I just love ceviche. For years, I was afraid to try it – I was concerned about getting sick somehow from eating raw fish or shellfish, even though it’s “cooked” in acid (lemon and lime juice), which probably kills pretty much all the pathogens that might be on it.
Then a couple of years ago, my friend Barbara and I went to visit our friend Liz in Colorado. Of course, Mexican food is very popular there, and we ordered ceviche one night at dinner. It was great! Tangy, spicy, with the sweet shrimp and savory cilantro. I fell in love. There’s a Peruvian restaurant in Norfolk called Imperio Inca that has some delicious ceviche, as an appetizer and a couple of dinner platters. I tried making it myself once, but we weren’t crazy about how it turned out.
Then last month, Liz had a gallery opening at the d’Art Center and a party at her house afterward, where she served homemade ceviche, which was fabulous. Well, now I had to try it again. After looking through my cookbooks, I found a wonderful recipe for it in Cook’s Illustrated’s The Best International Recipe. So I made it again, and it was deee-lish! I bought a bag of lemons and limes so I can make it again!
1 lb. large or extra-large shrimp, large sea scallops, fish fillets or a combination
1 tsp. grated zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup juice from 4 limes
1/2 cup juice from 4 lemons
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped fine (I used a red pimento pepper)
1 small jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
4 scallions, sliced thin
3 tbsp. cilantro, minced
1/2 tsp. sugar
Ground black pepper
If using shrimp, peel, devein and slice in half lengthwise (I also cut them into thirds). If using scallops, remove the side tendon and slice into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. If using fish, remove any bones and slice into 1-inch squares about 1/3 inch thick.
Stir the lime zest, lime and lemon juices, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic and 1/2 tsp. salt together in a bowl. Gently stir in the seafood, cover with plastic, and refrigerate until seafood is firm, opaque and appears cooked, 45-60 minutes (mine took about 75 minutes – the shrimp should be pink). Stir about halfway through marinating.
Place the mixture in a fine-mesh strainer, leaving it a little wet, then return it to the bowl. Gently stir in oil, scallions, cilantro and sugar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with tortilla chips.
This is another entry for Grow Your Own, the twice-monthly food blogging event started by Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes about a year ago, and hosted this month by Noob Cook. GYO celebrates the food we grow ourselves. The red pimento and jalapeno peppers came from our garden. And check out the tomato jam, also from our garden!