While at an Italian neighborhood fund raiser that featured mostly professional kitchen fare, we happened upon one of the most delicious things I ever put in my mouth concocted by Billy. The reason I don't know any more about him is that he wasn't there. He just donated two large vats of his creation and let the teenage volunteers serve it, so it took a few experimental attempts, but this is pretty close to what had us circling back again and again to Billy's creation. The simplicity, crispness and melding of all the ingredient flavors can be made year round. The one caveat is that the lime civiche treatment takes at least a day to accomplish its magic of tenderizing the seafood and linking all the ingredients' subtle and beautifully balanced contributions. —MBR
Smallish calamari tubes
21-25/lb raw shrimp thawed and cut in thirds
In a medium sauce pan, bring the vermouth and water to the simmer and add the calamari tubes. As soon as they start to shrink (45 seconds to a minute), turn and simmer another 30-45 seconds. Remove with slotted spoon to a medium bowl to cool. The tubes will be opaque, just barely cooked and still a bit rubbery.
Now add the chopped shrimp to the pan and let simmer for a couple minutes just until all sides start to turn pink. Again, the shrimp will be just barely cooked and will be brought to perfection with the overnight lime ceviche treatment that follows. Reserve the reduced cooking liquid.
Using your sharpest knife, slice the cooked calamari as thinly as possible and then combine with the rest of the ingredients except the lime and toss gently. Juice half the lime, toss gently, cover and refrigerate 24 hours.
2 hours before serving, juice the other half of the lime, toss gently and adjust the seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve along with a simple romaine salad with light vinaigrette and crusty baguette.