[Pacific Grill's Octopus Ceviche Tostada].
It was great to be sitting in the hot sun under a palapa on "Playa de los Muertos" [beach of the dead] listening to the strolling mariachis as they played --as I was doing with my friend Karen Neustadt here in the photo-- and be able to order a ceviche tostada of local dorado [Mahi-mahi]; and have it delivered a few minutes later [with a bucket of icy Coronas or Pacificos with lime] right to your beach chair in the sand a few feet from the Pacific ocean....
Wherever I went in Puerto Vallarta I found myself wanting to order refreshing ceviche. So light and delicious in the heat and humidity, it is the perfect vacation food.
[Ceviche of Dorado on PLaya de los Muertos beach, Puerto Vallarta.]
Here on the beach at Boca Tomatlan, a very bouncy bus ride south of Vallarta, my friends Cheryl Franco, Carol Clarke, myself & Karen Neustadt, and I ordered ceviche of mackerel, and octopus.
We didn't care so much for the strong oily flavor of the mackerel ceviche to the left...
At one restaurant, they didn't even have ceviche on their menu--but when I inquired--they said they would be happy to make one for me! [See the results ringed with sliced cucumber]
...and when I got back to Tacoma I found myself dreaming of ceviche...
Lately at Pacific Grill we have been experimenting with baby octopus ceviche [first simmering the octopus in a beer court bouillon to help tenderize it] then marinating it in citrus juices, onion, lime, chilies, cucumber, tomato and mango, and lots of cilantro with a generous sprinkling of sea salt. Vary the list of ingredients to suit your taste--more chilies if you like it spicier, and serve it on a crisp corn tortilla, as a tostada--or serve it in martini glasses with tortilla chips on the side for a sit-down dinner. Or for a more casual setting, in a large bowl with chips for scooping.
I also like serving lime wedges on the side in case the guests like a little extra lime [as I do].
Hint: I always tell my chefs to think of ceviche like a margarita tastes-- it should be limey and a little salty....