In the old days only royalty and nobility could pay to import anything and that is why the kings and nobles had "great chefs". Believe it or not, nawadays, it is more expensive overall to prepare food with local ingredients than to import and cook a fish from imported all the way from say Vietnam for example!
Lucky for us we are in Puerto Vallarta area and do not need to import fish. Our country has access to cheap ingredients that are amazing! So, for your tropical feast you can choose from fresh fruit, vegetables, seafood and some farm animals.
Martoca Weddings Catering believes your destination wedding menu should reflect the street food in the area. My goal as a chef is to offer the local and street food vibe but on a fantastic presentation to our guests. The trick is to just upscale the presentation of the local food joints and of course most importantly, use proper cooking techniques. Proper cooking tehniques and will enhance your flavors and quality and make our ingredients and dishes that are street food "gourmet". That is the difference between a great chef and just just a house cook. For example, fried chicken needs to be deep fried at 365 degrees and not put in the oil until it is actually at 365 degrees. Most people make this mistake of putting int he chicken in the batter and when they put it in the not hot enough oil the batter slides off and also gets soggy and full of grease. Anyway, I am going off here from the subject, but that is what we do: Excersize proper cooking techniques and with great local ingredients and showcase our menu with fine presentation; That is the key to our menu and why we suggest it to all our couples and their guests. We want you to taste Mexico in every bite. We want you to have the street food or local dishes from hole in the wall family joints without the dust and bacteria, ha,ha. Safety first.
So, here is a sample of a dish we love to make and share. I made this dish once in Whole Foods in Austin in their Oyster bar (ye an oyster bar inside Whole Foods I promise) and people went nuts. I had to give out 7 recipe cards to my friends and my clients in the bar. Now, Puerto Vallarta area or Bahia de Banderas, as the bay is called, has many different dishes that are spectacular. I would put them up against Shrimp Scampi any day or Sole Meuniere. I will just focus on one example for this post:
Camarones al Ajillo: This is so simple yet so delicious. We use large Bay Shrimp and devain it. Clean it and then dry it. Lightly dust it with Salt and pepper and flour and then sautee it in minced garlic and Guajillo chile mojo and butter/olive oil mix. Make sure not to over cook the shrimp. Let the dust turn golden brown and pick up the sauce. 5 to 7 minutes tops cooking time. Serve with white rice and grilled veggies or refried beans or a side salad. Typically it is served with a side salad and/or beans in local restaurants. Now how would I enhance it so it is upscale and amazing for a wedding caliber presentation and "gourmet'? I would serve it with the white rice and grilled veggies but keep the heads for presentation and actually cook the veggies myself and not use frozen veggies. I would also serve the rice plain (because the sauce is rich the rice should be plain in this dish for balance to cut the garlic and chile sauce) but I would put some avocado slices to make it look amazing. I would lay the Shrimp vertically over the veggies with amazing grill marks and use the sauce as guarnish. So it is a typical local dish but served super elegantly and you save a bundle and people think they are eating like kings. Which they are!
|Don't Forget we make our own tortillas on site|
OK, that is my post for today. Find catering for your wedding that uses local ingredients and enhances the lives of the people in the area. Each wedding we produce gives jobs to many local farm and fishing coops and workers and sustains families. We do this job for us but also for love of our community. Ask us more about how each dish we create helps our community. James@martoca.com