Sunday, July 26, 2009
Today's midday meal featured a lobster and scallop ceviche with muscato vinegar, sour orange juice, lemon and lime, anchovies, gooseberries, grape tomatoes, diced avocado, dried currants, minced garlic, shaved onion, and finished with dried pablano, red pepper flakes and Hawaiian coral sea salt.
The lobster tail and scallops were on sale and inspired the dish. I had the tart gooseberries, which I bought for a salsa verde in place of tomatillos (which actually are a type of gooseberry).
I started experimenting with ceviche after falling in love with one served at a local southwestern place. At first it seemed like the acid-cooked shellfish was simply a means to deliver the tangy, citrus-sweet juices and pickled aromatics. But letting the seafood linger on the tongue revealed a lush flavor.
I was also intrigued by a ceviche produced by Sam Talbot for an episode of Top Chef a couple of years ago, which was selected by one judge as his favorite of the whole season.
Clearly ceviche is a platform for creative expression of fresh and full, but subtle flavors. It's a great summer dish, so I have a couple of months to play with the concept before the chilly weather arrives and we lose our appetite for cold fish.