Saturday, June 17, 2006

Bluefish Ceviche?

In our title, a question mark follows the word ceviche. Ceviche of bluefish? Google bluefish ceviche, and see what you find. As of today, in every instance, the recipes call for bluefish that's been smoked. To my mind, and maybe I'm wrong, ceviche of anything smoked is something of an oxymoron.

Interestingly, as recently as the mid 1980's, a lot of people chose to question the edibility of bluefish, even when conventionally baked, fried, broiled, or grilled. And for that matter, I've never heard of bluefish being done "rare." But ceviche? I'm glad that someone, namely Douglas Rodriguez, saw fit to go for it. The result is both unique and I'm tempted to use the word stupendous in describing the taste.

This really is a true bluefish ceviche where nothing has been smoked. Never mind that its creator, Douglas Rodriguez, who I should mention is also known to many as the "creator" of Nuevo Latino cuisine, calls it "Bluefish with Cream and Horseradish" in The Great Ceviche Book. None of the recipes therein have the word "ceviche" in their titles. That much is assumed. Nor are that many of the recipes pictured. Ours is the only photograph of which I'm aware at this point.

I know that three from the last 15 posts here at Unique Culinary Adventures have been about ceviche. Why so much ceviche in such near succession? The reason is that so much fish that's so fresh is in season.

What follows is pretty much paraphrased from The Great Ceviche Book except for my input regarding the way to fillet.


Before beginning---and this is the "input" I mentioned, you should request fillets that are free of the dark red fatty band of flesh that borders the skin. Though good for you in terms of abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, the flavor is a bit strong.

Step 1: The fish

1 1/2 pounds extremely fresh bluefish fillet as described above
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon salt

Toss the fillet slices with the lime juice and salt in a non-reactive bowl,cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Step 2: The marinade

1 teaspoon grated fresh horseradish
2 Valencia oranges---their juice
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper

Blend these ingredients together in a separate non-reactive bowl and set aside.

Step 3: The Production

3 tablespoons julienned fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Completely drain the bluefish, then toss it with the marinade and garnish with the parsley and red onion

From The Great Ceviche Cookbook by Douglas Rodriguez, Ten Speed Press, Berkely, CA, 2003.