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A meal fit for Cinco de Mayo celebration

Cinco de Mayo does not warrant a big celebration in Mexico, but in the United States, including in Sonoma County, there are little parties, big parties and street celebrations everywhere. For a long time, the occasion seemed to me to be little more than an excuse to drink a lot of Mexican beer, but lately I've come to think differently about the holiday.

If forced to choose, I would probably select Mexican food as my favorite and I especially enjoy it as the weather heats up. There's nothing like chips, salsa and an ice-cold Bohemia beer on a hot night. By early May, we've usually had a heat wave or two and my craving for Mexican fare is rising. Cinco de Mayo celebrations fit right in with those natural inclinations at this time of year.

Served together, today's recipes make a delicious meal, perfect for a dinner party. For a bigger fete, served family style or as a buffet, you'll want to add a few more dishes. For suggestions, visit "Eat This Now," this column's companion blog, at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com, where you'll also find details about my favorite Mexican beers, my favorite chips and a recipe for one of the best appetizers ever.

I've made this ceviche using Pacific halibut, flounder and Petrale sole when snapper hasn't been available; all work well and give delicious results.

Snapper Ceviche with Avocado and Tortilla Chips

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 pound snapper (or other mildly-flavored, firm, white-fleshed fish) fillets, cut into 1/3-inch dice

? cup freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more as needed


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