Ciche martinis — the next big thing?
I first encountered ceviche martinis at a reception at Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel several months ago. A white-coated cook was stationed at a tabled laden with citrus-marinated raw seafood and appropriate condiments. Whenever someone ordered a ceviche, he mixed it to order in a martini shaker, gave it a good toss, poured it into a martini glass and garnished it. It was a good show, the result was delicious and soon a line built at that station.
Yesterday, there was another ceviche martini station at a reception at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, CO. The chef offered a selection of scallops, shrimp and mahi–mahi to be tossed with a choice of three sauces. He spooned the requested combination into his martini shaker, shook up the combination of ingredients, tossed them and decanted them into a martini glass. Again, delicious.
I thought this was something new, but I guess it was just new to me. I was chastened to read, in a Dallas restaurant review from back in October 2006, that the ceviche “tumbled into a martini glass…long ago ascended to ceviche cliché.” Long ago? Where was I? Maybe I don’t get out enough. In any case, ceviche martinis aren’t old hat to me, and I really like ’em.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website has been nominated for a Webby Award for website excellence. It is the most recent of several honors bestowed on this worthwhile site that informs cooks and consumers on which seafood choices contribute to or are detrimental to ocean health. As one who loves almost every fish and shellfish, I do pay attention to Seafood Watch’s lists. In honor of its honors, I prepared tilapia for dinner this evening.
This farm-raised fish, which is available year-round, is rated a “best” choice when raised in the US, a “good” choice when raised in Central America and a “poor” choice when it comes “from China and Taiwan, where escapes, pollution and weak management are common.” I was assured that our tilapia was born in the USA.
Here’s how I cooked it, drawing inspiration from a recipe I found on the Internet and again, changing it:
2 tilapia fillets
About 3/4 cup organic apple juice
1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tsp. dried basil leaves
2 Tbsp. reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tsp. bottled horseradish (or quantity to taste)
Sea salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
Dash hot pepper sauce
Rinse tilapia and marinate in apple juice for about an hour. Fill a a saute pan that has a lid with water to about 3/4 inch. Heat water to boiling, turn off flame and add sliced garlic. Place fillets in the water, top with basil, cover and poach over very low heat for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix sauce ingredients. Serve fillets topped with sauce, or serve sauce on the side.