Made of simple ingredients, ceviche is a traditional South American dish that is easily prepared even by home chefs who don’t have the same international credentials as newly appointed Executive Chef of Rayuela, Alex Ureña. Chef Ureña has been an outstanding addition to Rayuela, a “freestyle latino” restaurant located on the LES, and brings to the table an eclectic international culinary background and diverse flavor profiles while maintaining the restaurant’s existing traditions. Diners at Rayuela will sample a menu inspired by ingredients and cooking traditions of Chef’s native Dominican Republic and around the Latin world.
Hopscotching through a vivid array of Latino flavors, Rayuela is Spanish for hopscotch by the way, dinners will have a chance to explore dishes like the appetizer, Gambas y Chorizo, made with olive oil poached shrimp creamy manchego rice and verdejo white wine chorizo sauce. There’s a smoky chorizo foam on this dish that we want on top of everything, ever. Also on the starter menu is a dish close to Chef Ureña’s heart. The Conejo de la Abuela is a dish that pays homage to Chef’s grandmother’s goat stew prepared in the Dominican Republic using a secret dry rub marinade. Chef’s adaption of the dish features slow-braised tender rabbit marinated in the secret dry rub with shiitake mushrooms, caramelized crisp apples, and creamy manchego grits. For a main course, Chef Ureña prepares a Pato Habanero, a pan seared duck breast dish with a duck confit “Cuban cigar style,” sweet potato tamal, smoked kale leaves, fried sweet plantains all in a star anise-infused sweet duck demi or the Langosta Estilo Libre prepared with albarinno white wine butter pouched lobster with yucca cake, vanilla-infused mango and yellow pepper relish served with poblano sauce.
But let’s get back to that ceviche we mentioned earlier! The ceviche menu crafted by Chef Ureña is by far one of the best we’ve had the pleasure of tasting. Rayuela has an extensive ceviche menu that includes sea scallops, fluke, lobster and shrimp, bass, and an all-vegetable variety. It’s impossible to decide among them but you have the opportunity to do a sampling of three for $35 or all five for $55. Below you’ll find Chef Ureña’s Verde Vieria ceviche recipe that he was nice enough to share with Joonbug. This ceviche is made of delicate sea scallops with an array of colorful accompaniments such as sliced tomatillo, radishes, onions and cilantro dressed with a bright tomatillo sauce and just a hint of earthy white truffle oil.
Verde Vieira Scallop Ceviche
(Courtesy of Chef Alex Ureña of Rayuela)
Serves 4 People—1/2 hour prep time
List of Ingredients:
6pc of U-10 Sea Scallops (Sliced Thinly)
3pc of Radishes (Sliced Thinly)
10pc of Tomatillo
1pc of Roasted Piquillo Pepper (Thinly Sliced)
Juice of 2 Fresh Squeezed Lemon
2 Sprigs of Cilantro (Chop the leaves only and remove the stems)
1 ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves of Garlic
½ of Med. Size Spanish Onion
The Marinade: In a blender add six tomatillo’s, ½ Spanish onion, 2 cloves of garlic, jalapeño & cilantro start blending and slowly add the olive oil add salt and pepper to taste.
The Ceviche: Mix in a bowl thinly sliced scallops, four thinly sliced tomatillo, three thinly sliced radishes, juice of 2 lemon, 3 TBS of olive oil, salt & pepper to taste.
To Plate (You may use a martini glass or a bowl): Divide the ingredients into four equal parts and place the marinade on the bottom of vessel and top with scallop ceviche add a few pieces of sliced piquillo pepper.