Category Archives: fish

Ceviche Peruano

Archaeologist had found that food similar to ceviche was consumed nearly 2,000 years ago. It is believe that the “predecessor to the dish was brought to Peru by Moorish women from Granada who accompanied the Spanish conquistadors, and this dish eventually evolved into what now is considered ceviche.” Wikipedia.

Well, that’s pretty neat. I studied in Granada and though I didn’t see too many Moorish women, there were a fair share of conquistadors. Anyway, on to the fun. This is a recipe from Rana who got it from her maestra fantastica de espaƱol. She made this dish the other day and it was facemeltingly good.

Ingredients:

2 fillets of cod (about 1/2 lb)

7 limes juiced (enough to almost cover the fish)

1 stick of celery finely chopped

1 Aji Amarillo chile pepper (any hot pepper can work)

1Tbsp cooking oil (canola or saffola)

salt to your taste

1 clover of garlic finely chopped

1/4 bunch of cilantro

1/4 bunch of parsley

1/2 a medium onion chopped (soaked in cold water with salt for 15 minutes)

1 head of butter lettuce

2 sweet potatoes

dried basil

dried oregano

Squeeze your metric ass ton of limes. Get those juices out of there like it’s your job. Strain the juice once you’re done to get the pulp out.

Cut the fish horizontally then cube so you have attractive bits o fish. Then place the fish in a dish and pour in the lime juice. You want to cover the fish because the lime juice is the only thing cooking it.

Then chop your soaked onions after washing them (we used green onions which you don’t have to soak).

Now add the celery, pepper, oil, salt and garlic. Then put it in the refrigerator and leave. You need to find something to do for 3 hours. Go shopping, drink some wine, why not a quick roll in the hay? Do whatever you need to distract yourself from the deliciousness in your fridge.

About 20 minutes before you want to eat, preheat the oven to 400 and boil a big pot of water on the stove. Thinly slice the sweet potatoes. Put them in an oven-safe pan with some olive oil, basil, oregano and salt. Bake for 20 minutes.

About 10 minutes after you put the sweet potatoes in the oven throw the corn into the boiling water. Sentenced to die like the noble lobster, corn tastes about as wonderful (as lobster) when lathered in butter. The corn should boil about 10 minutes.

Then add the cilantro, parsley, and chopped onion to the ceviche. Here you’ll see that Rana has served it on the butter lettuce with the other sweet potato and corn perfectly framing this traditional Peruvian dinner.

Is it finally summer yet? With this dish in mouth, you’ll feel like it always is.

Until next time.

Enjoy!

Talapia in Shallot Butter Roux

Can you tell I’ve been hanging out in the Northwest again? This is yet another of Marissa’s genius recipes that I can’t seem eat enough. If you don’t like white fish this is a great way to make it. If you do like white fish your head just might explode from the awesomeness. I find that it is best to try to use fresh fish if you can but frozen is OK. Oh and FYI roux is just a fancy way to say gravy. I won’t tell if you don’t.

Ingredients:
1/2 kilo (1 lb) of white fish (cod, halibut, something of that ilk)
2 shallots chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 lemon
1/4 cup or so of white wine
salt and pepper to taste
dried red chili pepper flakes to taste
1/4 cup flour or so to make the roux

So here’s how me make it. Get out a big fry pan that has a lid (Get the lid out as well. Do I have to tell you everything?) and drop in your butter. Now Paula Deen, at this point would be disgraced that I was using so little but she’ll live (a little longer). Add in the shallots and let them simmer for about 5-10 minutes until they are soft.

Now add the slippery slimy fish fillets, so innocent, so tender to the pan. Try to get them all touching (Ooo, like a party I went to once) the pan but if your pan is too small (a personal problem) then just kind of stack them all in there.

Pour the white wine and squirt your lemon juice all over the fish. Add salt, pepper and chili peppers to taste. At this point lower the heat to medium, maybe medium-low if you’re courageous, and put the lid on. This will kind of steam the fish, give it a little fishy sauna if you will. It only takes about 5-8 minutes to cook.

Once the fish is kind of firm and yields easily to the touch, it is ready. Remove the fish from the pan. Whisper to it, “I’ll call you tomorrow fish, I swear,” then toss it on a plate, and set it aside. Leave the juices behind in the pan. (we’ll just take that joke, as read)

Now you need to make the roux. Add flour slowly to the juices left in the pan. By slowly I mean about one tablespoon at a time. With the heat on low stir the flour into the liquid. If there is very little liquid add some more white wine. This is a feel thing, like so many other things in life, you have to respond to the needs of the roux, touch it, love it, caress it, to make it really come together. Fry it, FRY it, FRY IT, until it forms into a thin sauce, ohhh yeahhh.

Pour that liquid love all over your fish in a splendid finale and collapse with exhaustion as you serve it to your salivating guests. It looks a mess but tastes like golden flavored kisses.

I love it when a lovely supple fish comes together, and so will you.

Enjoy.

Labels: fish, shallots, roux, main

Croatian Fish Soup

Many of you may know that over the past two weeks the Batter Junkie has been forced to compromise between his two favorite past times, Cooking and Traveling. (Well, at least his two favorite PG-rated past times) Rana and I spent the last two weeks in the intolerably wonderful care of Ivana, Ines and Amela not to mention many other extremely kind Croatians. Can I just for a moment plug the country? Ok, well I’m going to anyway. Croatia is a beautiful, amazing, yummying and loving place. The people there also have a strong connection to the sea as Croatia is not only mostly coastline, but consists of an archipelago of over 1000 islands along its coast. Yeah, 1000, and I only got to explore one!

That brings us to our recipe, which comes straight from the ancestral home of Ivana, fish soup. Early one morning Ivana went to the store without us, we may have been sleeping, and got fresh fish, caught that morning on the coast. This soup hinges on the freshness of the fish. It can be made with frozen fish but I imagine it is not as nice.

Ingredients:
2 medium sized white fish (I assume that any fish will do but this will drastically change the taste)
5-6 cups of water
1 red onion (chopped)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic (but you know the Batter Junkie, he always puts in more garlic!)
1 grated carrott
1 head of parsley
1/2 cup white rice
1/2-1 cup of tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste

If you’ve never cooked with whole fish before, do not despair, this is relatively easy. The first thing to check with fish is their eyes. If they are milky white, toss them in the garbage, preferably outside and down wind. If they have a clear eye they are most likely fresh.

In a large pot, place the water (I would start with about 5 cups) the fish and a quartered onion.

Boil for about 5-8 mintues. This will infuse the fish with the onion and cook it nicely. The fish will be slightly firm to the touch. Remove the fish and onions and SAVE THE WATER! The water is your soup base. Discard the onions and clean the cooked meat out of the fish and reserve it for later. Toss the fish heads unless you can come up with a creative way to use them.

In a fry pan, place the garlic and olive oil. Fry the garlic for 1-2 minutes.

Heat up the pot again with the fish broth in it. Add the carrots, parsley and fried garlic. Toss in the white rice and bring the whole thing to a low boil and let it sit for about 20 minutes. This will cook the rice. About 5 mintues from the end of the boil, add in the fish again and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with bread and a salad if you really want to complete the meal.

Thank you Ivana for this fantastic, traditional, fresh meal! It was such a joy seeing you, Amela, Toni and friends in Zagreb! We miss you already.

Enjoy junkies!

Written in Joe Bar, Capitol Hill, Seattle.

Labels: Croatian, fish, soup, main