There are days when I really, really miss New Haven. Up until we found an amazing fish shop in Hell’s Kitchen I fiercely lamented not having a shop like #1 Fish Market in North Haven, and of course I longed for a nice glass of wine and some tapas at Barcelona. But Barcelona was not the only place that I missed; you see, New Haven is a little treasure trove of culinary delights, boasting more quality restaurants in its tiny footprint than one would ever expect. You want Cuban, Japanese, New American, French, Italian or Spanish food? New Haven got you. Want pizza? You better believe that New Haven got you. Want decadent, delicious, and gut-busting brunches? Well, do we see a pattern forming here?
One of our other favorite places to go for a special night out was Pacifico, a nuevo Latino restaurant with a focus on seafood dishes. It’s part of a whole line of restaurants by Rafael Palomino; while the dishes all have their roots in Latin American cuisine, the dishes take a lot of creative license because they also derive inspiration from French, Mediterranean and Asian influences. When Michael declared that he wanted to eat avocados for dinner in some way, I somehow instinctively went to pick up our copies of Nueva Salsa and Viva La Vida, two great resources for interesting meals but two I had neglected for a while because of an influx of newer books captured my attention.
So I did what I tend to do when we head down to the Union Square Greenmarket on a Saturday and lug along a cookbook with me…and then read it on the subway. Yes, I do this. I get looks for it, I assure you, but I don’t care–because I then am armed with ideas that help determine what we purchase in the market and what we then purchase elsewhere for dinner–and I know how much to purchase. Suck it, people who give me weird looks!
We had picked out the avocado salsa with serranos (though we substituted them with jalapenos) prior to leaving, but I positioned the lamb-goat cheese tacos (originally empanadas in the book) to be easy to get at the Whole Foods in Union Square, and the Tuna-Avocado Ceviche would be (presumably) satisfied at Sea Breeze, which was conveniently on the way home. That’s how it came to be–we got things like green onions, avocados, tortillas, ground lamb, limes and whatnot at Whole Foods while procuring tomatoes, jalapenos and herbs a plenty at the Greenmarket. Getting sashimi-grade tuna at Sea Breeze was nothing simpler–a privilege I wish everyone had access to, if only to enjoy amazing tuna the way it should be enjoyed.
Five o’clock came around, and the time to work commenced: Michael took the avocado-jalapeno-cucumber salsa to task, I focused on prepping the ingredients for the tacos, and then Michael did the ceviche quite nicely. They all came out brilliantly–but we learned a lesson from eating so much avocado before hand, namely that we had no room to eat more than one of the frankly delicious taco apiece.
Below I will share a recipe for the avocado-tuna ceviche because it’s fast and SO GOOD, and mainly because the lamb tacos deserve another try when we’re not preoccupied by all of that good fat.
Avocado – Tuna Ceviche
Adapted from Viva la Vida
Serves 4 as an appetizer
- 1lb sashimi-grade tuna, skinned and diced into 1/4 inch chunks
- 1/2 cup lime juice
- 1/2 orange, freshly juiced
- 1 Hass avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup cilantro, diced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
Combine tuna with lime and orange juice into a glass bowl, and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and then refrigerate for an additional 15 minutes. Serve when completely chilled.