Seviche (also spelled ceviche, or cebiche) contains seafood and "fish eye" pudding does not. They are both delicious, have interesting visual appeal and are extraordinarily fun to eat. Popular in Latin and South American cuisines, trendy seviche has also become a favorite in our country, and is appearing as an appetizer option on more and more restaurant menus. Because seviche is comprised of raw seafood that is "cooked" only by means of a soaking in a citrus juice marinade, it is vital that the seafood for this dish be of the best quality. If you plan to prepare seviche at home, keep in mind that seviche will take several hours of marinating before it is ready to eat.
And, if you would like to try making tapioca pudding from tapioca seed pearls (instead of the boxed "minute" kind), you'll need a planning strategy, as well. Not only are tapioca seed pearls soaked before cooking, but they also demand attention while cooking to get them looking like the translucent "fish eyes" that have made tapioca pudding so infamous. Summer's already here, and you've got to do some warm-weather eating anyway, so why not have some fun with your food?
Seviche is a party waiting-to-happen, and eating fish eyes is a ball.
2 quarts boiling water
1/2 pound small (51/60 count) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound sea scallops, cut into fourths
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lime juice
2 ruby red grapefruit
2 navel oranges
1/4 cup fresh blueberries, optional
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 large plum tomato, sliced
1 small jalapeo pepper
1/4 cup sliced green olives with pimento
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 tablespoon minced cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano, optional
6 grape or cherry tomatoes, for garnish (if large, cut in half)
1 avocado, sliced and sprinkled with lime juice, for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling, optional
Pour boiling water over scallops and shrimp in colander. Drain and pat dry. Place scallops and shrimp in large glass (or other non-reactive bowl, like stainless steel) and cover completely with juices.
Remove the skins from the grapefruits and oranges, holding them over the bowl that holds the seafood to catch any juices; remove the pith and membrane and cut into wedges; set aside. Add the onion, tomato slices, jalapeo, olives, parsley, cilantro and oregano, if using. Stir in reserved grapefruit and orange segments.
Gently mix in blueberries. Toss well, and season to taste with salt.
Cover tightly and chill for 5 to 6 hours, but no more than 12 hours, allowing seafood to "cook" in the marinade. Serve seviche in chilled glasses, drizzled with a bit of olive oil, if desired.
Garnish with avocado slices, grape tomatoes, and a sprig of fresh cilantro or oregano. Makes 6 to 8 appetizer-size servings.
1 cup large pearl seed tapioca (not instant or "minute" tapioca), about the size of small peas
4 1/2 cups water, divided
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 large egg whites, stiffly beaten
Pouring custard, recipe follows
Fresh fruit, garnish
Rinse tapioca in a strainer, then place in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Pour 2 cups of water over tapioca and allow to soak for 30 minutes, or until most of the water has been absorbed. While the tapioca is soaking, mix the remaining water with the sugar and salt. After the tapioca has soaked, add the sugar/salt water to the pan and place the pan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally to keep the tapioca from sticking. (Be sure to stir pearls from the bottom of the pan so they don't scorch. If the mixture becomes overly thick when cooking and pearls cannot move around to cook, add a little more water to the pan. You want prevent pearls from forming into one large gelatinous mass. ) Continue to cook until tapioca is clear and pearls are translucent, about 60 to 90 minutes. Stir in vanilla. If a few pearls remain partially white, remove pan from heat, cover, and allow to "steep" 30 minutes more for those pearls to soften. While pudding is still warm, fold in egg whites, then chill. Serve pudding topped with fruit, or custard sauce. Will keep refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. Makes about large servings.
1 cups sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups half and half or whole milk
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a heavy saucepan. Whisk in half and half and egg yolks. Over medium heat, cook until mixture thickens, whisking constantly. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Chill. Will keep up to 3 days.
Makes 3 cups.
Seafood "cooks" when it is exposed to citrus fruit juices, especially lemons and limes which contain more acid than other citrus fruits. While there is no actual cooking involved, the flesh of raw seafood marinated in citrus juice will not only firm up in texture, but will also become opaque in color, much like seafood that is actually cooked. This occurs because the acids in the citrus juice change the protein molecules in the seafood, a process call "denaturation." It is important to keep in mind, however, that denaturation will not kill any bacteria that may be lurking on raw seafood, so be sure to use only the freshest seafood for uncooked preparations.
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