Santiago Lastra Rodriguez, the nomad Mexican chef who finally settled in London, was ready to open his first own restaurant Kol when the lockdown happened. He too is now captured at home where he is working on his new dishes. Here he shares one that he loves to cook at home. I miss his food during this lockdown so I may give it a try. You too?
“In this warm weather,” says Santiago “I’m trying to imagine that I am at a beach in Mexico. And then I prepare some dish that lets me continue dreaming. We got some razor clams the other day and it was great to see what was in the fridge and make a nice fresh dish out of it that reminds me of home. It’s really very simple to make: you can use any clams you have or even shrimps or calamari or whatever seafood you have. I love the cashews with it. Who doesn’t like sea food, nuts and chilli?”
Razor Clam Ceviche
4 Razor Clams
2 Garlic cloves (finely chopped)
2 tsp Rock samphire or (Dill or fennel root)
4 Corn Tortillas
50ml Skin contact wine (we used Slobodne Deviner from Slovakia)
4 pc Piquín chili, (árbolor other small spicy dry chili or paprkika )
2 tsp Cucumber (finely diced)
2 tsp Toasted Cashews
4 tsp Rapeseed oil or other oil
1 tsp Red Onion (finely diced)
¼ cup Sour Kombucha (or lemon juice)
Maldon Sea Salt
Put the tortillas in a pan with no oil at the lowest heat for about 30 minutes until they are crispy flipping every 5 to 10 minutes. Make them rest in a dry place
For the salsa
Toast the chillies with a pinch of salt in a pan at medium heat for a couple of minutes (be careful not to burn them) and blend them in a mortar or spice grinder until obtaining a powder. Put the onion in a bowl with the chilli powder, the sour kombucha and a pinch of salt. Leave to rest for 10min. Chop the cashews finely with a knife and fry in the rapeseed oil in a small pot at medium heat for 1 min until golden. Keep at room temperature. Add the cucumber dices to the bowl with the onions, followed by the cashews with the oil, mix and taste seasoning, keep at room temperature for plating.
Ceviche and Plating
Heat a pan to medium high heat. When hot enough, add a couple of spoons of oil, the garlic and the rock samphire, stir quickly , place the razor clams (important that they are organised in one layer only at the bottom of the pan) fast add the wine and cover with a lid (you only want the clams to open. If you cook them too long, they will become rubbery. So when you cover them with the lid, only count 30s, then open the lid and check if they are open, take them out from the pan quickly and keep them on the side.