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NBC News: Today

Chefs Carmen Gonzalez, Jordi Valle And Edgar Leal Prepare Ceviche

September 17, 2004
Copyright © 2004 National Broadcasting Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 

JOE WITTE, announcer: TODAY'S KITCHEN is brought to you by...

AL ROKER reporting:

This morning in TODAY'S KITCHEN, delicious for National Hispanic Month. Three chefs are here from Miami to share their celebratory recipes for ceviche. Edgar Leal from Tacaro, Carmen Gonzalez from Carmen the Restaurant, and Jordi Valle from Mosaico.

Good morning and bienvenidos to all of you.


Mr. JORDI VALLE: Thank you.

Mr. EDGAR LEAL: Gracias.

ROKER: It's good to see you guys.

Mr. LEAL: Thank you very much.

ROKER: Now, ceviche is, of course, many people know it's--it's--it's fish that's been marinated in a certain...

Mr. LEAL: Lime juice.

ROKER: Lime juice.

Mr. LEAL: Lime juice or citrus.

ROKER: Or--or citrus to cook--cook it. So what--what ceviche are we making here? Is any fish, seafood ceviche-able?

Mr. LEAL: Oh, yes.


Mr. LEAL: Any of it. Well, this is very simple, this is summer ceviche, which takes five minutes to be ready. And all you do is mix cilantro and the lime juice, which we did before, and sweet chile.

ROKER: Now, this--this ceviche, is this more--more generic to a certain company--country, I should say.

Mr. LEAL: No, not really. The thing is that we use salmon because it's very friendly.

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Mr. LEAL: It's a friendly fish.

ROKER: It's a friendly fish.

Mr. LEAL: Everybody loves.

ROKER: Hello, salmon.

Mr. LEAL: You know? Hello, salmon.

ROKER: It's a friendly fish. So, now, what--what's the other stuff you put in?

Mr. LEAL: Some chile and cilantro and lime juice. That's it.

ROKER: That's it?

Mr. LEAL: That's it.

ROKER: Now, can you leave the--the fish in too long in a ceviche?

Mr. LEAL: No, it's much better to do it--like in the case of salmon, just 10 minutes, that's it, that's it.


Mr. LEAL: And now, all we do is plate it.

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Mr. LEAL: And that's--and this is it. Like that--like that one over there. Like this.

ROKER: Is--is presentation important when you're doing ceviche?

Mr. LEAL: Oh, yes, of course. That's in everything, right?

ROKER: Mm-hmm. And is--so, in other words, ceviche is--you're only limited by the kind of fish you have.

Mr. LEAL: Of course. You--yeah, fish and seafood too, like shrimp too.

ROKER: Right.

Mr. LEAL: And squid, you can do it all of it.

ROKER: OK. All right. Well, we'll let that plate up and we're going to move...

Mr. LEAL: Yeah. Thank you very much.

ROKER: ...move on here next to Jordi.

Mr. VALLE: Good morning, Al.

ROKER: Now, Jordi, what kind of fish are you using? This is actually shellfish.

Mr. VALLE: Today, we prefer the lobster esquiexada, a typical plate from Catalonia. This is a kind of ceviche--the only thing that we do is to do a modern presentation with a little bit of consomme of tomato.

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Mr. VALLE: Avocado sorbet and olive powder.

ROKER: Have you always liked ceviche?

Mr. VALLE: I always love it.

ROKER: Yeah?

Mr. VALLE: Yes, always.

ROKER: Because it's pretty light. I mean, it's a nice--it's a great dish when you don't want to...

Mr. VALLE: Summery. Mm-hmm.

ROKER: ...heat up the kitchen.

Mr. VALLE: Of course, of course.

ROKER: Now, let's get started with this one.

Mr. VALLE: So today, we prepare this one--we have the lobster that is already cooked seven minutes in the oven. We mix it with the peppers.

ROKER: So in this case you're using something that's already cooked.

Mr. VALLE: Yes.

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Mr. VALLE: In this case, we--we...(unintelligible)...quickly. And then we mix it with peppers, sherry vinegar, a little bit of lemon, peppers, onions. And we will plate it up in a mold that we just can pick up. And we serve it with a consomme of tomato on the bottom. A little bit of olive powder and a little bit of salt on top. And the last touch will be to add a little bit of avocado sorbet.

