A few weeks ago I was at Central Market and my fish monger insisted I try their rock shrimp…perfect, tiny bites of sweet, meaty goodness. I included them in our Valentine’s Day Chioppino and, to me, they were the stand out component in the dish. So, I used them in a ceviche for a dinner party the other night with lots of citrus and fresh herbs. WOW, super easy with a punch of flavor. Think of them as little pillows of yumminess, with incredibly rich flavor, like lobster, so you just need a few bites to be completely satisfied.
The dish has a lot of citrus, so it is high in acid. You could add a bit more oil to break the acidity, or add an avocado for texture. We opted to break the acidity with a creamy Chardonnay from Ancien. We love this winery in the heart of Napa Valley best known for making earthy, intense Pinot Noir from Carneros fruit. The Haynes Vineyard Chardonnay comes from old vines in Napa Valley, with good structure and elegance and filled with stone fruit like apricot, peaches and a hint of green apple with a layer of cream. Only 98 cases of this luscious wine were produced in 2008, lucky for us we got 1.
Rock Shrimp Ceviche
1 1/2 pound shelled rock shrimp
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon salt
juice of 8 key limes
juice of 2 lemons
juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon
2 large tomatoes – squeeze the seeds and juice out, chop into bite size pieces
1 shallot – chopped fine
2 garlic cloves – chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
Bring a medium sauce pan to a boil with the water and 2 tablespoons water. Add the shrimp and cook for no more than 4 or 5 minutes. You want to just barely cook the shrimp. Drain and add the shrimp to a glass dish with the zest and juice of 5 key limes, 1 lemon and 1/2 orange. Refrigerate for about an hour. In the mean time, stir together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl with the zest and juice of the remaining citrus. Set aside. After the shrimp has marinated in the citrus for an hour drain off the juice and mix the shrimp into the herb, tomato mixture. Chill until ready to serve. Serve in chilled miniature martini glasses.