Picadillo comes from the Spanish verb picar, to cut into small pieces.
In culinary terms, it is a mixture of meat with aromatics such as
onion and garlic, and bold flavors such as cumin and sherry vinegar.
It often includes raisins or currants for a bit of sweetness, and
toasted almonds or pine nuts for crunch. Here the picadillo is made
with small dice of fresh, raw big-eye tuna. The sauce yields 3 cups,
enough for two recipes of ceviche.
# 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
# 1/2 Spanish onion, peeled and diced
# 1 clove garlic
# 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
# 2 cups tomato purée (preferably Pomi brand)
# 1 tablespoon ground cumin
# 1/2 cup Amontillado sherry vinegar
# 1 cup tomato juice
# 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
# 3 tablespoons kosher salt
Combine all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend until smooth.
# 2 very ripe black-skinned plantains
# 1/2 cup olive oil
# 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Just before serving, peel the plantains. Trim off and discard the
ends. Cut the plantains on a diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices.
Heat the oil in a heavy cast-iron or nonstick skillet until shimmering.
Add the plantain slices and brown well on one side. Using a slotted
spatula, because the maduros are quite soft, turn over the slices.
Brown well on the second side. Using the slotted spatula, remove
from the pan and arrange on paper towels to drain briefly. Sprinkle
with kosher salt.
# 3/4 pound sushi-grade ahi or big-eye tuna, cut into 1/4-inch dice
# 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, lightly toasted
# 2 teaspoons Zante currants (or dark raisins)
# 2 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley
# 2 tablespoons pitted green olives, sliced
# 1 cup Picadillo Sauce
In a medium nonreactive (stainless-steel or enameled) bowl, combine
the tuna, almonds, currants, Italian parsley, olives, and Picadillo
Sauce. Taste for seasoning. Divide between 4 salad plates and serve
immediately, surrounded with the maduros.