Adventurous eaters have the ideal home at Calyer. The Franklin Street restaurant is the latest venture by the innovative team behind Jimmy’s Diner, Anella and rock and roll bar St. Vitus. In contrast to the experimental spirit of the meals, however, the décor is cozy and rustic. As you lay back under a green wooden ceiling, be sure to ask the helpful and highly knowledgeable staff for other recommendations.
Though the menu is based on Spanish cuisine, Chef Gabriel Moya has no problem drawing on his Puerto Rican heritage to rework a myriad of traditional dishes, such as crepes served with bananas and dulce de leche.
A favorite Calyer dish is the scallop ceviche. The natural ocean taste of the seafood is enhanced by a festive use of sweet potato puree and aji Amarillo (a Peruvian yellow chile), nicely balanced by corn nuts.
Scallop Ceviche, Sweet Potato Puree, Aji Amarillo, Crispy Corn
1lb. U-15 Scallops
3lb. Sweet potatoes
1 Cup Aji amarillo (pure Peruvian pepper available at Kalustians)
6 Tbsp. Lime juice
2 Tbsp. Canola oil
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 Cup Crispy Cornuts (available at Kalustians)
1 ea. Red onion
1 bu. Cilantro
Sweet Potato Puree:
With the skins on, toss the sweet potatoes with canola oil, salt and pepper to coat them. Wrap the sweet potatoes in aluminum foil and roast in a 400°F degree oven for 1 hour or until the sweet potatoes are tender and cooked all the way through. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, peel the skins off and place the flesh in the blender to puree. In a small sauce pot, melt the butter and add it to the sweet potatoes. Puree in the blender until smooth. Season with salt to taste and cool.
Aji amarillo vinaigrette:
Place the aji amarillo puree in the blender with 2 Tbsp. of lime juice and a pinch of salt. With the blender running slowly add the 2 Tbsp. of canola oil to make an emulsified smooth vinaigrette. The oil will help make an emulsified vinaigrette and tone the heat down on the aji.
Keep the scallops in a container over ice until ready to serve. Mince the red onion and reserve. Pick the cilantro leaves and place in cold water to rinse of any dirt or sand. Drain and dry on paper towels. Finely chop the cilantro and reserve. Warm up the sweet potato puree to room temperature, if it’s too hot it will cook the scallops. Cut the scallops into small cubes and place in a cold mixing bowl. Add the minced onions, the chopped cilantro, season with salt, mix and let sit for one minute. Add the remaining lime juice, and 1 Tbsp. of aji amarillo vinaigrette. Mix well. The scallops should be coated nicely and there should be a small pool of liquid at the bottom of the bowl, referred to as leche de tigre. Spoon the sweet potato puree in the bottom of a serving bowl. Place the ceviche on top of it adding some of the liquid. Top with crispy corn and serve.
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