Last weekend I prepared a surf-and-turf dinner for eight with a twist. No steamed lobsters and New York strips this time around, instead a spicy, tangy journey across Central America. First, petit filet mignons with a Mexican-inspired red wine and port reduction infused with the spice and flavor of smoked jalapenos, thyme, mushrooms, and onion. For the starch, I went with fried yucca. The surf came in a stack of rice, a mixture of mango, avocado, lime juice, and jalapeno, and a top-layer mixture of swordfish ceviche and jumbo lump crab meat. Plated, it all came together like this:
(click to crabstackusize)
Building the stack was the biggest challenge of the day, fortunately a make-ahead item for this menu, as it’s served cold. Making the stacks requires a ring mold, or even a short (and, of course, clean!) section of pvc pipe from your local hardware store. I used an adjustable, plunger-style measuring cup to build the stacks, which allowed me to really give them a good squeeze that held them in one piece and keep a uniform size.
I made this for eight, so recipe-wise, I’ve tried to reduce it for four.
1 cup jasmine rice
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2″ cube of crystalized ginger (optional)
Cook the rice using your preferred method. Let it cool, then refrigerate, as it’s easier to work with cold at assembly time.
The mango mixture middle:
1 1/2 mangoes, diced in 1/4″ chunks
1 avocado, diced
1/2 medium-sized red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
zest of 1/2 lime
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
Gently combine all ingredients until evenly mixed. Refrigerate. Onwards!
The crab and and swordfish ceviche:
1 lb fresh swordfish, diced in 1/4″ chunks
1 lb fresh jumbo lump crabmeat
juice of 1/2 lime
zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 to 1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
Combine the lime juice, zest, and hot sauce with the swordfish. Place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes to let the acidic lime juice go to work on the swordfish. Remove from the fridge and combine with the crab meat.
And now, we stack.
The first layer, the base, is the rice. Next comes the mango mixture, followed by the seafood. I did everything upside-down in the mixing cup, turned it over, gave it a good press, and then slowly lifted the mixing cup up, while pressing the rest of the plunger out. (Maybe that needs a video or something) Any how…
Measuring it out it’s about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of rice for the base, 1/3 cup of mango mixture, and 1/3 cup of the seafood.
Top it with three thin slices of cucumber and then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Garnish with a spring of fresh cilantro. Consume.