Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Brunch - Vegetable Ceviche and Kumquatinis

Isn't this perfect?  It's Monday and I'm already thinking about what I'm going to eat this weekend.  Niiiice.   

A couple of weekends ago the Chef prepared the most amazing brunch.  So in the spirit of the kick-off of Summer just a few short days away I wanted to share with you his recipes for Vegetable Ceviche and Kumquatinis.  May the weather be with us...

Vegetable Ceviche
INGREDIENTS (makes 2 servings)
1         large tomato cut in eighths
1         yellow bell pepper sliced
1         serrano chili sliced
1/4C    red onion sliced
1         clove garlic minced
1T       paprika
1t        chili flakes
1/4      bunch parsley and cilantro chopped
pinch   dried oregano, chili powder
1/4      of a lemon squeezed (you want the juice, not the squeezed lemon)
1/4      of a lime squeezed (again, for the juice, not the leftover lime)
1/4 C  extra virgin olive oil

1/2      avocado sliced
1/8      ricotta salata shaved
tortilla chips crushed

Begin by gathering the tomato, yellow pepper, serrano chili, red onion and garlic.

Cut the tomato in eighths and slice the pepper, serrano and red onion in the amounts listed above.  Mince (chop finely) a clove of garlic.  Transfer to a medium to large sized bowl.

Next, chop a bunch of each parsley and cilantro (or desired amount).

Add parsley, cilantro, paprika, chili flakes, dried oregano and chili powder, lemon juice, lime juice, and olive oil to ingredients already in bowl and toss gently.  Taste for seasoning, adjust to preferred taste if necessary.

Doesn't it look good??  Trust me, it smells even let it marinate for a minimum of a half hour.

In the meantime take half an avocado and cut it in slices.  Also thinly shave the ricotta salata - you want enough to lightly sprinkle over the salad once it is plated.

Place vegetables around plate. Arrange avocados on top of vegetables.

 Next, garnish with cheese and crushed tortillas....

As a final touch, once both salads were arranged on our plates, we took the marinade from the bottom of the mixing bowl and drizzled it by the teaspoon until we had just enough on each salad.

Ta-da!  This salad is so flavorful and super easy to make.  It would be perfect if you wanted to add grilled shrimp for a heartier dish, but you could also chop the ingredients finer and serve it as a salsa with chips on the side. 

Kumquatinis - this one's for Cindy and Denny :)
2oz vodka ketel one or your favorite
1 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
5 kumquats sliced

-First, you need to make your own simple syrup for this drink.  At first we didn't and while the drink was okay, it was not as good as when the simple syrup was homemade.

So to make simple syrup add equal parts by volume (1cup and 1cup) water and sugar. Add to pot on stove and bring to boil for 1 minute, remove from heat and cool.  It's that simple and can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container basically forever.

While this is going on, gather up all your ingredients for the drink:


-Next, slice kumquats, place in shaker and muddle (if you don't have a muddler just gently mash them with the back of a spoon) cover with ice. Combine all ingredients and shake.  It'll be kind of fizzy when you take the lid of the shaker off.

-From here you can strain and serve "up" (that's the term for shaken or stirred then strained - I didn't know this before I met him, so thought I'd share with you in case you didn't know either) in a traditional martini glass garnished with slice kumquats for a classic martini.

We just pour all of the ingredients from the shaker into a regular rocks glass (or let's face it - whatever glass you have) and enjoy.


I don't consider myself to be much of a drinker (hence not knowing what served "up" meant), but this drink has become a favorite of mine.  I order it whenever it's in season at The Hungry Cat and now enjoy it at home every once in awhile too.

As an alternate option you could also substitute tequila and salt the rim for a Kumquat Margarita. mmmmmm

Let me know if/when you try either of these and if you enjoy them!  Would love to hear your thoughts...the Chef is looking to open his own restaurant soon so I have to seize the moment and enjoy the time he spends in my kitchen because it could be short-lived!

p.s. if you like salads then you might want to try this one too (it's my FAVORITE) - The Heirloom Tomato and Watermelon Salad


amy said...

i totally might try the salad minus the garlic (perhaps substitute shallots) for my bbq on wed, you should come!

Anna Jane said...

