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I usually think of ceviches as quick, simple affairs. Cut up some seafood, throw it in a bowl with citrus juice, let it "cook" for a bit, and then serve. Daniel Boulud's scallop ceviche with blood orange sauce in his new cookbook, Daniel, is not that kind of ceviche. At its core, he does serve scallops lightly cured in a blended citrus juice—but these small tender scallops are then arranged with suprêmed blood oranges, brunoised vegetables, confited citron, chive oil, and tiny herb leaves. There's also a blood orange sauce, vibrantly red and spiked with a splash of Tabasco.
If you think this sounds like a lot of work for a ceviche, you're right. But the work actually pays off, and the final dish was probably the best ceviche I'd ever made, and certainly the prettiest. Make it now, while blood oranges are at their juiciest, and serve it as a dinner party appetizer.
Why I picked this recipe: The bright, fresh flavors of blood oranges, lime, and lemon juice are the perfect antidote to the long slog of heavy winter dishes.
What worked: Despite the profusion of garnishes, nothing felt out of place; each element complemented the sweet scallops and bright sauce.
What didn't: My old, dilapidated blender was no match for the blanched chives in the chive oil. If you have a similarly weak blender, consider blending the oil in a food processor.
Suggested tweaks: If you're not up for making the dish in it entirety, skip the chive oil and citron confit. The blood orange sauce and ceviche are simple; the crunch of the radish and celery provide necessary textural contrast, so don't skip them. I was only able to find white verjus, and it worked fine in place of the red in the sauce.
About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer and personal chef living in Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American, KQED's Bay Area Bites, and Berkeleyside NOSH. She blogs at Cooking Wolves. Follow her @KateHWiliams.