Three varieties of beans were found beneath the ash in the village kitchens of Cerén. Certainly they were boiled, and since they are bland, they were undoubtedly combined with other ingredients, including chiles and primitive tomatoes. The Cerén villagers would have used peccary fat for the lard and bacon, and of course would not have had cumin. But they probably would have used spices such as Mexican oregano.
This recipe was provided by author Kathy Gallantine. She collected it from Antonio Seja Torrez, a clam-picker in Baja. Every day at low tide, Antonio crawls through the mangroves and collects 500 pata de mula "clams," that are really mussels. He carries the several miles to the dock at Magdalena Bay, where he sells them for ten pesos apiece. His daily earnings come to about $2.00 U.S. "About enough to buy a kilo of beans," he says cheerfully. Try this recipe with true clams, but be prepared too pay a much higher price for them! Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
I am including several ceviches from Peru because some travelers claim that they are superior to those of Ecuador. The most popular fish used in Peru is sea bass, or grouper, although every type of seafood and shellfish is used as well. The Peruvian ceviches include a few rounds of cooked corn on the cob and cooked slices of sweet potatoes. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
This is a basic Mexican version of ceviche that is easily varied with the addition of fruits and vegetables that are in season. I like to add diced avocado, or jicama, or even cucumbers to add not only different flavors but also textures to the ceviche. By adding tomato juice and pulp to the recipe and serving in a large parfait glass, you transform the ceviche into the very popular, seafood cockteles found all over Mexico.
This recipe is a second version of the Ecuadorian specialty. The fish can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish for a refreshing summer meal. It is traditionally served with maiz tostada (toasted corn) or popcorn on the side. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
Tagines or tajines are wonderfully aromatic North African stews that combine meats, poultry, chicken, or fish with fruits, vegetables and a large variety of spices. The centerpiece of Moroccan meals, there are literally hundreds of traditional tagines as well as many regional variations
Since Chile has a 2600-mile coastline, I would be remiss if I didn't include a fish recipe from that country. There is a minimum of grazing land in Chile, so instead of beef being the major source of protein, it is fish and shellfish. The wines of Chile are quite good, so be sure to include a nice chilled Chilean white wine when you serve this Chilean ceviche. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.