November 27, 2006

One thing for certain, the Pilgrims weren’t choking back a Butterball with their gracious, native hosts at Thanksgiving and they certainly weren’t gathered ’round the misletoe gumming pumpkin pie. No sir, David, they were wading waist deep in the freezing cold ocean grabbing fish and lobsters with their bare hands. They may have also enjoyed a partridge, a deer or a seal, but the star of the holiday feast was most certainly the ceviche. “Where did they get citrus?” you might ask. Well, in addition to assistance from the locals, the pilgrims also had a few pirate friends. A little known fact, but never the less a fact. They came to visit occasionally and brought the fruits of their travels — citrus, spices and sugars from asia, the middle east and the caribbean. And, just because the pilgrims escaped the northern isles for religious freedom doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy a nip or two of rum. It’s the Holidays for God’s sake!

Ceviche of Striped Bass with Clementine, Coriander and Chiles

The secret ingredient of this delicious dish isn’t mentioned in the title because it wouldn’t be secret then, now would it. This was added at the suggestion of the lovely Jennifer Jones and she was well rewarded. See fig A. below.

Fig A. Tart Green Apples

2 pounds striped bass filets, trimmed and cut into 1/4 – 3/8 inch cubes
6 scallions, chopped
3 shallots
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Zest and juice of 3 clementines, plus another 2 clementines for garnish
2 tart green apples
1/2 teaspoon habanero, minced and deseeded
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus another 1/4 cup for garnish
3/4 tsp coriander seed, toasted and finely crushed
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup crushed Virginia peanuts for garnish

First, zest the citrus into a large bowl, then juice them into the same bowl. Add the scallions, shallots, apples, habanero, coriander, turmeric, salt and mix well. Add the fish and cilantro and mix gently. Cover and store in the fridge over night. Taste and adjust salt and habanero. This should be spicy, but not particularly hot.

Sharpen your knife and slice the remaining 2 clementines paper thin. Intertwine and twist several together for garnish. Sprinkle a few crushed peanuts and finally a pinch of cilantro.

This recipe can be served as one of several appetizers to a small harem of 12.


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