With only a few hours left in my most cherished day of the week, I sit with my Mac in my lap, headphones and playlist set, glass of wine to my left and it’s finally time to reflect on another wild week. To-dos are crossed off, workout was painful but good, met with my good friend, Allie, at Café Firefly and had lunch with my little chef.
On top of running my busy kitchen this week, I had an extremely important private catering Saturday night and prepared a seven course culinary Affair for a group of foodies on Sunday night.
Anything that could have gone wrong this past weekend did, but in true reflection, everything got handled and the weekend went really well. The stress of the week produced a tension headache Saturday night that was so awful that I got maybe an hour of sleep. On Sunday afternoon, I had an employee show up two hours late, which meant that my scheduled departure would be pushed back as well. I arrived at the culinary Affair fifteen minutes before the guests did.
With little time to set up, little sleep, lots of pain, copious amounts of caffeine and a talented little chef, we presented our first course.
Shrimp Ceviche featuring Fire Roasted Corn, Pineapple and finished with an Avocado Mousse
- 1 pineapple, diced
- 4 ears of grilled corn (If you need a reminder of the procedure for properly grilling corn, there’s a good explanation here. http://algonquin.patch.com/articles/defining-oneself-through-food)
- 1 pound raw shrimp (31 count) peeled, deveined, and cut in half
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 shallots, minced
- 2 serrano peppers, minced
- 6 limes, juice of
- 1 bunch of cilantro finely chopped
- 1 bunch of mint
I love ceviche because of its bold yet very fresh flavors. When balanced properly, this summer appetizer is a true burst of flavor with every bite. I also like it because you can prep this a day ahead of time and the acid of the limejuice does all the cooking. Hey, one less thing I have to do!
In a large mixing bowl combine the above components and incorporate thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 6 hours. If you let it sit overnight that’s totally fine too and in fact, I recommend it! Season with salt and pepper once the shrimp has been thoroughly cooked.
- 3 avocados
- 3 limes, juice of
- Salt and pepper
This is one of those things that we chefs like to use in menu writing that sounds fun and thrilling to the customer. The term “mousse” implies that we’ve done something above and beyond the normal mashing of avocados in a typical guacamole and to be honest we have, but it’s a little more smoke and mirrors. To make your mousse, halve and core the avocados and set in a medium sized mixing bowl. Next add the limejuice, salt and pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until it’s smooth. The immersion blender aerates the avocado puree giving it a much lighter texture, hence the term mousse. One little side note: the mouse will only be good for about a fifteen minute window, so do this a few moments before you serve it.
On a fried tortilla round, place a dollop of the mousse. On top of the mouse, gently spoon a portion of the ceviche. Scrape a portion of the avocado mousse across a white rectangle platter. Artfully arrange your ceviche tortilla rounds on the avocado mousse and enjoy!