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...
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 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 better...now 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