In the dead of the desert summer, there's nothing more refreshing to the palate than a taste of the sea.
Three local food experts will share their strategies on how to make the most of seafood in Las Vegas when it comes to dining off the Strip and cooking at home.
Glean a little about pairing wines with seafood. Capture a simple home recipe from a professional chef. Learn about the ethics of dining on fish and shellfish without depleting the oceans of their aquatic life forms.
Rick Moonen, celebrity chef with a namesake restaurant at Mandalay Bay
Steve Guglia, executive chef at AquaKnox at the Venetian
Heidi Rinella, restaurant critic for the Las Vegas Review-Journal
THAI GREEN PAPAYA SALAD WITH TOASTED PEANUTS AND SEA SCALLOPS
Property of Rick Moonen’s rm seafood
YIELD: 4 servings
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Thai Chilies, thin slice, seeds included
5 ounces Fish Sauce
2 Tbs Thai Shrimp Paste with soya bean oil
6 ounces Lime juice, fresh squeezed
2 Tbs Lime zest
1 Tbs Honey
4 ounces Olive Oil
Place the chopped garlic and thai chilies in a mortar bowl…With a pestle mash them together to fully puree them. Add the fish paste, fish sauce, lime juice, lime zest and honey. Whisk everything together to dissolve the honey. Whisk in the oil and let the dressing sit overnight to develop its flavor.
12 Sea Scallops (3 per salad)
1 small Green Papaya, very firm
2 cups Mung Bean Sprouts
12 Scallions, cut on a bias, 2 “ long
6 Plum Tomatoes, long thin strips
1 cup Cilantro leaves
1 cup Mint leaves
2 cups Roasted Peanuts
Season sea scallops with salt and white pepper. Heat a small saute pan on medium-high heat and put a tablespoon of olive oil in pan and sear scallops on both sides until carmelized. Hold. Peel the green papaya (the flesh should be white) then slice it in half to remove the seeds. Using a Japanese mandolin, cut the flesh into thin strips 3 inches long. Place in a large bowl with the scallions. With a muddler, bruise the papaya and scallions with 4 ounces of the vinaigrette. Add the sprouts, tomatoes, peanuts, cilantro and mint. Add more dressing to moisten and toss to combine. Distribute the tossed
mixture on four large shallow bowls in a mound. Pour the remaining vinaigrette from the bowl over the top. Arrange the cooked scallops around the side of the salad. Garnish with extra peanuts and cilantro sprigs.
CHEF STEVE’S MEXICAN CEVICHE COCKTAIL
YIELD: 4 servings
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 generous pound peeled small shrimp (I prefer the 41/50 count to a pound)
½ medium red onion, small diced
2 garlic cloves – finely chopped
3 serrano chilies, finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup ketchup
1/3 cup Valentina Hot Sauce
1 cup diced peeled cucumber
2 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
Tostadas or tortilla chips, store-bought, or saltine crackers for serving
Cooking the Shrimp
Bring 1 quart salted water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Add shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes. Drain shrimp and let cool.
In a bowl, add the cilantro, lime juice, onions, cucumber, Serrano chili, ketchup, hot sauce, and avocado. Season with salt and pepper. Add shrimp and toss. Cover and marinate for one hour.
Serve with homemade tostadas, and store bought crackers or tortilla chips, and some extra limes and hot sauce on the side. ENJOY!!!