CategoryAppetizer

Weeknight Bites – Salad with Bacon and Egg

Salad with Poached Egg

Quick one this time for a Tuesday night dinner in a hurry. This salad with bacon and egg is a play on the French frisée aux lardons, but spun about for what I had on hand.

One of the nice things about poached eggs is that you can do them ahead of time and keep them in a container of water in the fridge for days. Dunk them in warm-hot water for 45-60 seconds to refresh, dry on a paper towel, and you’re ready to go.

In this case, I had a head of romaine left from Mother’s Day, but I’ll freely admit to using pre-cut bags of lettuce from the grocery store. No, it’s not hard to clean and cut lettuce, but even I need grab-and-go ease once in a while. It’s not really a “processed” food, and while it doesn’t have the bright flavors that fresh lettuce would have, it’s fine for a meal for myself.

Cutting the Poached Egg on the Salad

Basically, this is a lettuce salad lightly dressed with crispy bacon and a poached egg. Wash and cut the lettuce (or cut open and dump out the bag) and place in a bowl. Cut a few strips of bacon into inch wide pieces and cook until crispy; remove to a paper towel to drain while you strain and save the rendered bacon fat in the fridge. Heat the poached egg in hot water, and place on a paper towel to drain. Dress the lettuce lightly – just glistening, and you’ll get some more from the egg yolk – add the bacon, place the egg on top, finish with a bit of salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Warm bacon, warm egg, cold lettuce, and a bit of seasoning. Really, you can’t go wrong. (Heck, fry the egg if you prefer it that way.)

Poached Egg on Salad

Cook’s Notes – Making the Flounder Ceviche Recipe

Flounder Ceviche Appetizer Recipe  -  Cooks Notes

Honestly, at its heart, the Flounder Ceviche is small pieces of fish marinated in citrus juices. You can use any type of fresh fish or even shellfish such as lobster or scallops. The key is that it must be as fresh as possible. The rest are complimentary flavorings. The permutations are nearly endless; I suggest searching for “leche de tigre” (“tiger’s milk”) for more information or ideas about how to marinate the fish.

Controlling the marinade controls how spicy or sweet you want to go. Blends of many tropical fruits – oranges, lemons, limes, even pineapples, passionfruit and the like – can make the base of the marinade. I have trouble imagining a ceviche without shallots and cilantro, but that’s just me.

The key is the technique – marinating the fish long enough to change and “cook” the protein without overdoing it and turning it to mush. Find a good recipe to use as a base and branch out from there; you don’t want to introduce risk by having poorly prepared or under”cooked” fish making somebody sick. That said, this is incredibly easy to do right, so don’t be afraid of ceviche. Just because you didn’t turn on the stove doesn’t mean that the result isn’t properly prepared food.

There aren’t really more notes I have for this – it’s the kind of food I like to make when I can get a nice fresh piece of fish and play with each time. I haven’t made the same ceviche twice. Here are some links from resources I trust on ceviche why’s and how’s:

Easy Flounder Ceviche Appetizer Recipe

Easy Fresh Flounder Ceviche

I’ll confess, I had never heard of Ceviche until I went to Belize to photograph a destination wedding a few years ago. We went for an all day boat cruise with Ras Creek off of Caye Caulker, Belize and had a chance to swim with the stingrays among the coral. As part of the experience, Ras dove down and caught a fresh lobster and made Lobster Ceviche on the boat for us to snack on between stops.

I was amazed. I had NO idea you could “cook” seafood with just the acidity of citrus juice! Incredible!

Flounder Ceviche - Prep Items

It doesn’t have to be lobster either. For this ceviche appetizer recipe, we used flounder fillets from PJ Stoops, which Mike picked up at Revival Market. Fresh fish is brought in on Saturday, so Mike tries to make it over there every few weeks to pick some up.

(Our Vermilion Snapper Meuniere was from PJ as well, and you can read more in the Cook’s Notes on the Meuniere on why finding good local suppliers is important.)

Rolling the Oranges to maximize the juice

Mike rolled the oranges to maximize the juice he could get out of them, and then squeezed them by hand over a bowl, catching the seeds that came out.

Hand squeezing the oranges for flounder ceviche

Preparing the flounder ceviche

After combining the juice of 1 orange and 2 lemons and adding the salt, Mike added the Sriracha to taste. How much you add is entirely up to you and the flavor you like. Whisk it together to prep and set it aside.

whisking the citrus juice together for the flounder ceviche

Shallot

Cutting Shallots

Cutting Shallots - Knife Techniques

Cutting Shallots - Knife Techniques

Prep the shallots, the scallions, and parsley. When Mike cuts shallots, he first cuts them horizontally through all but the end, and then vertically through all but the end, and then minces them. That way, they stay together and are easier to mince.

The Flounder from PJ Stoops, purchased at Revival Market

Flounder prepared for Ceviche

Add to a bowl the scallions and shallots with the flounder cut similarly sized pieces so that they will “cook” evenly.

Preparing Flounder Ceviche

Stir to coat well – you want the fish to be submerged if possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10-15 minutes or until fish is “cooked” (opaque white all the way through). Add the parsley after it has cooked.

Flounder Ceviche with parsley

Now amaze your friends with your “cooked” Ceviche appetizer, which has never touched the stove! (Ok, maybe this is only impressive to me. I clearly need to be more adventurous in my eating.)

You can serve it with tortilla chips, sweet potato chips, or something else crunchy. Delicious!

If you would like to learn more on making Ceviche or get other ideas on fish and ingredients to use, check out the inspiration for this recipe, Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook’s Manifesto.

Flounder Ceviche Appetizer Recipe

Flounder Ceviche

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. flounder fillets, skinned, cut into 1/2" by 1" or so strips
  • 3 scallions, white and light green part, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • Salt to taste (1-2 tsp)
  • Sriracha to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine juice of 2 lemons, 1 orange, salt and Sriracha in a small bowl. Whisk to stir well. Set aside.
  2. Combine chopped scallions (both white and light green part), minced shallot and flounder in a large bowl. Stir to combine.
  3. Add liquids, and stir to coat well - you want the fish to be submerged as much as possible. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10-15 minutes or until fish is "cooked" (opaque white all the way through).
  4. After the fish is cooked, add parsley for garnish.
  5. Serve chilled with tortilla chips, sweet potato chips, or something else crunchy.
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