We were swimming in seafood recipes after we announced that the secret ingredient for our February/March 2009 contest was citrus. We got 20 entries for orange salmon alone! But only one dish had judges talking Iron Chef: Jeff Ockerman’s scallop ceviche.
The Nashville native used citrus for three parts of his recipe: the main marinade, a syrup drizzled on top and a finishing touch of homemade candied citrus peel (our favorite part). This smart final twist was the result of trial and error: Jeff got hooked on making candied peels for holiday cookies and started experimenting with ways to use them year-round. His candied citrus pizza was a bust, but when he tried the peels in this summer dish, he knew he’d discovered something. “The acidity in ceviche can be overpowering,” he says. “The candied peel adds that little bit of sweetness.”
Photograph by Kate Sears