sure to bring a camera, closed shoes, a hat, sunscreen and lots of water. You will have the best family time and the most amazing photos!!!

Olé!!!
Dancing Chef Maaike

“Care for today, hope for tomorrow”

In the beginning of this summer we had two guests, Rodolfo and Becca, visit “The Original Salsa and Salsa tour,” in Mazatlan. Dancing Chef Maaike is quick to make friends and conversation. At the show she discovered that the couple had just moved to Mazatlan in order to develop a new location for their organization called Back2Back Ministries. Back2Back Ministries is a faith based organization who help needy orphans in different locations. They currently have missions in USA, India, Nigeria and Mexico. When the Dancing Chefs heard of this, we knew that Back2Back Ministries would be a perfect candidate for Salsa L.E.L.A.’s charity of the month.

 

Salsa L.E.L.A. picked Back2Back Ministries for the month of June, 2012. We managed to collect a total of $906.00 USD for this special cause. What was most exciting was that Dancing Chef Maaike, Dancing Chef Leonique and myself, Dancing Chef Melissa were able to present the check in person to Rodolfo and Becca. It was a meeting full of stories exchanged, and lots of laughter. In this meeting they also had the chance to explain how the money would be spent.

Back2Back Ministries’ location in Mazatlan is in the beginning process of development.  They need a lot of support at the moment.  At this time they are working with a ranch for disabled orphans called “Rancho de Los Ninos”. Unfortunately the ranch has had several break-ins. Safety is the top priority for the children and for this reason the biggest need is at the moment is building a perimeter wall to prevent any more break-ins. The money that Salsa Lela has donated will be assisting in making this happen!

 

Salsa Lela and the Dancing Chefs are ecstatic to be supporting such a wonderful cause like Back2Back Ministries. Salsa Lela gives a variety of different causes the opportunity to complete critical goals that need to be met. Pay it Forward!

Sincerely,

Dancing Chef Melissa

Easter in Mexico

What comes to mind when you think of Easter….. Bunnies, egg hunts and blooming flowers? In Mexico we don’t celebrate Easter, but Semana Santa which is the week before Easter. It is a national holiday and it’s also the time that many Mexicans take time off to go to the beach. Big cities like Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey become ghost towns in these days and in beach destinations cash machines run out of money and supermarket shelves are emptied. I love the sun and sea of Cozumel, Cabo and Mazatlan, but when there are so many people on the beach I prefer to experience Easter in a different way!

Mexico is one of the most catholic countries in Latin America. It’s present in everyday life: people make the sign of a cross when passing in front of a church or use saint’s images for protection. Semana Santa is one of the most important celebrations, with processions and re-enactments of the crucifixion of Jesus.


On Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) many Catholics visit their local church, buy a palm leaf that’s offered by the many vendors outside the church. Then they attend mass to receive a blessing on the palm. The blessed palm leaf will keep the holder safe and is usually located behind the front door of the house or on the rear-view mirror in the car. The design of the palm leafs differ per region and is a wonderful example of Mexican handcraft.

The re-enactments of Jesus’ crucifixion are much more than a mere theatre play. The involved actors are devout Catholics and express their deep religious feelings through the role they are playing. In some cities the actors that play Jesus, carry crosses that weigh up to 80 kilo, are literally crucified and undergo extreme pain. Thousands of people attend the Via Crucis throughout the country.

One of the more solemn activities of Holy Week is the Procesion del Silencio (Procession of Silence). It takes place on the Friday night before Easter and could be considered a funeral procession. All participants wear special clothing or hoods to renounce selfishness and arrogance. The image of a crucified or deceased Jesus heads the march, behind him the Virgen Marie dressed in mourning cloths. This Virgen is also called ‘Virgen Dolorosa’. All images of Jesus and the Virgen Marie that participate, are carried by the members of the church the image belongs to. During the procession you can hear only the sound of drums, that mark the pace. It’s kind of eery to be a part of the Procesion del Silencio: apart of the absence of sound, all street light are turned off and eventually you start to feel the sadness too.

Now enough about celebrations…. let’s about my favorite topic: FOOD! In the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter (Lent)  Catholics are not allowed to eat meat on Fridays. Mexican catholics have created a special vegetarian dish for this time of year. It’s called Capirotada and could be considered a bread pudding with syrup. Each region in Mexico has its own version of this traditional Lent dish. This recipe from the north of Mexico is special, because it has layers of cheese.

