At the start of the new year, the word most people have on their lips is the dreaded "D-word"... whether that means diet or detox is irrelevant, but everybody seems to overdo it over the holidays - not surprisingly, it's like you suddenly have time on your hand and the first thing you think of is food. Also, I always buy far too much, no matter how well I plan it - my typical shopping lists for the three Christmas days and the one for New Year's are both usually 2 A4 pages long and by the time I hit the shops, I never quite know what each ingredient is for (especially much-used items that might appear in various dishes, like herbs, onions, garlic...), so am unsure about quantities... and as a result, we're still eating leftovers of our New Year's dinner well into January.
Let me indulge you in a mean and lean fingerfood then - the basis of the recipe is from Nicky's fantastic book delicious:days. I've had numerous conversations with her over the years where we discussed the format the ultimate cookbook should take, analysing the ones we loved and hated... and I have to say that I find hers perfect in every way, except, maybe, that it's not 1000 pages long. But there's more where this one came from!
I modified and simplified her recipe slightly, as she has two types of fish cured in different marinades - I just put them all together and it worked a treat. Also, I used mainly scallops and only a little halibut, just because I love scallops for ceviche and because a little indulgence never hurts (except, maybe, the balance sheet). If you decide to serve this as a starter instead, arrange the ceviche in martini glasses or bowls. The first times I ever had ceviche was when I lived in Mexico and it was always accompanied by good-quality tortilla chips. I wouldn't have it any other way.
A beautiful and healthy way to see in the New Year - may it bring you everything you wish for (and more)!
Scallop ceviche spoons with avocado & mango
(serves 4 as a starter, yields roughly 60 tasting spoons)
400 g big, juicy scallops (alternatively, use halibut or a mixture of the two)
ca. 2 cm fresh root ginger (peeled)
1 red chilli (seeds and membranes removed)
4 juicy limes (untreated)
1 large mango
1 large avocado
1 echalion (a type of shallot, large and pink)
40 g fresh coriander
Clean the scallops, removing the tough muscle, wash them and pat the dry thoroughly with kitchen towel. Cut into dice of about 7-10 mm with a sharp knife - you don't want to bruise them too much or they'll release too much water. If using halibut, proceed in the same way, but also watch out for bones and remove them.
Wash the limes and remove the peel with a zester, finely chop the peel as well as the chilli and add both to the scallops. Juice the limes, grate the ginger and pour over the fish, gently stirring through. Leave to cure in the fridge for 2 hours.
Peel the mango and avocado, remove the stone and cut into small dice, again about 7-10 mm. Peel and finely chop the echalion. Add to the fish and carefully stir through, without bruising the avocado. Drain, reserving the marinade in a bowl. Season the ceviche with salt, pepper, some olive oil and the remaining marinade, to taste. Especially if serving on spoons, the mixture should be quite dry.
Chop the coriander finely and stir into the ceviche just before serving.
If serving as fingerfood, arrange a biteful of ceviche on tasting spoons, decorate with more coriander to your liking.
If serving as a starter, arrange in martini glasses or bowls and serve with tortilla chips or toasted baguette on the side.