Wednesday, 7 May 2014


Ceviche style Wild caught Sea scallop in Persian Cucumber juice with Coconut and ginger sorbet, Baby carrots, Cucumber ribbons, Pork crackle and Fresh Water cress.

                    Ceviche is a Spanish term used for a seafood dish, typically fish which has been cooked using a curing method of citrus juices, rather than heat. This dish is popular to polynesia and central and south America, although the origin is still disputed it probably lies in the area of present day Peru, amongst the Moche, a small coastal civilisation that began to flourish 2000 years ago. It is now documented that the Moche apparently used the fermented juice of the banana passionfruit and recent findings of during the time of the Inca empire a fermented beverage made from quinoa grains called 'chicha' was used to cure fish consumed with salt and aji an Andean chilli. And it is proposed the natives simply switched to citrus juices brought over by the Spanish colonists. Ceviche nowadays is used for a number of different meats and shellfish accompanied by various ingredients. This method of cooking with acid should be practised with only the freshest ingredients and under extreme hygienic care to avoid food poisoning. The end result is well worth the extra attention to cleanliness.                        
                  I started preparing this dish by making the coconut and ginger sorbet. For this I simply placed coconut milk, sugar and sliced ginger into saucepan and heated gently, without boiling. Once the sugar was dissolved the saucepan was then removed from the stove and a lid was placed on and the ginger was allowed to steep in the milk for an hour. I then poured the milk through a sieve and placed into a metal container and allowed to freeze for 6 hours, forking the mix every two hours to break the ice up. Next I placed a piece of scored pork belly skin, salted into a 230 deg. c. oven until the skin turned to a puffy, golden crackle of which I then removed from the oven and set aside. In the mean time I prepared the scallops by slicing thinly, layering them in a bowl.To make the marinade I simply mixed together lime juice, caster sugar, salt, thinly sliced shallot and a little olive oil. This was poured over the scallops and allowed to marinate in the fridge for 20 minutes. During this time I juiced a persian cucumber with a little seasoning before straining through a sieve and set aside in the fridge to chill before serving. I then prepared the vegetables slicing thin ribbons of cucumber with a vegetable peeler and thin slices of baby carrots. Both these then dressed with a little olive oil. The water cress was harvested from the backyard and simply washed and dressed with oil also.                                                    
                 To plate this dish I layered the ceviche at the bottom of a shallow soup bowl placing a quenelle of sorbet on top before carefully arranging the vegetables and crackle around the scallops and pouring a little amount of the chilled cucumber juice to fill the bottom of the bowl.

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