October 21st, 2009
This is Cameo McRoberts filling in for Kathy while she’s shaking up some fun overseas. I’m an Executive Chef here at Kathy Casey Food Studios and I’ve worked with Kathy on a lot of things. What I love the most is sharing ideas with her! When Kathy asked me to take over this week’s Dishing post, you can imagine I jumped at the chance. What better opportunity to discuss my favorite subject: Me!! Oh wait, I mean Mexican food!
October normally brings in colder weather and a shift in mentality for heartier meals. With the onset of fall, our cravings turn to slow cooked and braised dishes, a staple in Mexican cuisine. I like to make this Yucatecan style Ceviche to bring about one last taste of a warm Summer before the Winter frost kicks in.
Ceviche is normally fish ‘cooked’ in lime juice, but with this one we cook the seafood first. It’s great choice for people who don’t enjoy raw or undercooked seafood. I also like to use the 1# seafood medley that is usually available at Trader Joe’s. It has a mix of shrimp, calamari and scallops that work well in the dish. I also like to use a Japanese mandolin or julienne for texture appearance. If you don’t have one, medium dice or julienne so that everything is the same size, but keep the onion pretty thin so it doesn’t overpower.
Now a little about me and my fave Mexican restaurants:
Before joining the D’Lish entourage, I was Sous chef at the highly acclaimed Frontera Grill and Topolobampo, winner of James Beard awards galore. Most recently, Rick Bayless, chef and owner, won Top Chef Masters making him a household name.
Since my return to Seattle the quest for soul satisfying Mexican fare has left me a little weary. But Seattle’s taco truck obsession and the honest offerings of a few places in town, eases the homesick pangs in my belly for the truly authentic.
Taqueria la Fondita II has true carnitas… Pieces of pork butt braised in lard; once the meat is cooked the heat is turned up so the little tender morsels begin to fry.
Senor Moose offers up dishes that I love to see on the menu but don’t always make it, like Mancha Manteles, one of the 7 traditional moles, sweetened with plantains, and usually garnished with grilled pineapple and chorizo.
And dear to my heart, forever underrated, but always busy, is Agua Verde/ Paddle Club. It’s a pain to get a table. But their dedication to sustainability, their staff (some have been there over 10 years), their delicious food, and not to be forgotten, the view make it one of my favorite Seattle places.
The best place to find Mexican ingredients is La Conosupo Grocery, in Greenwood. They have everything you need, a good selection of cheeses and chilies, and it’s not too intimidating if you don’t speak Spanish.
With that said, go grab a six pack of Pacifico, some chips and rent ‘The Three Amigos”! Don’t forget to enjoy the ceviche and reminisce of this past summer… Or plan for the next one!
Serves about 4-8 people
1 lb seafood medley (or 1/3 lb each, shrimp, calamari, or scallops)
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 c. jicama, julienne or med dice
1 cucumber, julienne or med dice
2 oranges, peeled and segmented
1/4 c. cilantro
3/4 c. lime juice, fresh squeezed
3/4 c. orange juice, fresh squeezed
1/4 tsp. habanero chili, very finely minced
Salt & sugar approximately a Tablespoon each.
For the seafood: Bring 3 quarts of water to a rolling boil. Turn heat OFF and add the seafood medley, stir seafood constantly until the shrimp are cooked all the way through. Strain off water and set seafood into refrigerator to cool. Prepare all of the vegetables if orange segments are too big; give them a quick chop to break up. Combine lime and orange juice with the minced habanero, pour over veggies. Add the cooled seafood refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve the ceviche with chips, or plantain chips. Also delicious over salad greens for a high protein dinner salad. © Cameo Appearance 2009
Chefs Note: salt and sugar levels are different depending on sweetness of orange juice and other vegetables. Ceviche should be tart and well balanced. Add salt and sugar at the end and add a little at a time to find a balance.