How to make an easy, healthy, family dinner while on vacation in Mexico
Most Mexican hotel rooms do not come with a full kitchen. If yours does, take advantage! Go to the market, get a few things, and make a Mexican shabbas dinner.
The Mexican twist
On our recent trip to Mexico, we got lucky with our hotel room. The wedding we were attending offered us a great rate at Garza Blanca Preserve. Our room had a full kitchen, huge dining table and breathtaking views. Why not enjoy one night in and cook a big Mexican shabbas dinner?
This wasn’t a Mexican dinner, per se. It was an Jewish American shabbas with a Mexican twist. Masterminded by my old friend Sugs, we made:
- Salmon with chipotle pepper glaze.
- Guacamole (feat. a fresh serrano pepper).
- Mexican rice.
- Salad with Mexican-style dressing.
- Roasted corn.
We also had challah from a Mexican baker. Okay, it was just a nice-looking loaf of bread.
Overall, the food was good and the company was better. It was a nice change of pace from eating out. Plus, we had a lot of fun putting it together (read: tequilla shots while cooking).
Useful tips for Mexican shabbas dinner
Learned a few things about making a successful shabbas dinner in Mexico. Mostly, you have to be okay with limited options. For example, it was tough to find marmalade without any high fructose corn syrup.
Biggest tip for anyone making Mexican shabbas dinner? Just enjoy the moment.
With that, here we go with the useful tips:
First of all, the cooking process is half the fun. Tequilla is the other half. Enjoy it all.
You can find spices in packets. They look like mini envelopes. We got packets of garlic powder and cumin.
Use chipotle peppers. We got some from a can. I think that's the easiest way. And as mentioned earlier, use what you can get. This marmalade was laden with HFCS. Oh well.
Fresh, super-ripe, avocados are easy to find. They don't require being chopped or Vitamixed. Just spoon it in. And for the record, this was the best batch I've ever made. Highlighted on top: a serrano pepper.
Don't worry about making the healthiest salad ever. This one had cucumbers, tomatoes, hearts of palm and big-ass croutons.
Fresh, wild-caught salmon is usually easy to find. Yet, we only were able get farm-raised. No biggie.
Discuss the week. Highlight, challenge, and something you're looking forward to.
Shabbas dinner in Mexico.
- salmon - fresh fillets
- chipotle peppers - small can is easiest
- red wine vinegar - a few shakes
- jelly - some orange marmalade
- leafy greens - whatever you want for a salad
- hearts of palm - canned is what found
- avocados - several. about one per person
- onion - one fresh chopped
- tomato - a handful, fresh, washed and chopped
- bag of minute rice - easiest
- canned sweet corn - couple cans
- Give the salmon a rinse under water.
- Mix marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
- 1 part chipotle peppers, 1/2 part marmalade, 1/4 part red wine vinegar.
- Spread over salmon
- Cook in oven at 375 for 10-15 minutes.
- Mix all the guac ingredients.
- Add salt until it’s perfect.
- Here’s full guac-making instructions if you need a refresher.
- The rice packet we used had Spanish instructions. The instructions are basically:
- Boil water.
- Add rice.
- Add ingredients in bowl.
- Serve with dressing on the side.
- Drain corn.
- Add to large fry pan on medium heat.
- Add salt, pepper, garlic and cumin to taste.
- Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
NOTE: This recipe is marked gluten free. Why? Because if you wanted to avoid the challah and croutons, it was easy to make it gluten free.