Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Salsa Xni Pec and Ceviche de San Felipe

Xni Pec is the Yucatecan version of the salsa known as Pico de Gallo that is prepared throughout Mexico. The recipe I am providing has an alternate ceviche variation that hails from the San Felipe area of Yucatan, an area on the Gulf Coast where fishing is the main industry. To make vegetarian ceviche, try adding some chopped zucchini or cucumber or experiment with other vegetables - just be sure to let it marinate before serving.

Xni Pec

  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped (I used orange tomatoes, any tomatoes work)
  • at least 2 tablespoons or up to a quarter of a minced onion* (I used red onion for the color)
  • a handful of fresh, chopped cilantro
  • the juice of one lime
  • 1/2 of an habanero chile, diced OR 1 serrano chile diced (habanero is more authentic to Yucatan - but be careful, habanero is extremely hot!)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Stir the ingredients and serve. Use as a dip with tortilla chips or as a salsa for tacos or other dishes.

*Note: this is not required, but I usually blanch the minced onion briefly in piping hot water before adding it. This ensures that the onion flavor doesn't dominate.

Ceviche de San Felipe

  • Add 2 or 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to the above recipe
  • Add extra onion, if desired, and extra vegetables (such as chopped zucchini or cucumber) for vegetarian ceviche, if desired. Let marinate before serving.

This also makes a nice side salad if you cut the vegetables into large pieces. I have seen on other blogs using sliced hearts of palm or mushrooms and other vegetables in vegetarian ceviche. It is worth experimenting.

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