I think it’s safe to say that spring has finally arrived in New York City. We were very lucky to have a gorgeous couple-a days last two weekends, and we decided that our Saturday dinner should reflect the sunlight and the final departure of the cold. When I think delicious dishes in warmer weather, ceviche is one of my most beloved go-to recipes because there’s so much room for variation that you never have to repeat a combination (unless you want to). It reminds me of one of my other favorite dishes, one that’s also an unending source of variable deliciousness, pizza.
The ceviche was hardly standard. Taken from the pages of one of our nuevo latino cookbooks, this dish contained barely any of the standard ingredients. The white fish flesh was subbed out for shrimp and tuna. We rarely buy large cold water fish, so this was a nice treat as this preserves the essence of the tuna. Instead of avocado and onion, I added diced daikon radish and two mangos. The fish was cooked with orange juice and mango juice, making the entire dish sweeter and brighter than a normal ceviche. I set in the fridge to cook and as the sun set, we visited our local wine shop, where our friend (and current neighbor) the propriator engaged us in a lively debate over the merits of non-traditional ceviche over extra anejo tequila- truly a magical evening.
To pair with it, we cooked a scallop dish from the same cookbook. It called for coating them with crushed Terra chips and pan searing. I have to admit, I made a mistake by not drying the scallops thoroughly enough or letting the crushed chips sit on them long enough before I committed them to the hot pan. The coating did not cling as I had hoped, but it was still tasty. To top, some onions simmered in Rioja as a nice counterpoint the richness of the scallop.
Enjoy spring, friends. Try some new food and leave the long low roasters for a rainy afternoon. Until next time, cook on!