From the SCCC Kitchen: Shrimp, scallops given touch of citrus, wrapped in lettuce for tacos

Wednesday, May 9, 2012
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Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche Lettuce Tacos are a nice, light dinner with a bright taste of citrus.
Photographer: Marc Schultz
Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche Lettuce Tacos are a nice, light dinner with a bright taste of citrus.

“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers Daily Gazette readers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s nationally accredited American Culinary Federation culinary arts program. Recipes selected by SCCC instructors can easily be prepared at home. Today, adjunct instructor Melissa Doney presents a different way to prepare shrimp and scallops.

Lime juice provides the firepower when Melissa Doney prepares her Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche Lettuce Tacos.

“Ceviche means it cooks in a citrus,” Doney said. “With this dish, a fish goes into the marinade raw and the citric acid reacts to the fish. That’s how it’s cooked, so it never hits the heat. The acid actually cooks the fish, it’s a cooking procedure.”

Doney uses juice from five fresh limes and adds a splash of white vinegar for her marinade. The raw shrimp and scallops soak for 24 hours. “Some chefs might say a little less, but I like to be on the safe side,” Doney said.

Once marinated, the seafood is mixed with a blend of onions, peppers, cilantro, tomato and tomatillos. The vegetables bring extra flavors onboard when the shrimp and scallops are tucked into leaves of lettuce to make low-calorie tacos.

The fish will taste different to people accustomed to broiled or grilled versions of their favorites.

“It picks up the marinade completely. There’s a very citrusy flavor to the fish, but it will be the same texture,” Doney said.

Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche Lettuce Tacos

1⁄2 pound fresh medium scallops, quartered

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and de-veined, halved length-wise

5 fresh limes, juiced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 vine-ripe tomato, diced

2 tomatillos, cleaned and diced

1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

4 green chili peppers, chopped

2 teaspoons, fresh chopped cilantro

1 medium red onion, diced

1⁄8 cup white vinegar

1 head Boston bibb lettuce

Marinate scallops and shrimp in a large glass or plastic bowl in lime juice and vinegar until the shrimp turns pink and scallops turn opaque in color, about 24 hours.

Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl, except lettuce. Let flavors meld for 24 hours. After 24 hours, mix everything together.

Clean and separate lettuce, lightly place shrimp and scallop mixture on the clean leaves and eat like a taco.

Serves 6 to 8.

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