Sunday, December 4, 2011

Here's What's Cookin' In Kike's Kitchen. From Sea To Ceviche

Our good friend and one of Playa's top fishermen, Kike, was out graciously sharing the fruits of his labor this afternoon so I decided to hang around and partake in his bounty.  Not only is Kike a great fisherman, he's a darn good cook too.  Today, 30 feet from his boat Kike mixed up some fresh ceviche in about 30 minutes with some of his fresh catch and a little help from his friends. The fish today was Jurel and Kike's tailgate served as his beachside kitchen.  The following photos show the process more or less from start to finish. For the men who may be viewing this tutorial, I have spiced things up a bit, midway through the presentation in an effort to maintain your interest. Nonetheless, please try to remain focused on the actual food preparation and do not let your eyes or mind wander to less important matters.  This is an instructional cooking episode with the sole purpose of showing you something you have not seen before or for that matter, in all likelihood, something you will not ever see again.  Okay Kike... let's roll!  On to the photos. You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

The all important lime juice. At least 12 limes
Step 1:  Squeeze a dozen or more fresh limes into your plastic container. Use a lime squeezer to make this simple and effective. Try to leave out as many paint chips and pieces of rust as possible from the kitchen counter which in this case is the bed of Kike's pickup truck.

2 or 3 purple onions, finely diced
 Step 2:  Finely dice 2 or even 3 small purple onions to add to the lime juice.  Be sure to dice the onions very slowly while tellling a couple of funny stories to your audience. The stories are best if they are about  about one of your friends misfortune and even better if the friend is present during the telling. It is also quite important to drink at least one warm beer while dicing and storytelling to keep your knife hand steady and your vocal cords well lubricated.

1 bunch chopped cilantro leaves and stems

Step 3: After rinsing 1 bunch of fresh cilantro in saltwater (located 30 feet away in great abundance although you can use fresh water in a pinch), chop the cilantro finely and add to the lime juice and onions.  As you can see from the photo, you should be on your third warm beer by now with nine more left in reserve.

Please keep your eyes on the habanero
Step 4:  In step 4 it is very important to pay close attention to the written instructions as following the photo only, could cause you to be distracted and end up with a nasty little knife wound. In this step we are very finely dicing dicing at least 3 of the fiery hot, orange habaneros.  If it's not already hot enough here, include the habanero seeds and add them in with the mix. You may use more or less habaneros as you see fit. You should also avoid touching exposed skin after chopping habaneros.

About 1 to 1 & 1/2 kilos of fresh fish (cubed) 

Step 5: Time to start adding the fish. It is at this point that Kike decided to invite an assistant in to help out with the cutting, which most of us on hand agreed, was a stroke of genius on his part as we were getting somewhat tired of his stories and his chopping. Now, with renewed interest we watched the assistant very closely while we sipped on warm beer so as not to miss whatever it was she was doing.

Use a kitchen helper whenever possible

Step 6:  Because adding the fish is such an important step in the preparation of the ceviche, we decided to add another picture of it here.   

6 or 7 roma tomatoes diced very small

Step 7:  Fortunately for us the inclusion of the diced tomatoes is also very important as you can also see here. Use about 6 roma tomatoes for this and be sure they are diced very small. You can leave the seeds in if you like. These tomato slices will need to be cut crosswise several more times to be small enough. Please note the extra orange habanero at the ready should it be deemed necessary by the chef.

Add salt and pepper to taste and mix well

 Step 8: After adding the diced tomatoes, add as much salt and pepper as you would like and mix thoroughly into the ceviche.  By now you should also be nearly finished with the first 6 pack of warm beer.

The coup de grace!

Step 9: As the culinary masterpiece nears its completion, a ceremonial orange habenero is added as a colorful garnish. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, ever, eat a whole habenero in one bite unless you are a professional. For that matter, even 2 bites. If you do and should you survive, you may wish you hadn't. More on this in a moment.

Step 10: The addition of the avocados is the final step in the preparation of the ceviche. Kike cuts the avocado in half, removes the pit and then uses the skin of the avocado as a cup while he thin slices the avocado right out of its skin.  3 or 4 avocados should be just about right.  You may also notice that the ceremonial orange habenero has already been half eaten by Kike's first mate. What a show off!

Time to eat! Thanks Kike!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

These people are obviously amateur photographers.  They have to use stands for their cameras.  Ha Ha!!  Plus they must be really old cameras because they are huge and clunky.  One of them even came with headphones.  What's up with that?? Probably has a built in cassette player for playing old music too.  Ha Ha!!  Don't these people realize that smaller is better??  Well at least most of the time, Ha Ha!!  I should know, I've got some of the smallest stuff in town.  Ha Ha!! (You're laughin' with me not at me, right?? Ha Ha??)

Anyway, I tried to be really nice to these people even though it was kind of embarrassing to be hanging around them and I even took a few pictures of their "gear" as they called it, Ha Ha, just to be nice. As you can see they really liked me and in one picture the boss even smiled and waved to me.

I could see that they were pretty jealous of my tiny "gear" when I pulled it out and the fact that I did not need a stand to use it.  I felt sorry for them and offered to let them use my super deluxe, Micro 4/3, fancy schmancy, sub compact, entry level, digital camera camcorder  to do some of their serious work.

They looked at each other and then back at me and then at each other again.  Then they started to laugh.  I think they were too embarrassed to tell me that they didn't know how to use my "gear".

 That's actually when I took the photo where the boss was smiling and waving at me.  Someone standing next to me also said the boss said "Good Bye!" when I took this photo but I didn't hear that.

Anyway, I mingled in the crowd and cruised around all over Canibal Royale snapping photos of sexy, rich, young people without  many clothes on for another 30 minutes or so before the manager came up and asked me if I wanted to buy something to drink or eat.  I told him I'd love to but,  I was "working' ".  He looked at my "gear" and said "With that little thing?" and walked away. Whatever!  He then walked over to one of the bouncers and said something to him and pointed at me.  Probably to hold him not to bug me because I was "workin' ".

It was a good afternoon but I had to leave early to go home and put my clothes in the dryer, get dinner started and get ready to watch the latest episode of Glee tonight with Princess.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, October 7, 2011

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How can you not love Playa when you can walk out your door on a Friday afternoon and find an international recording star singing for free in the beach bar 150 yards from your house.  This is Lisa Shaw and she was impressive at Canibal Royale.  Natz Ti Ha squeezed right in for this video about 45 minutes ago.  Awesome!!  Lisa Shaw Performs At Canibal Royale  Mi Casa Es Su Casa At Canibal Royale October 7th.

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