Limoncello and Mint Ceviche
2/3 English cucumber, divided (half whole, half thinly sliced)
4 sprigs mint
4 sprigs cilantro
1 cup limoncello
1 orange, juiced
3 limes, juiced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups blended olive oil (80 percent canola oil, 20 percent olive oil)
8 mint leaves
½ lb. fish fillet*
¼ red bell pepper, julienned
4 breakfast radishes, very thinly sliced**
¼ red onion, julienned
Extra-virgin olive oil
• Place in a blender the whole half of the English cucumber, the mint sprigs, cilantro sprigs, limoncello, orange juice and lime juice. Purée until smooth. Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl, and whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil.
• Heat the blended oil to 300 degrees in a pot large enough to hold the oil without being too close to the top of the pot. Prepare a baking tray with paper towels to catch the fried mint leaves, and have a small slotted strainer to lift the mint out of the pot. When the oil is hot enough, place 3 to 4 mint leaves in the oil. Retrieve the leaves from the oil when the oil has stopped spattering. Repeat with the remaining leaves.
• Cut the fish into thin strips across the fillet. If necessary, lightly pound the fish strips to a thinner width. Place the fish in a mixing bowl and pour the limoncello mixture over the fish. Toss gently, and allow the fish to marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.
• When you are ready to serve the ceviche, add the thinly sliced cucumber, red bell pepper, radishes and red onion to the mixing bowl with the fish. Mix everything together, and portion the mixture onto four plates. Divide the remaining ceviche marinade over the fish, and then season each plate with sea salt and extra-virgin olive oil. Garnish the ceviche on each plate with 2 of the fried mint leaves.
* Many kinds of fish can be used for this type of ceviche. Salmon and trout work well. Ask your fishmonger for suggestions and be sure to explain how you will be using the fish.
** Breakfast radishes have an elongated shape with a bright red outer skin that is white at the root base. If unavailable, substitute a traditional globe radish variety.