ROKER: Avocado sorbet.

Mr. VALLE: Just to put a little bit of Miami flavor on the plate.

ROKER: Mm-hmm. How hard is it to make avocado sorbet?

Mr. VALLE: It's very easy, very easy.

ROKER: Yeah?

Mr. VALLE: Just a couple of hours in the freezer. A little bit of avocado...

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Mr. VALLE: ...a little bit of onion...

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Mr. VALLE: ...and it's ready to go.

ROKER: All right, Jordi, thank you very much.

Mr. VALLE: Thank you very much.


ROKER: And, Carmen. Now, you're--you're the only one who has a restaurant named after yourself here, so that's pretty good.

Ms. GONZALEZ: Yes. Yeah, it's pretty exciting.

ROKER: Now, your ceviche, what are you doing here?

Ms. GONZALEZ: Well, I'm doing a little different because we don't have any ceviches in Puerto Rico, so I created my own version of ceviche for this.

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Ms. GONZALEZ: So we're going to do a little vinaigrette, which you're going to help me.


Ms. GONZALEZ: This is mango. We're going to blend a mango with the orange--the orange juice. So just pour the orange juice. A little bit of the Scotch bonnet, which is very hot, so you have to...

ROKER: That's a very hot pepper.

Ms. GONZALEZ: have to be very, very careful.

ROKER: Do I keep going?

Ms. GONZALEZ: Yes. A little bit of the key lime juice.

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Ms. GONZALEZ: And you have to be also careful, because it's very acidic. And now I'm going to let you do the honors of just pour very slowly until we do the emulsification for the vinaigrette.

ROKER: Now, this--is this olive oil?

Ms. GONZALEZ: That's actually canola oil, which is a little lighter.

ROKER: Canola.

Ms. GONZALEZ: Because olive oil would be too hard. It would be too--too thick for the vinaigrette.

ROKER: And why am I doing it so slowly?

Ms. GONZALEZ: Because you want to emulsify. So you have your--your mango, and then when you do the oil slowly, you emulsify your ingredients. Then we're going to add a little bit of salt and pepper to that right here, there we go. And that's your vinaigrette right here. And now this is the way the vinaigrette going to look, you see, this is the way it looks.

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Ms. GONZALEZ: And you see the consistency.

ROKER: Very thick.

Ms. GONZALEZ: That's because of the emulsification you did. Now, this is the ceviche, which has key lime and Florida lobster. It has a little caramelize to our fruit.

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Ms. GONZALEZ: Some red onions. And then we're just going to put it on a little plantain top, which is very traditional from Puerto Rico. We're going to top it with a little avocado relish.


Ms. GONZALEZ: OK? We're going to do a little cilantro oil around it, just like this, very, very simple. OK? And then a little fresh bay leaf to garnish.

ROKER: That's very cute.

Ms. GONZALEZ: And that's the way it looks and this is the way it is.

ROKER: Let's bring in our ceviche tasters right now.

KATIE COURIC, co-host:

Oh, OK.

ANN CURRY, anchor:

Oh, got to go, sorry.

COURIC: Hi. How are you? Nice to see you.

Ms. GONZALEZ: Very good. How are you? Nice to see you too.

LESTER HOLT, co-host:

Good morning.

ROKER: That is beautiful.

Ms. GONZALEZ: Thank you.

COURIC: All right.

ROKER: And--and how did you make this cup?

Ms. GONZALEZ: Well, it's--it's actually--you fry the plantain twice.

ROKER: Mm-hmm.

Ms. GONZALEZ: You first fly--fry it, you have to put it down in a mortar, and then we fry it a second time to get it crispy.


Ms. GONZALEZ: And that's how you get the cup.

COURIC: So pretty.

Ms. GONZALEZ: And that's how it looks like that. Thank you.

CURRY: So cute.



COURIC: Everything looks so beautiful. Hi, how are you all?

ROKER: Nice. Thank you so much. Three great restaurants in Miami. And if you want the recipes, check out our Web site at

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