Browsing: Isla Mujeres

Coconut Shrimp

June7

I was reminded this morning by a posted comment that I have readers who share our mutual love of Isla Mujeres.  I wrote and saved a couple of entries after my most recent trip:

“I have been tempted to sample Coconut Shrimp here in Winnipeg when I been to the  The Star Grill on Portage Ave or their sister at The Conservatory in the park.  For me tasting is a multi-sensory experience, Winnipeg even in June is not quite the right setting-I need to smell the sea and hear the whoosh of the palm fronds around me.

Sounds like I’m making a case for my constant treks to Isla Mujeres. My first taste was in 2005 at the Sunset Grill.  We were staying on the south end of the Island and it was our first full day.  With our fabulous map reference we found the Grill on North Beach and ordered exactly what Laura the writer of the map suggested and I was hooked.  We’ve returned to the Sunset other years hoping to enjoy the same quality.  One year I was with Sister #2 and our girls and we had the privilege of witnessing the most romantic wedding on the beach.  That same year our kids treated my husband and I to a progressive dinner and we shared the shrimp as our first course before meandering elsewhere for dinner.

Coconut shrimp

On another trip with Sister #3 and an Honourary Sister, we tried the shrimp at El Pulito near Punta Sur.  The restaurant is mostly outdoors with a little covered kitchen.  The views are stunning and shrimp pretty darn good.

My husband and I have only been alone to the island on one occasion and we stopped at Chili’s Loco right on the main street of Hidalgo.  I was very impressed but for some reason the taste is enhanced by sitting right on the beach when the shrimp is consumed and so we head to the strip of restaurants along Medina.

You can’t get nearer the sea than the Miramar.  I’ve been to the restaurant twice-once with my adventurous friends from TO who took a chance on IM with me and are now hooked  and the second time with my friend V who also happens to be the mother-in-law to my son.  Along this strip of sand where the ferry arrives from Cancun, is where the locals mend their nets sitting on overturned pails.  The shrimp is beautifully cooked in a crunch coating and the huge serving comes with all the trimmings. “

Kath’s quote:  “We’ve been sold on the idea that travel is no longer a luxury  It’s a staple, like soymilk.”-James Morris

Segovia-Part 2

June4

I should taken notes or asked to take a copy of the menu -what kind of foodie blogger am I?  My head was spinning with the whirlwind of food that started arriving at our table and was soon divided up and devoured.  A couple of these items are referenced on the Segovia website so I know that I have gotten them right but for the details that I am just trying to pull from memory…forgive me please.

This was one of their specials-braised beef tongue served over succulent baby peas.  I was going to pass and let the guys enjoy this one on their own.  Good thing I got brave or I would have missed out on the most amazing dish.

I truly don’t remember what this was but it had a poached egg on top and was smooth, creamy and delectable.

This dish was part bruschetta/part salad and totally delicious.  I recall fresh basil, grilled tomatoes and crispy pancetta.

We had two orders of these…even without the enhancing drizzles, they might have been the best “french fry” I have ever tasted, rivalled only by the papas frites at La Lomita on Isla Mujeres.

We had two orders of these too….we call them croquettes and Sister #2 is a master maker of them, having been taught be her Italian mother-in-law.  The bechamel was rich and substantial and the creamy/salty/crunchy combination so much fun.

Salt and pepper squid with apple saffron aioli-a curious taste twist on calamari, highly successful.

Seared scallops atop of cauliflower puree.  Scallops may be my favourite shellfish especially when they are expertly seared as these were, leaving the inside moist, firm and bursting with flavour.

We thought that we should start winding down with this platter arrived brimming with cured and smoked meats.  Duck, tongue, salami, ham-each taste made unique by the substance, heartiness, spice and length of cure.

This  was the bread grilled and brushed with olive oil that accompanied the platter.  I could have been happy with just the bread and a little sea salt!
Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Kath’s quote: “Man does not live by bread alone”.  -Deut 8:3

Shrimp Ceviche

April26

The first time I ever tasted Ceviche (raw fish “cooked” in line juice) I was with Sister #3 at a restaurant called El Rico Maya in Cozumel in the late 1980s!  When the three sisters first travelled to Mexico together in 2005, we tricked Sister #2 into trying Ceviche Mixto by telling her that the cylindrical fish (octopus) were scallops.  She bravely had a taste.

