Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Herb Green Ceviche a la Rick Bayless

Aside from being on a Rick Bayless kick, Ginny was also thinking seafood, which is ALWAYS a good idea in my book. The next menu item was Rick's Herb Green Ceviche with scallops as the centerpiece. I am a huge fan of sea scallops, but I've never been much on their Bay living cousins. In the past, I have always found them tough or rubbery, from being overcooked. As small as they are, they require very little cooking and are very easy to take over the edge into the land of Goodyear. That being said, I've always been interested in ceviche, a method of lightly "cooking" seafood in citrus juices that requires no heat at all. What a beautiful concept, especially in the summer months when you need something cool and refreshing to eat, and the last thing you want to do is light the stove.

This ceviche went together in about two minutes (not including the time it took Ginny to put together the herb seasoning that she brought with her).

Herb Green Ceviche
(Ceviche Verde)
Makes about 4 1/2 cups, enough for 8 as a starter
Recipe from Season 7 of Mexico - One Plate at a Time

For a scant 1 cup of herb seasoning:
1/2 head garlic, cloves broken apart
2 to 3 serrano chiles
1 medium bunch cilantro, tough lower stems cut off
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, tough lower stems cut off
1/2 cup olive oil

Scallop ceviche:
1 1/2 pounds bay scallops or sea scallops cut into 1/2-inch pieces to resemble bay scallops
1 cup fresh lime juice
2 (7-ounces total) small “pickle” or Persian (baby) cucumbers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large avocados, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin, then cut into cubes
Lettuce leaves (butter lettuce works great here) for garnish

1. Make the herb seasoning. Set a dry skillet over medium heat. Lay in the unpeeled garlic cloves and chiles. Roast, turning frequently, until soft and blotchy brown in spots, about 10 minutes for the chiles and 15 minutes for the garlic. Cool until handleable, then slip the skins off the garlic, pull stems off the chiles and roughly chop (no need to remove the seeds). Place in a food processor along with the cilantro (about 1 cup if packed), parsley (about 1 cup if packed), oil and 2 generous teaspoons salt. Process until nearly smooth (it will be pasty). Scrape into a storage container and refrigerate until serving time.

2. Make the scallop ceviche. Pour the fresh lime juice over the scallops, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring every few minutes.When the scallops are as “done” as you like—break one open to see if it looks as cooked as you like (I like them still pink on the inside), drain off all but about 1/4 cup of the lime juice. Stir in 1/2 cup of the herb mixture, cucumber and avocado. Taste and season with more salt if you think necessary. Serve on lettuce leaf-lined plates or martini glasses. You’re ready to serve.Notes: I have a renewed faith in bay scallops. Serving them in a ceviche removes the risk of overcooking, and they come out of the citrus mixture soft, delicate, and flavorful. The herbs are fragrant and offer a wonderful option for a healthful dish with a minimum of effort, and it tastes like it came out of a gourmet kitchen. Give this one a shot!


Jhonny walker said...

this is so awesome..I am making this tonite.TONIGHT!

Krista said...

This looks and sounds absolutely wonderful! Excellent recipe!

Kim said...

It looks really pretty Beth! I've never tried any kind of ceviche before. It looks like I'm missing out!