Capirotada – Mexican bread pudding with syrup

Ingredients

20-25 slices of baguette (1-2 days old)

5 ounces (150 grams) of butter

9 ounces (250 grams) of grated queso Chihuahua or aged cheese

7 ounces (200 grams) of raisins

7 ounces (200 grams) of unsalted peanuts

Syrup

5 ounces(150 grams) piloncillo or mascabado sugar

3 cups (750 ml) of water

1 cinnamon stick

3 cloves

1 cup (250 ml) milk

Preparation

  • First prepare the syrup: boil the sugar, water, cinnamon and cloves in a sauce pan with a thick bottom while stirring into liquid syrup. Remove the pan from the fire and stir in the milk.
  • Toast the slices of bread and cover with butter.
  • Preheat the oven at 390ºF(200ºC). Use a deep casserole (cazuela) for this dish. Dip the slices of bread into the syrup until making one layer. Spread part of the cheese, raisins and peanuts on tip and cover with another layer of bread dipped in syrup. Continue until all the ingredients are finished.
  • Strain the leftover of the syrup and pour over the pudding. Cover with aluminium foil and bake the pudding for about 20 minutes. Check from time to time by lifting the foil and flattening the pudding with a spoon. Lower the heat to 300ºF(150ºC) and bake for another 30 minutes. Serve this pudding lukewarm.

SERVES 6 PEOPLES

Buen Provecho!!!!!

Dancing Chef Maaike

Baseball in Mazatlan, Mexico

Baseball is one of the most popular sports worldwide. I grew up in Florida where a large amount of Major League Baseball teams would go for Spring Training. It was always fun spending time with friends and family at the games that we were able to attend. I was always fond of the time spent with good people but I was never fond of the sport. When I used to think about baseball, I would think of the words quiet, serious, boring and lastly hot dogs. Though, that quickly changed once I moved to Mazatlan, Mexico.

Mazatlan actually translates to “land of the deer” in the language of Nahuatl, which is an ancient Aztec language. This is where the local baseball team name was derived from because Mazatlan’s local team is called “Los Venados” which in english translates to “The Deers.”

When I moved to Mazatlan all the locals seemed to be very excited about the baseball season that was approaching. I wanted to experience  everything I could so I followed the crowd to my first baseball game in Mexico. The first game of the season made me change the way I felt about baseball. The pre-show of the baseball game had a spectacular show was packed with excitement of the people from Mazatlan. The pre-show began with an amazing choreographed dances and ended with a beautiful array of fireworks.

My family has been season ticket holders now for about 6 years. Of course like any other team, Los Venados, have their share of good seasons and their share of bad seasons. The one thing that does not change is the spirit of the crowd and the wonderful snacks and loud music they play as part of the show. You will find hot dogs and beer like in any other stadium in the United States, but they also have many other fun mexican style snacks to choose from. My favorite snack is called “elotes” which is basically white corn in a cup with cheese, cream and chili sauce or powder. It sounds strange but never judge without a try! The most popular snack they offer is called “salchichas” which is similar to a hot dog sausage and is sliced and topped with lemon and hot sauce. Now when I think about baseball the word exciting, loud, fun and salchichas!

If you have the pleasure to come to Mazatlan during baseball season I do suggest you experience the thrill of the game. Don’t forget to wear the color red and root for our local team “Los Venados!”

 
-Melissa

Lela embraces the children of HOPE Landing, Arkansas

Children are the most honest and inquisitive creatures walking the earth . They embrace life with such candor and passion, that we adults could often learn from them.

Last month a guest from Salsa and Salsa Cozumel contacted us about LELA. She suggested that LELA should support her favorite charity HOPE Landing.  HOPE Landing, in South Arkansas, is bringing HOPE and PURPOSE to the lives of children with disabilities by helping them achieve their potential.   

The great thing about HOPE Landing is that 5 women stepped up and said whether Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance pays or not, if the children need it to progress, we need to do our best to provide it.  HOPE Landing provides many non-traditional but proven effective therapies for children:  equine therapy, aquatic therapy, therapy through massage, therapy through drama, summer camp, educational tutoring and many others that can more fully be comprehended by visiting their website www.hopelanding.com. These services are provided regardless of a parent’s ability to pay…..many times at HOPE Landing’s expense.  Of course traditional therapy is provided also. 

The concept of HOPE Landing touched the hearts of all the Dancing Chefs and we decided to help spread the word. We’re convinced that in this way HOPE Landing can connect with other people that understand how important each and every person is and that we all need a little help sometimes.  During the month of September LELA collected $367USD, which will be used in all the different therapies at the facility.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