Hello Amigos! The following is my lobster coconut ceviche; this is the second dish out the four dinner series I presented already. I love food and you will probably find me saying very often things such as “this is one of my favorite foods” or “I love this ingredient” and so on. The truth is that ceviche is like a landmark in all Latin America – – what Spanish restaurant does not have a ceviche on their menu?
This is a dish that really excites me because you can prepare it in many ways. It does not matter how you choose to make it. It is always a fresh and healthy alternative to any menu. Two countries on my list of traveling are Peru and Ecuador which are both meccas for a good ceviche. I dream of eating ceviche at the local fish village in Ecuador, maybe in Manta, a small fish village, and the birthplace of one of my best friends. Traveling is a great accompaniment for chefs and cooks who want to experience real and authentic cuisine. Traveling opens the door of knowledge, and the opportunity to know local flavors, people and techniques in a particular culture.
Do you know Chef Douglas Rodriguez? Well, me neither, I saw him once at his South Beach Restaurant “De Rodriguez”. I have his ceviche book and I wanted to say hello, but I was shy and there went the opportunity of meeting him. However, I do know a little bit about him, he is a Miami born Latino that is celebrating Latin food. In his book, Ceviche, he features great varieties of ceviche which were collected from his travels in Central and South America.
Mr. Rodrigues excellent selection of ceviche dishes were most likely inspired from places such as Peru and Ecuador where ceviche is eaten not only as an appetizer, but as main courses as well.
I also want to live the ceviche experience, but I am not free anymore, am I? Little Christopher might not like leaving NYC for a bohemian live in Peru or Ecuador. We will see as this chapter in my life continues.
Anyway, here is one of my versions of the many you will see in the future of this dish, “Lobster Coconut Ceviche” an appetizer, inspired by a tropical ingredient, coconut, a very familiar and prominent fruit in my culture. In this dish, I feature Douglas Rodriguez’s Honduran Fire and Ice lobster ceviche from his book the great ceviche book (Rodriguez p 65). I chose this recipe because of the use of coconut, green plantain chips, and its ability to segue nicely with my canapé dish already posted. I tried to keep true to Mr. Rodriguez’s recipe, but revised it to my taste by adding piquillo pepper to balance the heat from the chili; and aji Amarillo from Peru which replaced the jalapeno recommended in the original recipe. Buen apetito!!
Lobster Coconut Ceviche:
Yield: 8 Servings
3 small chili hot peppers
1 aji Amarillo
2 tablespoons of ginger
¼ cup of lobster stock (same as sauce a l’Americaine, but not reduced and not creamed)
1 tablespoon of sugar
½ cup of fresh squeezed lime juice (do not squeeze the lime all the way to avoid bitterness)
1 can (14 ounces) of coconut milk
1 ½ pound of cook lobster meat cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 red onion *emincer
¼ shaved coconut
2 tablespoons of scallion sliced
1 tablespoon of chopped chives
3 tablespoons of cilantro minced
Fleur de Sel and black pepper
For the Garnish:
1 batch of fried plantain (procedure to follow)
¼ of diced red bell pepper
¼ of aji Amarillo pepper
¼ piquillo pepper
1 bunch of watercress leaves
2 cups of shaved fresh coconut
For the plantain chips:
3 cups of vegetable oil
2 green plantain peeled and thinly sliced
Place the chili, aji Amarillo, ginger, lobster stock, sugar, lime juice and coconut milk in a blender and puree until smooth.
In a non-reactive bowl toss the lobster with the puree mixture. Add the red onion; the ¼ cups shaved coconut, green onions, chives, and cilantro.
For the plantain chips:
Peel and thinly slice the plantain.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add a little bit of course salt to it. When the oil is hot add batches of the plantain slices and cook until golden, for about 3 minutes. Remove the chips and placed in a hotel tray with paper towels.
The Assembly and Presentation:
Place the ceviche in a place and add plenty of the juice. Garnish with the aji Amarillo, the bell peppers, the piquillo pepper, the watercress leaves, 2 cups of shaved coconut and the plantain chips. Enjoy!
*Emincer = to cut onions or fruit into thin slices.
This post is also available in: Spanish