Capella Ixtapa’s Winning Seafood Chili

Capella Ixtapa recently participated in the 11th Annual Zihua Sail Fest, a fund-raising event for the education of disadvantaged children in Zihuatanejo.  The event was a great success and lots of fun – cocktail parties, benefit concert, live auctions, sailboat and dingy races, poker chases, beach parties, seminars, chili cook-offs and street fairs are just some of the activities happening during the festival.

Our Executive Chef Gonzalo Rivera and his team participated in the chili cook   contest – and won!  It was so delicious, that by the time I came to take a photograph of it, it was already gone!  Gonzalo agreed to share the recipe with us, so we can all create the winning Seafood Chili at our homes as well:

Fernandito’s Seafood Chili

–  5 tablespoons of olive oil
–  2 cups chopped white onion
–  2 leeks, white part only, chopped and rinsed very well
–  15 garlic cloves
–  3 tablespoons dried oregano, ground
–  20 roasted roma tomatoes chopped, roasted with fresh thyme and bay leaf
–  1 quart fish fume or lobster stock
–  ½ cup chili powder (fresh dried and ground, morita, ancho, pasilla, guajillo equal parts)
–  3 tablespoons toasted ground cumin
–  1 medium cinnamon stick, toasted and ground
–  1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and ground
–  1 tablespoon sea salt
–  1 tablespoon ground chili piquin or cayenne pepper
–  3 medium red bell peppers, roasted and chopped
–  6 poblano peppers, roasted and chopped
–  ½ pound calamari, tubes and tentacles cleaned
–  ½ pound cleaned bay scallops
–  ½ pound small pacotilla shrimp, peeled and deveined
–  ½ pound choice ribeye, chopped
–  ½ pound robalo or seabass, chopped
–  1 cup cooked black beans
–  5 fresh bay leaves
–  1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
–  2 cups dry red wine
–  Sea Salt and pepper to taste
–  2 cups roasted yellow corn kernals
–  1 cup cilantro and parsley mix, ruff chopped save half for garnish
–  5 hass avocado, ripe cut into squares for garnish
–  6 corn tortillas slices thinly and deep fried for garnish
–  ½ cup of Sour cream mixed with lime juice and spices and chili powder


Heat oil in a heavy sauce pan over low heat.  Add rib eye and cook for 5 minutes until brown, then add the onions and leeks.  Cover and cook until tender, usually about 15 minutes.  Add garlic and oregano and cook for another 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, breaking up any large pieces with a spatula.  Stir in the stock, wine, chili powder, cumin, spices, salt and cayenne.  Slowly bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 1 hour.  Add peppers and corn and simmer for 20 minutes.  Then add your seafood and cook for another 20 minutes.  Add your fresh herbs and stir.  Season to taste.

Serve in a bowl and garnish with sour cream, tortilla strips, cilantro and parsley mix and avocado.  Finally, season with a little pinch of sea salt for taste and texture.

Buen provecho!

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