Ceviche is one of those magical dishes. It is really easy to make, hard to make badly, and always impressive. For those that don’t know what ceviche is, it’s basically a seafood salsa of sorts. You start with raw seafood and mix it with citrus and the citrus actually cooks the seafood. That means that you have to do very little except chop things and juice things.
Last week while I was at the beach with Betsy’s family, popping the question, I made three different kinds of ceviche with Betsy’s cousin, Danny. We were able to find awesome seafood for each version and we used some different ingredients for each one also. I reproduced one of my favorites for this post.
Most refreshing thing. Ever.
There is really only one thing that can make or break this dish: high quality seafood. There is no other trick really. Just make sure that you get really fresh seafood and you’ll be okay. It shouldn’t smell fishy really and try not to use seafood that’s been frozen. If you aren’t sure, just ask your fish guy what fish is the freshest. For ceviche you can use almost any white fish or shell fish so your options are many.
It’s always always fun to make food that tastes so shockingly different from how it looks. That is the case with this citrus arancine dish. When you look at the little balls of fried something you think they might be heavy and maybe oily. You definitely couldn’t eat more than say five.
When you bite into the first arancine though the first thing you will do is look at how many are left and calculate how many you can score before you are labeled a complete pig. Because of the citrus zest, these guys are light and refreshing.
Citrus arancine is a definite win.
Arancine (or arancini according to Wikipedia. I’ll stick with Bon Appétit’s spelling) is normally made with leftover risotto which makes for a great quick appetizer. This dish however calls for fresh risotto. For the life of me I don’t really know why. I think the only reason why is because citrus risotto is not something that you would maybe want by the bowl.
Sometimes, and this is one of those times, I’m not entirely clear on the difference between a pie and a tart. I know, generally, the difference between the two (I think). Pies are usually deeper, have a flaky crust, and are normally served in the pan they are baked in. Tarts meanwhile have a more firm crust. They usually have straight edges, are more shallow, and are usually removed from their pans before serving.
As far as I can tell that’s the difference.
Even with all of that, I had no idea whether this fig thing I made was a pie or a tart. It was made in a pie dish, and I used a pie crust recipe, but it had a very tart feel to it. So I’m not really sure what to do about it. Anyway, it’s a tart for now. But feel free to call it a fresh fig pie if that makes more sense to you.
Whatever you call it, it’s really tasty.
The prettiest thing I've ever made?
It’s kind of hard to find fresh figs unless you happen to be in California where they are pretty abundant during the summer months. Don’t fret though if you can’t find any good ones at your store. You could substitute any berries I think for the figs. If you don’t use figs though, you might want to up the sugar in the filling a bit. The filling is not particularly sweet because the figs are really sweet.
Every other weekend, I review a cookbook in an attempt to lend some guidance in a field that has become overrun. These days everyone is writing cookbooks and it’s incredibly upsetting to buy a dud and have it sit on your shelf for years – staring at you, mocking your poor judgment.
Sixty-four years ago today, Japan agreed to the terms of surrender during WWII. Ok. Actually it was August 15th in Japan which actually means that it was yesterday in the United States, but cut me a break. A friend brought me this really interesting cookbook from that era that I thought I would write about today. The full title of the book is “The Victory Binding of the American Woman’s Cook Book: Wartime Edition.”
If your curious about what “Wartime Edition” means for a cookbook, you’re not alone. Luckily the very first page gives a hint. The book is filled with “Victory Substitutes and Economical Recipes for Delicious Wartime Meals.” I don’t know about you, but I love a good victory substitute.
So if you are reading this then I have become an officially taken man (sorry ladies). Well, actually it’s possible that that is not true. On Wednesday, I flew down to surprise Betsy and ask her if she wants to get hitched. So either A) she said yes and we are having a grand time celebrating or B) she said no and I went on a 2 day bender and forgot to update this post before it automatically published.
So let’s just hope for the best here. :)
But don’t worry, Macheesmo lives on and so I need you all to vote for a dish for me to make next week when I return from my celebration and/or bender.
Gazpacho – I really enjoy Kathy’s videos. I think they are very creative and easy to follow. Such a great resource for someone just getting into the kitchen. This video of how to make gazpacho is a perfect example. (@ Start cooking)
Baguettes Redux – I’ve attempted baguettes before and ended up with a pretty decent result. Next time around, I’ll be trying this method. For the at-home baker those look about as good as can be. (@ Baker’s Banter)
Dinner at El Bulli – A funny and amazingly detailed walk-through of an El Bulli 30 course meal. If you don’t know about El Bulli, it’s just the Best Restaurant in the world. No. Seriously. With video and lots of photos this is an incredibly entertaining post. (@ Amateur Gourmet)
I am a sucker for a savory breakfast. But I’m even more of a sucker for a savory and sweet breakfast. That’s why I was really excited when the Black Pepper Biscuits won last week’s poll.
Drizzled with a bit of honey, black pepper biscuits are awesome.
Savory and sweet are best friends.
I cannot claim (unfortunately) to make the best biscuits in the world. I know this because I’m pretty sure I’ve had the best biscuits in the world at Loveless Cafe in Nashville. Their biscuits were worth the 75 minute wait.
If you didn’t know, August is officially peach month. That means there is no better time than the present to eat some delicious ripe peaches. Now I love a good peach pie or cobbler, but when a coworker told me about a delicious peach salad, I had to give it a try.
For this peach salad you can grill the peaches or saute them slightly if you were so inclined, but honestly, I like mine ripe and fresh. This salad only has a few ingredients, but let’s face it, some of the best salads only focus on a few key ingredients. This one is no exception.
This my friends, is a good salad.
If I’m left on my own, I always cook chicken with the skin on. I buy it like that and I cook it like that. I’m willing to eat a few more calories for the incredible amount of flavor it brings. If I were cooking this for Betsy though, I would do hers without skin because that’s what she likes. Personal preference really, but we know who is right about this. :)