As Gonzalo stepped off the plane in Ft. Lauderdale, I was there to meet him. In his usual way, he had a big smile on his face and I could tell he was excited to be there. We headed to baggage claim where we picked up boxes of all the salsas and masa he’d packed up and brought from Copita to do a charity event for the Boca Raton Historical Society together. One of the first dishes we served was a Citrus and Pomegranate Ceviche. It was fresh, flavorful, stunning yet simple, and a recipe that sums up what makes Gonzalo such an incredible chef. When the raves and applause came, I clapped the loudest. Gonzalo is the true hero at my restaurant, I just lend a guiding hand.
We hope to see you at Copita soon! In the meantime, try these two versions of a dish we love to serve at the restaurant and prepare for a round of applause.
1 ¼ pounds super fresh sea bass or halibut
1 cup lime juice
1/2 pound plum tomatoes, diced
½ pound cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
2 to 3 teaspoons minced Serrano
Cut the halibut into ½-inch pieces and place in a bowl with the lime juice. Stir and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Pour off half of the lime juice and add the tomatoes, red onions, cilantro and serrano chilies. Season well with salt.
And here's how Gonzalo takes it up a few notches:
POMEGRANATE, KUMQUAT AND BLOOD ORANGE CEVICHE
1 pound fresh sea bass or halibut
1/4 cup blanco tequila
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/4 cup blood orange juice
2 teaspoons finely grated blood orange zest
1 cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup pickled red onions
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
½ serrano chile, seeded, minced
6 kumquats, thinly sliced
2 avocados, diced
Cut the fish into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a bowl. Add 1 cup lime juice, stir together and let sit 30 minutes. Drain and discard half of the lime juice.
Add the tequila, agave nectar, orange juice, orange zest, pomegranate seeds, red onions, cilantro, serrano chile, and kumquats. Stir together well to mix. Add the avocado and season with salt. Add additional lime juice and salt as needed. Place in a bowl and serve with tortilla chips.