Today is the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She holds a special place in the religious life of Mexico and is one of the most popular religious devotions. Her image has played an important role as a National Symbol of Mexico. If we were in Mexico, December 3rd would have marked the start of the novenas to honor the Virgin of Guadalupe.
The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a simple one. A poor Aztec Indian named Cuauhtlatohuac was baptized into the Catholic faith, taking the name Juan Diego. In 1531, he was a middle-aged widower living in a small village near Mexico City. On the morning of December 9, Juan was on his way to a nearby barrio to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady.
As Juan was passing a hill known as Tepeyac, he heard beautiful music. A radiant cloud appeared and within it stood a woman dressed like an Aztec princess. The lady spoke to him in his own language and sent him on a mission to speak with the bishop of Mexico. Juan was to deliver a message that the bishop was to build a chapel in the place where the lady stood.
The bishop was not so easily persuaded. He told Juan that the lady needed to give him a sign. Juan returned to the lady, and requested a sign that the bishop might accept as heavenly. The Lady agreed, and told Juan to meet her the next day to receive the sign. At the same time, Juan’s uncle became seriously ill. Juan felt obligated to care for his dying uncle, and did not go to meet the lady a third time. Yet she found him, assured him that his uncle would regain his health. She told Juan that he was to gather roses that had bloomed in the snow and bring them to the bishop. He did has she instructed, filling his cloak with roses.
As tradition hold, on December 12, 1531 Juan had a second audience with the bishop. When Juan opened his cloak, hundreds of roses fell to the ground. The bishop sank to his knees, for inside the cloak where the roses had been was the image of Mary.
The Basilica of Our Lady Of Guadalupe is the most visited Catholic pilgrimage site in the world, and the world’s third most-visited sacred site. For many in Mexico, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is of national importance and great pride.
Today, in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I am preparing my family a delicious dish of Fish and Tortilla Chips with a simple side of rice with beans.
Mexican Fish And Chips
The Salsa with Chips
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
2 Jalapeño Peppers, seeded and chopped
1 small Red Onion, chopped
2 large Garlic Cloves, chopped
10 oz can diced Fire-Roasted Tomatoes with Chilies
A small handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Kosher Salt, to taste
Tortilla Corn Chips for serving
Remove the stem from the Jalapeno Peppers, split in half to expose the seeds and membrane. If looking for less heat, scrape out the seeds. If heat is desired, chop the peppers with their seeds and set aside.
Peel and finely dice the onion. Set aside. Peel and finely dice the garlic. Set aside. Finely chop cilantro and set aside.
Heat a skillet over medium to medium-high heat and add oil, a turn of the pan. Add peppers, onion and garlic, and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and heat through. Stir in cilantro, remove from heat and season with salt to taste.
Set aside until ready to use.
4 Cod Filet (6 oz each)
Kosher Salt to taste
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Old Bay
2 cups Crispy Corn Tortilla Chips
2 cups Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
Pat fish dry. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and Old Bay. Arrange fish on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. While the fish is roasting, cut the lime in quarters and set aside. Remove the fish from the oven and squeeze the lime wedges over the fish. Layer some salsa, some chips and a sprinkle of cheese over the fish. Return to the oven and bake 10-12 minutes more until chips brown at edges and cheese is lightly browned.
3 Green Onions
1/2 cup Cilantro
1 cup Mexican Crema
While the fish is baking, cut another lime in half and set aside. Cut the avocado open, remove seed and dice the flesh. Turn out onto a plate, squeeze half a lime over the avocado. Chop the green onions and cilantro. Set aside.
When the fish with salsa and chips are ready to serve, garnish with the Avocado and green onions. Finish with a dollop of Mexican Crema and a scattering of cilantro. Serve with the rice and beans.
Cilantro Rice and Black Beans
4 3/4 cups Chicken Stock, divided
2 cups White Rice
15 oz can Whole Black Beans
1 teaspoon ground Coriander
2 teaspoons Cider Vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh Cilantro, chopped
Additional Cilantro for serving
Green Onion for garnish
Bring 4 cups chicken stock to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until tender, about 17 minutes. While the rice is simmering, finely chop the cilantro. Once the rice is cooked, stir cilantro into rice. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Meanwhile, in another saucepan, cook black beans, remaining 3/4 cup chicken stock, coriander and cider vinegar over medium until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.
When ready to serve, plate the rice. Top with the beans. Garnish with cilantro and green onions.