New Mexico

Masa’s Saul Chavez creates the perfect Cinco de Mayo treat

Hasta la vista, greasy enchiladas.  There’s no room for you at Masa, the restaurant that has perfected the art of fine Mexican cuisine. Taking ancient recipes and updating them with contemporary style, the restaurant has allowed Minnesotans to discover the real taste of Mexico.

The man charged with maintaining this sense of authenticity is Masa chef de cuisine Saul Chavez, who began cooking as a young boy in Mexico. Chavez’s emphasis on traditional methods and fresh ingredients can be tasted every day at Masa. The restaurant’s mole is based on his mother’s recipe, which has 32 ingredients and takes four hours to make. “Anybody can do mole,” Chavez explains, “but if you take your time, you can see the difference.” 

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, Chavez shares his recipe for ceviche classico, a traditional seafood dish. “For Cinco de Mayo,” says Chavez, “I like to go to the park, make a little picnic with this ceviche, and celebrate with my family and friends.” 

Ceviche Classico

2 pounds of snapper, cleaned and diced into half-inch cubes
3 cups lime juice
1 1/2pounds roma tomatoes, diced into quarter-inch pieces
4 ounces chopped onion
2ounces serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
4 ounces chopped cilantro
3ounces manzanillo olives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice

Marinate fish in lime juice, cover and refrigerate for three hours. In a large bowl, mix together tomatoes, onions, chilies, cilantro, olives, and olive oil. Remove fish from lime juice and add to tomato mixture. Season with orange juice and salt, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate before serving. Garnish with sliced avocado, two tablespoons of the marinating liquid, and tostaditas.