Okay, I’m getting good and warmed up to this process now. In the past, it’s possible I haven’t been the greatest at remembering to write down what I do when I’m cooking.
Flashback- Thanksgiving, Any Year
Mom: This is so good. What did you do?
Me:…I have no idea.
So I’ve been long overdue in forcing myself to record what I’m doing as I do it in order to be able to recreate things. Maybe in the future, Thanksgiving will look more like this:
Probable Flashforward- Thanksgiving
Mom: This is so good. What did you do?
Me: I don’t know. Oh wait, did I blog about it?
End Probable Flashforward
What I’m trying to say is this blog has been an exciting challenge for me, in more ways than one. While planning, I knew this week’s recipe would land smack dab in the middle of Easter weekend. While my family will always eat anything I bring over and tell me it’s great (looking at you, homemade biscuits that looked like rocks), this wasn’t the time to partake in some of the outside-the-box recipes that are coming up on this list. However, I knew I had created a spectrum of easy-to-difficult dishes, as well as varying between salads and soups to entrees and desserts. It was just a matter of finding one that would work. And then, it hit me!
What’s that? You don’t remember this movie?
When all is said and done, that’s probably just fine. But let’s get on to this recipe that, unlike the film, would be welcome in just about any setting.
Tropical Fruit Ceviche with Spicy Chimichurri and Salted Tostones
Prep Time: About 1 Hour
Makes: About 5 Large Servings
Fresh Fruit Salad:
2 cups fresh pineapple, cleaned and diced or thinly sliced
1 cup fresh mango, cleaned and diced or thinly sliced
1 cup fresh papaya, cleaned and diced or thinly sliced
3 cups seedless watermelon, cleaned and diced or thinly sliced
5 fresh mandarin oranges (cuties), peeled and sectioned
1 fresh pomegranate (I used the already cleaned seeds you can buy in a cup)
1 fresh dragon fruit, cleaned and diced or thinly sliced
3 fresh kiwis, cleaned and diced or thinly slice
Do not mix any of these together ahead of time, or the fruit will get extra watery and mushy. These fruits were chosen because they are fairly prevalent to South America, with the exception of the kiwi and this guy:
-the dragon fruit. It basically tastes like a kiwi, and was awfully expensive when all is said and done. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest using this unless you really think it looks cool, which it kinda does.
Typically, ceviche is known as a seafood dish in which the shrimp or scallops or fish are gently ‘cooked’ by the acidity of the citrus fruit in the dressing. I really just wanted the clear bright flavors of fruit here, so I eliminated the seafood altogether. However, seafood could be easily added to this recipe.
To Make Dressing:
1 cup passion fruit puree
1 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
1/4 cup green chili pepper, minced
Puree honey, passion fruit puree, lime juice, olive oil and cayenne pepper in a blender and then pour into small bowl. Finely dice red bell pepper and green chili pepper and stir into dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
I got the passion fruit puree from my stepmom, who had the hookup (Amazon Prime!), and if you like the flavor of this kinda funky-looking fruit,
I would highly reccomend going this way. The yield is very small on them and the texture is pretty slimy.
To Make Chimichurri:
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 bunch fresh mint
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of 2 mandarin oranges for garnish
Combine ingredients in food processor and pulse, in order to chop but not blend herbs. You should have a thick paste consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To Make Tostones:
5 green plantains
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Peel and cut plantains into approximately 1” thick slices. Heat vegetable oil in a saute pan on the stovetop. Fry plantains until the begin to develop color. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel. Flatten the plantains, careful pressing down evenly to create a larger slice with rougher edges. Return the plantain slices to the pan and continue to fry to several more minutes, until they are crispy. Remove from oil again and drain on paper towels. While they are still warm, sprinkle them with sea salt.
Assembling your Ceviche:
Take all of your fruit and layer them in either individual glasses or one large glass bowl. I used a martini glass because that is how ceviche is traditionally served
Overall, I thought this recipe was pretty good, but my husband practically licked the cup. The fruit is very bright and sharp, the dressing tangy and acidic, and the herbs giving an earthiness to balance the salad The addition of the salty tostones brought everything together in a very satisfying bite.
At least it was way more satisfying than this clunker of a movie.
But that is a conversation for another post.