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Archive | June 22nd, 2009

Recipe: Tuna Ceviche With Coconut Milk, Mint and Cilantro

Recipe: Tuna Ceviche With Coconut Milk, Mint and Cilantro

ceviche1This refreshing ceviche has a light Asian touch, thanks to the addition of coconut milk and cilantro.

3/4 pound sushi A-grade yellowfin tuna
2 medium shallots, peeled and minced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into fine dice
1 serrano chile, trimmed, seeded and cut into fine dice
1/2 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on a diagonal
Fine sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
Juice of 1 lime
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (see note)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves removed, cut crosswise into fine ribbons (chiffonade)
2 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves removed, cut crosswise into fine ribbons (chiffonade)

Trim away any sinew from the tuna. Cut the tuna into neat 1/4-inch dice, and put in a medium stainless bowl. Add the shallots, pepper, chile and scallions. Season well with salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Add the lemon and lime juices, coconut milk, cilantro and mint and combine gently. Marinate for 2-3 minutes. Check seasoning. Serve immediately.

To make ahead, simply refrigerate the tuna until guests arrive. Have the vegetables ready (store the serrano separately from the others). Toss, then create the marinade and stir it fresh for your guests. Serve with pita crisps or a sturdy corn chip, if serving as an hors d’oeuvre.

Note: Because the tuna is cut in a small dice, it marinates very quickly. It doesn’t have to sit for a long time, as a more traditional method of preparing ceviche requires. Unsweetened coconut milk is available at Asian groceries.

Wine suggestion: Viognier

Adapted slightly from “The Manhattan Ocean Club Seafood Cookbook” by Jonathan Parker

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Recipe: Grilled Pineapple With Sweet Rum Glaze

Recipe: Grilled Pineapple With Sweet Rum Glaze

20090617-img_0018This pineapple recipe is easy to fix and goes great alongside pork dishes. It could also be served as an appetizer or as a dessert.

1 unpeeled medium pineapple, quartered
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey

To pick a ripe pineapple, look for one as yellow as possible without any bruises.

Cut the bottom (about 1/4-inch) off the pineapple before cutting the pineapple into quarters. Then cut the quarters  into quarters.

To make the glaze, combine rum, lime juice and honey, and stir to dissolve.

Grill over medium coals, brushing with glaze until hot and lightly charred, 5-10 minutes per side. (For indoor cooking, preheat broiler. Brush with glaze and broil until hot and lightly charred, 5-10 minutes per side.)

If serving as an appetizer, cut the pineapple away from the skin, cut into slices of desired thickness and replace on skin.

Adapted from “Grilling: Where There’s Smoke, There’s Flavor,” by Eric Treuille and Birgit Erath

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Cool Hors d’Oeuvres When It’s Hot

Cool Hors d’Oeuvres When It’s Hot

ceviche2The caller was urgent. “What kind of hors d’oeuvres should I serve at a cocktail party this time of year?” he wanted to know.

The gathering would be later in the evening and feature little more than snacks and drinks. “I’m hoping everybody’s had dinner by then,” he said.

Yet he also wanted to serve something meaty.

My first thought was pork tenderloin, which you can season to your taste and make ahead of time. Just slice it up and serve cold or at room temperature with a few condiments, ranging from mustard to pickled red onions.

Ceviche also came to mind. This marinated seafood dish looks great, is coolly refreshing, and can be put together at the last minute, all the while suggesting you’ve been slaving over the food.  (The accompanying recipe is from Jonathan Parker’s “The Manhattan Ocean Club Seafood Cookbook.” Parker has cooked in several San Antonio restaurants, including Pesca on the River and Ounce.)

If you want to rely on the deli to help, find the best roast beef you can afford, such as the house-made version at Central Market, 4821 Broadway. Have it sliced relatively thin (not as thin as prosciutto) and fold a piece on top of a garlic bagel crisp. Crumble blue cheese and toss some arugula on top. Serve horseradish sauce, a flavored mayonnaise or two, chimichurri sauce and/or mustard on the side. Your entire snack is done and you didn’t have to turn on the oven.

Grilled PineappleItalian lovers might want to get together an antipasti selection, including grilled or oven-roasted asparagus with a drizzle of olive oil and Parmesan cheese on top as well as grilled squashes, roasted peppers, tomatoes, skewers of garlic potatoes, eggplant, and jalapeños. This is another approach that should be done ahead of time, because the vegetables taste best when served at room temperature.

Complement the tray with various salami, olives and rustic cheeses, both hard and soft.

Don’t forget the power of fruit. So much is in season now, from melons to cherries. Serve strawberries with chocolate-flavored whipped cream. Stuff fresh figs with goat cheese and wrap in a slice of prosciutto. Grill peach halves and pineapple slices (see the accompanying recipe for Grilled Pineapple With Sweet Rum Glaze).

Here are a few other ideas from SavorSA writers that are easy yet elegant for summer parties:

  • If you are serving crudités, add some color to the tray with an old Cuban recipe that friends and I have enjoyed on many occasions: Take ham slices and wrap them around pickles. Vary that with asparagus or hearts of palm.
  • Pick up empanadas from Beto’s Comida Latina, 7325 Broadway.
  • Chicken salad sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches, tea party-style, are great with many white wines.
  • Last, but certainly not least: Salsa, guac and chips — c’mon, it’s San Antonio!

What do you like to serve at cocktail parties during the summer? Post your comments below.

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