Enjoy these unique Latin recipes from Chef Jose Garces.
Ceviche de Cangrejo (Crab Ceviche)
What I love most about the way ceviche is prepared in Ecuador is how all of the various notes sing out distinctly—the bright flavors and acidity of the citrus fruits and tomato, the heat and crunch of the jalapeño and onion, the smooth savor of the olive oil, the tender sweetness of the crabmeat, the pungent leafiness of the cilantro, and the gentle spike of the salt all fall into perfect harmony.
½ red onion, finely diced
2 small plum tomatoes, finely diced
2 small jalapeño chilies, seeds and ribs removed, minced
Grated zest of 2 oranges
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
Grated zest of 2 limes
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp agave nectar
2 lb shelled, cooked peekytoe crabmeat
1 lb shelled, cooked stone crab claws
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crunchy things, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving
Ají costeño [see recipe for Ensalada de Habas], for serving
- Combine the onion, tomato, jalapeño, orange and lime zests and juices, oil, and agave nectar. Mix well. Gently fold in the crab and cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the ceviche among eight small bowls, garnish with your choice of crunchy things, and serve immediately with lime and ají.
- To make the dough, sift the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut the vegetable shortening into the dry ingredients until it is fully incorporated. Add the egg yolk and mix well. Adding 2 or 3 tablespoons at a time, knead in the water with your hands until a smooth dough forms. Pat the dough into a round, flat disk and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day before making the empanadas.
- To assemble the empanadas, divide the chilled dough into a dozen 1-inch balls. Using a manual tortilla press, a rolling pin, or the heel of your hand, press each dough ball into a circle about ?-inch thick and about 6 inches in diameter. Mound about 2 tablespoons of cheese in the center of each round and fold the dough over to form a half-moon. Use a dinner fork to crimp the outer edge. Alternatively, use a plastic empanada press from a Latin market.
- To cook the empanadas, heat the oil to 350° F in a stockpot, using a candy or deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fry the empanadas in batches until they are golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes each, turning once in the oil. Drain them on the baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar before serving with pickled onions and ají on the side.
- To make the infused honey: use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest (with no pith) from the orange in wide strips; set aside the fruit for another use. Combine the orange zest with the honey, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and star anise in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Take the pan off the heat and allow the honey to steep for 1 hour. Strain the honey, cover, and store at room temperature until needed.
- To make the picarones: combine the yeast with the warm water in a small bowl and leave at room temperature for 10 minutes until foamy. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the sugar, egg, pumpkin purée, and salt and mix on medium speed until well combined. Slowly add the flour, about one-half cup at a time. Continue to mix at medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a clean, dry work surface; cover it with a clean, dry kitchen towel, and leave it to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Heat the oil to 350° F in a stockpot, using a candy or deep-fry thermometer to monitor the temperature. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down the dough with your fists, deflating it enough to handle, and portion it into 16 equal balls. Roll each ball into a 6-inch rope (3 inches in diameter) and press the ends together to form a ring. Let the rings rest for 10 minutes. Fry the rings in batches, turning once, until crispy and golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the picarones with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot, with the infused honey drizzled over the top or in a bowl for dipping.
- Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water to a rolling boil. Prepare an ice bath. In small batches, boil the favas until tender, about 3 minutes, using a sieve or skimmer to transfer each batch from the boiling water to the ice bath. Repeat with the peas, cooking for about 4 minutes and cooling in the ice bath. Drain the favas and peas. Peel off and discard the outer skins of the favas. Combine the favas, peas, watercress, shallots, radishes, and parsley. Add the oil and lemon juice and toss to lightly dress. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper before serving with ají on the side.
- Ají costeño: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the salt, and mix well. Remove half of the vegetables and set aside in a separate bowl. Pulse the remaining half in a food processor only until the vegetables are finely chopped; it should not be a smooth sauce. Fold in the reserved vegetables. Season the sauce to taste with salt. Chill before using.