Daily Archives: 6 February 2015
This week’s selection for French Fridays with Dorie was Winter Ceviche, a quick appetizer that brought a little tropical tease to my kitchen located in the deep freeze of New England.
Ceviche is a preparation for raw fish or seafood which is then “cooked” for a few hours in an acidic marinade. This version started with bay scallops, which are much smaller than the more familiar sea scallops. Bay scallops are seasonal, and I hadn’t seen them around in a while, but I got lucky and found them at my first stop (Whole Foods). They were half the price of sea scallops and because I only needed 6 to make a half recipe, they only set me back $2.25. Miraculous!
The marinade is made from fresh lemon and lime juice plus the lemon and lime zest, some mango nectar and a touch of brown sugar. The scallops are refrigerated in this acidic fruit bath for a few hours to “cook”. In the meantime, thinly sliced shallots are lightly doused in vinegar for a pickled garnish.
At serving time, all that’s left to do is toss some tarragon leaves with oil and divide them amongst the plates. Then using a slotted spoon, transfer the scallops to the bed of leaves. Dip some halved grapes into the remaining marinade and add to the plate, then top it all with the pickled shallots. As they say in France, “Voilà!”
This ceviche provides a good basic formula. I think it would be equally delicious with another white fish or shrimp, raw or cooked. Or I might try substituting different herbs like parsley, cilantro, or even arugula in place of the tarragon. Some thinly sliced chili would be at home too.
I hope I remember this recipe next time I have a seated dinner party where I want to serve a plated first course. (By the way, don’t overestimate my entertaining skills. A plated first course would put me in much fancier territory than my usual dinner parties which begin at the kitchen island with a help-yourself assortment of cheese and crackers and dips, chosen so I can socialize with the guests while I finish up dinner.)