If there is any silver lining in being forced to stay at home during this time, it’s this: For those of us who know our way around the kitchen, it’s a good time for dusting off the cookbook and making new dishes and desserts. And while we can’t frequent our favorite eateries for the time being, we can at least cook some of their signature dishes thanks to the “Taste of Coral Gables” cookbook, published last year in conjunction with the city’s Economic Development Department.*
Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche from Copper 29
- 2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 pound raw sea scallops, quartered
- 1 quart fresh lime juice
- 10 Serrano peppers, seeds removed, then minced
- 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 whole red onions, julienned fine
- Plantain chips
Combine all the ingredients (except the chips) in a large bowl and allow to marinate for three hours in the refrigerator, then serve with plantain chips on the side.
We never knew it was so easy to make ceviche! The part that took longest was chopping the shrimp and, of course, waiting in anticipation while it all soaked in the fridge. The result was even better than we expected: the lime juice balanced out the fishiness of the seafood and the coconut milk countered the acidity of the lime juice. Hats off to the chef (myself)!
Madruga Bakery Dark Chocolate Brownies
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cubed
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 ¼ cups cane sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup whole rye flour (I couldn’t find rye flour, so I used regular flour)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Grease the foil with butter or cooking spray (I didn’t line the pan, I just greased it with butter).
- Place the butter and chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Simmer water in a pan (or pot) that the bowl can sit on top of, but not sink into, in order to create a double boiler. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Stir the chocolate and butter until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
- Whisk the sugar into the eggs until totally combined. Slowly pour the chocolate and butter mix into the eggs and sugar, mixing as you pour.
- Combine the cocoa, flour and salt, and whisk together.
- Mix the dry and wet ingredients together until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter evenly into the pan. Bake until set, about 35 minutes.
At first, looking at the directions I thought, “Really? Why can’t I just make boxed brownies and call it a day?” But then I rolled up my sleeves and actually made it and found the answer. The hardest part for me was figuring out the double boiler situation with melting the chocolate and butter over the pot of water. But once you figure it out you’re left with a creamy, chocolatey liquid, with the butter mellowing out the bitterness of the dark chocolate. The finished product is a rich, warm, decadent dessert. Pairs best with a glass of milk or red wine because, let’s face it, it’s always five o’clock during a global pandemic.