The Spice is Right

Seafood makes a great base for a delicious Mexican feast. Just add the heat.
Text and recipes by Kathryn Jessup

Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill in Chicago distills Mexican seafood into three basic preparations: lime-cured (seviche), fried with garlic (al mojo de ajo), and served with chunky tomato sauce (a la Veracruzana).

Seviches typically use lime juice to "cook" raw fish. In our version, we simmer the seafood to give it a crisp bite, then prepare it as you would a traditional raw-fish seviche.

Chipotle Fish Tostadas call for mucho garlic in addition to chipotle chiles. Along Mexico's Gulf coast, brave cooks fry spicy dried chipotle chiles in oil. We used milder canned chipotles en adobo, a chile-vinegar sauce, but they still pack a punch.

Named for the city of Veracruz, pescado a la Veracruzana is widely served throughout Mexico. Our simple, light version skips the usual bay leaf and heavy stewing, allowing the delicate halibut to shine.