We’ve still got a few more weeks before the summer is over, and Raquel Rabade Roques’ The Cuban Kitchen has some fantastic recipes for you to try out. This past weekend, I picked out the Cuban Ceviche and Sangria Tropical recipes, and was more than pleased with the results.
(On a personal note, I was very curious about the Ceviche recipe, as it called for ingredients that deviated from the traditional South American Ceviche I have come to know and love, which call for a tomato and citrus base.)
So what in the world is Ceviche you say? Just about the most delicious, light, and refreshing seafood dish you can have. (OK, I may be a bit biased here, but it truly is wonderful.) The fish, usually any type of white fish, is served raw (unless you are using shrimp) and it is marinated in a citrus base of limes, lemons, or bitter orange, typically garnished with onions, and a second or third garnish of choice that compliments the citrus base.
Raquel is careful to point out that her take on this recipe, because it calls for the fish to be cooked and has the additional touch of acidity (white vinegar) added to it, technically make her interpretation on ceviche closer to an escabeche.
Here’s what her recipe calls for:
1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
3-4 pounds ½ inch thick skinless fish fillets or steaks
1 ½ cups of olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into thin rings (I actually cut these julienne)
2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut julienne
1 cup Spanish green olives, pitted
½ cup capers
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
The instructions were pretty straight forward: I floured the fillets, let them sauté over medium heat—careful to not overcook the pieces. In a mixing bowl, I combined the rest of the ingredients, which I then poured over the fish, and voilà!
The recipe is also great in that it doesn’t take very long to prepare, can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish, and is perfect just about any time of the day. I like this dish served cold, but since it’s so quick to make I had to bring in some help in preparing the sangria tropical. My lovely friends Erik and Artur, who just so happened to let me use their kitchen, acted as my willing and able cocktail mixologists.
Raquel’s version of Sangria uses tropical fruits, which make it light and sexy! Check out the full recipe here.
Here are my finished products—I tried to have fun with the plating of the ceviche and added a slice of orange to give it a splash of color. (Actually, the sweet taste of the orange turned out to be a lovely palate cleanser.) Oh, and the Sangria—we all LOVED the touch of guava nectar.
Hope you’ll give these recipes a try, and for more check out The Cuban Kitchen, now on sale!