Sunday, May 13, 2012

More ceviche thoughts

We are hosting a party in a week or so where we will be making a variety of ceviches (well perhaps technically not), more really "seafood where the proteins have been affected by acid". So by freeing up the approach, we tried some different acids and ingredients. So these are conceptual ceviches rather than the proper dishes.
Also because we wanted a variety, we decided to try several kinds of fish. The upshot of yesterday's experiment was to make the identical base for 2 different kinds of white(ish) fishes and something way out there for the salmon. With help from Chase and Jon at TJ's fish market, the experiment got under way.
We had the dishes for lunch and shared them with our neighbors. The neighbors thought that the dishes could have used more heat, but agreed with us that the fattier amberjack was the right way to go. So, for the party itself, I will take their advice.
I had had a conversation with Chef Gilbert (of Sustenio in San Antonio) and he counseled me against doing the vinegar based approach. However, I am a stubborn old cuss and wanted to try it anyway. It came out very well - not something that could ever be described as ceviche but extremely tasty anyway. I am glad I experimented - these are not dishes you do for the first time at a party!

1/2 cup key lime juice
12 oz fish (we used 6 oz bonefish and 6 oz amberjack but made the dishes seperately) 1/4" cubes
1" piece of ginger, finely grated
6 scallions, white and light green thinly sliced
1 habanero - seeded and minced finely
1 small orange bell pepper cut into 1/4" dice
1 small red pepper cut into 1/4" dice
1/2 cup diced (1/4") watermelon
1/4 cup diced (1/4") jicama
1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stalks finely chopped
3T tequila
salt to taste

METHOD - White Fish
Place the cubed bonefish into one bowl, and the amberjack into another. Pour 1/4 cup of lime juice over each, cover with cling wrap and rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in another bowl. Leave to rest also.
When ready drain the fish leaving them slightly moist. Add 1/2 of the mixed ingredients to each fish bowl and mix thoroughly with a stainless spoon.
Server immediately with corn or other chips.

6 oz Atlantic salmon - cut into 1/4" cubes (no skin)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 kaffir lime leaf - torn and bruised
1t sesame oil
2 Thai peppers minced finely
3 scallions, white and light green thinly sliced
3T finely minced fennel fronds
3T finely minced fennel bulb
1T red palm oil
1 small red and 1 small yellow sweet pepper, cut into 1/4" dice
2T sake
salt to taste

METHOD - Salmon
Place the salmon in a bowl. Pour on the vinegar and add the kaffir lime leaf. Leave covered in the refrigerator for at least 90 minutes.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl and leave to rest.
When ready to serve, drain off the vinegar from the fish and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and serve with corn chips, fried wontons or other crispy chips.

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