All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Sunday, August 9, 2009

ceviche with fennel and creme fraiche, and a discovery

Do you ever get excited about trying a new recipe? Who is the muse that seizes one in a haze of
joyful discovery as you taste and chop , add pinches of this, and teaspoons of that?
While visiting my French friend Mme. B, I was instantly fascinated when I saw a bowl sitting on her counter. It smelled delicious, it tasted fresh and summery. I asked what it was. Although she called it fish in lemon juice with creme fraiche, I recognized ceviche. I couldn't wait to try my own version of it, thinking instantly of pairing it with fresh fennel.
I bought the haddock ( alas, no pollock), went home, and marinated it in lemon juice for six hours. I drained it, and added the chopped fennel, and some herbs and spices, and the creme fraiche. Then I tasted it.
It tasted bland, though fresh, and it looked like potato salad. I hated it. I kicked myself for wasting the fish on it. Only later did I realize that creamed anything isn't something I usually prepare, or eat. Perhaps if I'd skipped the creme fraiche and made a melange of hot peppers and fresh vegetables to go with the fish, it would have suited me better.
However, for those who might like to try it, here is the recipe:
1/2 pound of haddock or whitefish, cut into small pieces
juice of 3 lemons
Marinate fish for at least six hours, in the fridge, in the lemon juice.
Drain well.
1 cup chopped fennel bulb and a few fronds
1 T. minced fresh dill
1/2 cup diced , peeled cucumber
a few drops of Green Tabasco
2 T. chopped red onion
1 cup creme fraiche (recipe here)
salt and fresh pepper to taste
You can also add sliced grape tomatoes, shredded carrots, garlic, and scallions or chives. I didn't get that far.
Mix together well, and serve chilled, along with a green salad and French bread.
And now I know this about myself ; that I love perfect fish chowder, and poached, thick, chunks of pollock or haddock. Not fried, not mayo'd, just fresh scent of the sea. (You can find the chowder recipe here)


La Table De Nana said...

You made me smile:) I bet it is the crème fraiche that made you enjoy it less than you should have..but what pretty fresh pics!
And yes I get tempted all the time to try new things ..if not tooo complicated:)

katrina said...

Ah, Nana, I think we are cosmic twins! You are right that I should've realized I less and less make anything with cream or creme fraiche ( though I love it as a dip, or stirred into soups). Live and learn, right? Even the classic Blanquette de Veau is much too rich for me these days, but did I stop to remember that? Still, like you, I enjoy making up recipes and trying ones new to me, just for the challenge:) Thanks for dropping by !

lisaiscooking said...

I do love ceviche, and the creme fraiche sounds interesting. I'd miss the hot chiles though too.

katrina said...

Lisa - the Tabasco added a little heat, but I think if I make it again, I'll skip the creme fraiche and do veggies. I think that would be colorful -

Sophie said...

I love ceviche!!

Your recipe is a winner! It looks so tasty!!

katrina said...

Sophie - I'm delighted you liked this recipe! I loved the idea of the creme fraiche and the fresh fennel, but it wasn't a big hit with me once I made it. Really happy someone liked it!

taylor said...

just made this for 6 hunter/loggers deep in the northern maine woods out of foraged greens and fished meat, glad i have 3g up here and found this recipe they loved it with sweet potato/ white potato pancakes made it all on a camp fire.

katrina said...

taylor - I'm impressed!