Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ceviche Ceviche!!

Ceviche & Tostadas on the terrace of mi casa (Summer 2012)

I have a bit of a confession to make.  I am totally addicted to Ceviche! 
It is one of those dishes that in the summer months I can't seem to get enough of, 
and in all other seasons, are the flavors I deeply crave.
Perhaps it is the combination of flavors that are accentuated so well together:
The freshest of fish, the red onion, the jalepeno (or habenero if you're lucky), 
the avocado, the tomatoes, the cilantro and THE LIME!!
Traditional Mexican Ceviche with Snapper
There's so many types of Ceviche that make my mouth water!
There's Peruvian accompanied by citrus and corn,  
Chilean with garlic, chilies & mint
and Cuban made with mahi mahi or squid!  
Equadorian is langostinos based combined with flavors of citrus, chocio (corn salad)  
and overall is a bit on the sweeter side, since there is some sugar added!
Then there's Costa Rican with marlin, shark & hot tabasco! 
Mexican (my top choice) is with shrimp, crab or tuna, citrus, avocado and hot peppers...
all-in-all a little bit of everything in one bite! 
 And mustn't forget the Hawaiian - which has some of my most craved flavors
 of Coconut and even Pineapple. Yum!

The experience transports me from city living to dream locations such as...
Mamita's Beach Club, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

But one great thing about Ceviche is that the preparation process is always simple!
It typically involves a marinade in citrus juices which actually "cooks" the seafood 
 quite a bit because of the acidity.  
It is always recommended to use the freshest of seafoods and you can always par-boil the fish and then blanch it for extra caution to ensure that no bacteria remains.
And I bet you're wondering how long a typical Ceviche takes to cook?  
 I usually suggest marinating fish in the citrus juices for up to 3 or 4 hours. This all depends upon the type of fish however (some fish "cook" quicker or longer in acidity than others). 

My favorite presentation is always in a trophy of a martini glass with crispy tortillas...

 And one of my top go-to Ceviche haunts in New York City is Lima's Ceviche Bar down on Christopher Street.  My favorite must-haves are the Ceviche Misto (just your traditional Mexican ceviche simplified & so refreshing
and the Lobster Ceviche (total creamy decadence just the way I like it!)...

Lima's Ceviche Bar, 122 Christopher St (@ Bedford St.), NYC

The Lobster Ceviche...heaven on a plate.

Here is one of my most favored, easy to make, go-to recipes of Ceviche enjoyment & great for when entertaining!    
Recipe below serves 2.  Duplicate the measuring for larger servings.

Mexican Halibut & Shrimp Ceviche


1/2 lb halibut fillet & 1/2 lb shrimp (peeled and de-veined).
5 -6 limes (Enough Juice to cover fish)
1/2 cup diced fresh tomato
1/2 green pepper, sweet, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or *maldon salt (*my favorite, must try!)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano (mexican oregano is the best! Can be found at Williams-Sonoma!)

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (or more to suit your taste)
1/2 small - medium red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup of fresh squeezed Grapefruit juice
1 dash Tabasco sauce
lettuce leaf (to line serving bowls - optional)
avocado, sliced or cubed (optional)

Preparation & Cooking instructions:
1Clean & Dice the fish & peeled shrimp (approximately 1/2-inch dice)
2Marinate fish in the lime juice in the fridge for 3 - 4 hours, or longer if desired (this step cooks the fish).
3Stir occasionally.
4. Pour off most of the lime juice (just leave it moist).
5. Add remaining ingredients except lettuce, avocado and grapefruit juice. Do this preferably an hour or up to a few hours before serving & refrigerate.
6. Toss well and arrange in individual serving bowls or martini glasses that are lined with the lettuce leaves (optional)
7. Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of grapefruit juice to each individual serving to give it an extra citrus kick.
8. If you wish garnish with sliced or cubed avocado, a lime wedge and tortilla chips.
9. Serve immediately & chilled.

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