That vegetable ceviche looks SO GOOD. I am seriously salivating. I love every single ingredient...I am making it ASAP!!

Anna Jane

Marcie said...

Oh may, that looks so good. I love ceviche. I have to try this. And yes, the parrot on the leash kept talking. It was hilarious.

:) Marcie

t said...

that all looks SO delicious!!

Fuji Files said...

Magnificent! Must try.
And believe me, it's never too early to daydream about food. In fact I'm doing it right now.

xx FujiFiles

Denny Le said...

Carrie!! That drink looks deadly, I might be consuming too much of it!

Jessica said...

It looks so incredible! I just ate dinner and now my mouth is watering!

this free bird said...

amy - yes! do it!! if i'm mobile i will most def come celebrate your bday!! he said you can just leave out the garlic and still be good - as the taste tester i wholeheartedly agree. har!

Anna Jane - i saw your LOST post earlier and thought maybe you could make this salad with twigs and leaves and fruit on the island??

Marcie - okay, this parrot has completely captured my thoughts. i can't wait to hear when you try the salad...i'd even grill chicken with it. i liked it a lot.

t(at daily mix) - that dining in the dark post was really kooky, huh? thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. must.get.salad.

okay fujifiles...uhm we're like kindred spirits. i just had major dinner and now i just want more dinner. what?? (so happy to see you here!)

denny - mmmmhmmmmm you will try this drink and it may replace h20 on the weekends. :)

jessica!! - o-kay?? it's got just a little zing to it, but isn't too heavy. maybe you can try it for dessert? nah, who am i kidding? it's great, but it's not chocolate!! or cookies! or cake!! uh-oh

Breanne at Bella Vita said...

Everything in this post looks AMAZING. Especially the avocado and ricotta.

Aodrable blog!

Alicia said...

Oh that vegetable ceviche sounds/looks delicious!! I really want to try and make it! I love avocado.

And you're so cute to think of me when you saw the Alexander Wang purse!!!!! haha

Lucy said...

Mmmm this looks so delicious!! I would like to eat and drink it right now!!

Mystery Bruises said...

yumm! this looks great
thanks for sharing!


cindy said...

I think if I combined the ceviche and the kumquatini I'd have all my major food groups in one meal :-)

Thanks to you, now I can muddle, shake and stir for the Boy next time and look like a real mixologist.

charmaine said...

hello! thank you so much for your very sweet comments! i'm glad you found me because i just love your blog! this recipe looks fabulous! YUMMY!! i must make this for my family. thanks for the recipe.

God Bless,

this free bird said...

Breanne! so happy to see you here...and ps - I totally would have attended your LOST party. Your Sawyer action figure is TOO MUCH! I laughed so hard!!

Alicia - The avocado is just perfect because the salad has just a touch of spice with the serrano chile. It was a great treat. I hope you enjoy! (and that the bag comes home)

Lucy - your photos of Prague are beautiful. thanks for sharing...and for stopping by to visit me. I hope you come back!

Mystery Bruises - the pics on your page from the disposables are awesome!

Cindy - mmmmmmhmmmmmm - let me know how it works out for you; and if he likes the drink!

this free bird said...

Charmaine - you are most welcome. You offer such a pleasant disposition and wonderful photos on your blog! if you like this salad, also try this one:

it's my all time FAVORITE - i'll post in your comments as well to make sure you get it!

Lin! said...

this looks so delicious! :)

Taj Acosta said...

Wow! Yummmie! So glad I found your blog! xoxo

Aahna said...

everything looks so delicious. But i think am gonna choose the Ceviche!

Le Jardin said...

looks really good.

visit, leave your mark, follow?

A said...

this looks so yummy! i will definitely bookmark this recipe

Lin said...

thanks for the recipe. can't want to make it, craving NOW xx

My @ tha Hotness said...

this looks soooo yummy. I'm going to have to give the recipe a try.

Annie said...

That ceviche sounds AWESOME! I'm not into raw fish so I'm really excited to see this recipe - thanks!

Claire Kiefer said...

That veg ceviche is right up my alley and exactly the kind of thing I like to eat in the summer. The produce up here is ridiculously good (can't wait for tomatoes--almost time). I'm on a mini break from booze but will try that kumquatini as soon as I return!


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