Las Aguilas, or the Mexican Eagles, on the roof of the Hotel California in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, proving once again that Mexicans have a great sense of humor. The rumor that Don Henley stayed at the hotel and wrote his famous song there is just not true. “I can tell you unequivocally that neither myself nor any of the other band members have had any sort of association–business or pleasure–with that establishment,” Henley wrote to travel writer Joe Cummings. No matter, the restaurant there is excellent and Chef Dany Lamote shared his recipe for ceviche with me.
This is a classic dish all over Mexico. The fish of choice on the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula is the sierra, or Spanish mackerel, but you can substitute snapper or grouper. For a smoother-tasting ceviche, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil just before serving. I often serve this as an appetizer in a martini glass.
1 pound Spanish mackerel, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 Roma tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch cubes
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 or 2 serrano chiles, minced
6 Mexican limes, juiced, seeds removed, or more to taste
1 ounce Hotel California Tequila
Salt to taste
Combine all ingredients is a bowl and marinate at room temperatures for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. Serve with unsalted corn tortillas.
Yield: 4 servings as an appetizer
Heat Scale: Medium