Wednesday, January 2, 2008

CSA week five - bean ceviche and avocado fritters

The final dishes using week five's vegetables are a ceviche with the beans and the shrimp avocado fritters I mentioned earlier. Both were pretty good and both were instructive.

The ceviche was my usual tossing together of whatever I had handy--I really ought to follow an actual recipe one of these days and see if it makes any difference. In this case I had handy scallops, the Gold of Bacau beans and the standard corn, peppers, onion, cilantro, lemon and lime. I only noticed that the GofB bean pods were edible after I sat down to start shelling them. That would have been useful information for the newsletter. I also had the wrong sort of corn; I think something like hominy is more traditional. But the scallops were already marinating so there was no turning back. I tossed the beans into the citrus juice too and I think they got softened a little as they soaked. The end result was nice enough, particularly with plenty of habeñero hot sauce added. The real interesting thing, though, was how well the scallops and the beans paired. Next time I find beans in my share, I'm going to grill them with some sea scallops.

The fritters were quite simple: just chopped shrimp and avocado with some minced jalepeños in a beer batter. It was a little too simple, really, as it lacked a bit in interest. The cooked avocado was soft and creamy but not very flavorful. That just left the shrimp, tasty from a sugar and salt brining, and a nice firm texture, and a bit of heat from peppers in the batter. It needed one more flavor I think and one more texture. The only crunch came from the batter and that faded quickly after the fritters came out of the oil. My first thought was adding onion, but I bet asparagus would work really well, too. Or maybe changing the beer batter to a corn batter and making hush puppies.

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