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Tonight we are all assembling to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend who also happens to be our son’s Father-in-law.  The theme is Mexican and since it is spring, all of the ingredients are plentiful and well priced on the prairies.

This is the recipe that I have adapted over the years-modifying it to partially cook the shrimp before I take it to a party where it sits out all evening.

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1 lb. medium shelled shrimp (optional: before shelling, steam until shell JUST start to turn pink, then remove from heat and rinse in very cold water)

freshly squeezed juice from 2 large limes

salt and pepper to taste

1 small white onion, chopped

3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, loosely chopped

1/2 t chili flakes

1 T ev olive oil (optional)

In a glass bowl, toss together shrimp and lime juice.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (This is particularly NB if using unsteamed shrimp as this is time is required for the shrimp to “cook”).  When shrimp are opaque, add all of the other ingredients and toss.

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Here’s a photo of the dish being prepared by my man-servant-jk.  I took this of the Chef at Tibouran on Isla Mujeres when we requested an order to go for “happy hour” on our hotel balcony.

Kath’s quote: “Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”-Carl Sandburgheart-of-leaf

Sister #3-Isla Mujeres (Part 6-Asia Caribe & Mango Cafe)

April23

Note to Son #1 and his Exquisite Wife:  Thank you for suporting me by reading, clicking, searching and buzzing me.  But especially for your attention to detail and advice.  Most of all, I hope you know how much it means to Dad and I that you will drop everything to buy some beer, cook up some smokies and just BE with us as we celebrate life and laughs and lives that have sadly ended. 

As Sister #3 indicated in an earlier post: “While the traditional regional cuisine on Isla Mujeres is amazing, there is also a huge variety of fare available because people from around the world have discovered this little Island and now call it home.

  Sticky Ribs

The owners of Asia Caribe are California natives who also have a house in Maine.

 Cashew Chicken

 

Their sticky ribs, cashew chicken & stir fried veggies were all great. Dessert of Kahlua -Chocolate mousse and coconut cheesecake top off a delicious evening.

 Jamician Chicken

 

You can even find Jamaican B.B.- Q. on Monday nights at a place called Mango Café in the Colonias.” Kath interjects here: “This dinner included two cocktails called ‘Dark & Stormies’ which were a refreshing start. There was this huge platter of food and I seem to recall a homemade vanilla bean ice cream for dessert as well-and all for 160 pesos! I especially enjoyed the sauteed plaintain and carrots steamed in coconut . We had to walk half way home to wear off our dinner AND I took one of the chicken breasts home and had it for lunch the next day! This is how affordable delectable dining is on Isla.

 Mango Cafe

We considered ourselves very fortunate to get the last table in the restaurant-well not really “in” the restaurant-we sat out on the sidewalk and enjoyed every minute.  From here we could watch the line up of people assembling for the next available tables. A wonderful girl from GB took care of us and we had a perfect evening.

 

Kath’s quote: “Grilling is like sunbathing. Everyone knows it is bad for you but no one ever stops doing it.”-Laurie Colwin

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Sister #3 -Isla Mujeres (Part 5-Loncherias)

April14
Chicken Sand
 “While not much can beat a Montechego cheese sandwich with lime mayo on fresh buns from the Super Mercado, (we added left over chicken and avocado to this one) there are plenty of Isla restaurants that serve lunch to temp you.
 
Tacos Pastor
“Loncherias” offer up everything from tacos to rotisserie chickens.     
Homebrew-hope you don't mind that I snagged this photo from an 07 Isla Story

Homebrew-hope you don't mind that I snagged this photo from an 07 Isla Story

A highlight this year was a visit to Poc Chuc for Chiles Relleno and Pollo Mole.
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Kath’s quote: “A cook she certainly was, in the very bone and centre of her soul. Not a chicken or turkey or duck in the barn-yard but looked grave when they saw her approaching, and seemed evidently to be reflecting on their latter end; and certain it was that she was always meditating on trussing, stuffing and roasting, to a degree that was calculated to inspire terror in any reflecting fowl living.”-Harriet Beecher in ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin

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