In Cantina, Mary Sue and Susan celebrate the best of casual Mexican
cooking, offering their own versions of popular dishes from the Yucatan
to the Rio Grande and from the Sea of Cortez to the Gulf of Mexico.
Cantina traces the history and ingredients of casual dining in Mexico
back to the nation's early cultures and first European settlers and
offers practical advice for recreating an authentic cantina experience
in your own home.
This is one of the most popular dishes at Border Grill, where we use the
freshest fish available. Our favorite is Pacific halibut as it sears
well in the pan, cooks evenly without flaking, and doesn't overcook
easily which makes it a good choice for a party. The key to this dish is
to get the searing pan very hot and caramelize the fish, then quick fry
the vegetable garnish and finish it all with a short simmer.
1 1/2 lb. Pacific halibut, or other firm fleshed fresh fish, cut in 4
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh jalapeno chili peppers, stemmed and cut into rounds 1/4 inch
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
1 ripe tomato, seeded and cut in strips
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup small Spanish green olives or other small green olives such as
French picholines, pitted
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup fish stock or bottled clam juice
Sprinkle the fish fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat one
very large or two medium sized sauté pans over medium high heat for a
minute. Add the olive oil and when it is hot but not smoking, add the
fish fillets, skin side up. Turn the heat to high and sear the fillets
on the fist side until golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Turn and sear on the
second side, 1-2 minutes longer. Remove filets from pan and reserve on a
rack over a plate to catch juices.
Return the pan (or pans) to high heat, add onions and sauté, stirring
often, until lightly golden, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno
slices, lime wedges, tomatoes, oregano and olives and sauté, stirring
briskly, for 1 minute longer. Add the white wine and boil until reduce
by half, 2-3 minutes. Add the fish stock or clam juice and bring to a
boil, reduce to a simmer, and return fish fillets along with the juices
to pan to finish cooking, covered, about 1-3 minutes depending upon the
thickness of filets. Taste broth and adjust seasoning, then serve
immediately in soup plates with a generous puddle of broth and garnish
of vegetables atop.
Copyright ©1996 Weldon Owen Inc.
Creamy Lime Pie
When choosing limes for this pie, look for ones with a yellowish hue
that are soft when squeezed because they will be more flavorful. This
dessert is easy and impresses everyone!
1 recipe Empanada Dough (recipe below), chilled
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
1 cup crema or crème fraiche
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 lime, for garnish
Makes one 9- or 10-inch pie, Serves 8
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a round about
12 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. Drape the round over the
rolling pin and transfer to a 9- or 10-inch glass or ceramic pie plate.
Ease the pastry into the pie plate, pressing it gently against the
bottom and sides. Trim the edges, leaving a generous 1/2-inch overhang.
Fold the overhang under, then crimp the edges decoratively. Cover and
chill for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Prick the bottom and sides of the
pastry with a fork. Line the pastry with parchment paper or waxed paper,
allowing the edges to hang over the sides and fill with pie weights or
dried beans. Bake until only very lightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Remove
from the oven and immediately remove the weights and paper. Transfer the
pie shell to a rack and let cool completely. In a food processor fitted
with the metal blade, combine the lime juice, cream cheese and condensed
milk. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the work bowl
often. Add the lime zest and process to mix thoroughly. Pour into the
pie shell and place in the refrigerator.
In a bowl, using a whisk, beat the crema or crème fraiche and powdered
sugar until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, spread the mixture
over the top of the pie, creating peaks evenly over the surface. Slice 8
thin rounds from the center of the lime and cut each round once from the
center to the edge. Form a twist from each round and place these twists,
evenly spaced, on the pie.
Cover and chill for 4-6 hours or as long as overnight before serving.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chilled lard or unsalted butter, chilled
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 1/3 cup ice water
In a large bowl combine flour, lard, butter and salt. Mix lightly with
your fingers until the dough forms pea-sized pieces. Using a fork, stir
in ice water, a little at a time, until a dough forms, and then knead
lightly until it comes together in a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and
refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.