4.23.2007

Ceviche!



I know, I know, it has been forever since the last post. Kitchen Monkey has been supremely busy with this law school business. Happily, the second year is almost over, and I am happy to say that Kitchen Monkey has found a job for the summer which should last into the final year of school--at a great firm in northern Virginia that does immigration, family, probate, and other types of law. I have had a growing interest in immigration law for the past year, so this should be very exciting.

On to the food . . .

I learned to make ceviche while working at a sushi restaurant. With all that beautiful raw fish around, it would be absurd not to offer the customers this amazing dish, no matter that it finds its origin in Peru rather than Japan. Many of you know the deal: the seafood is "cooked" by lime and/or lemon juice. I have tried many many versions, and if you look across the web's foodysphere you'll find dozens of different and sometimes conflicting recommendations. My version combines the traditional Mexican variation with a bit of my old sushi boss's own innovations as well as my own. For this meal I had some pita bread on hand and decided to make pita chips (simply brush with olive oil and toast in the oven) and they went fantastically with the ceviche. This is a ceviche to write home about.

Ceviche

(serves 4-6)
1/2 lb. of shrimp
1/2 lb. bay scallops
1/2 lb. grouper (monkfish and tuna also work nicely)
1/2 lb. conch or octopus (you can leave this out if you can't find it at your seafood market)
5 limes
2 lemons
1 orange
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro (chopped)
1/2 large red onion (chopped)
1 large tomato (chopped)
1 avocado (cubed)
1 jalapeno (sliced)

(1) If you use shrimp, be sure to steam them first, otherwise they will turn into an unappealing mush. Octopus and conch also need to be steamed before marinating. They may already be cooked when you buy them. The grouper, monkfish, and scallops however will "cook" in the marinade. If you use large shrimp, cut them into pieces about the size of the bay scallops. The grouper or monkfish should also be cut into that size as well.
(2) Squeeze all the citrus into a large bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
(3) Let it all soak for about an hour to an hour and a half. At this point I usually pour off the citrus mixture. Some prefer to marinade the fish for 24 hours, but I find that much of the great flavor of the fish is overpowered by the tanginess. Test the jalapeno for hotness. While I typically like hot foods, I like my ceviche with just a slight kick.

Serve in a large-mouthed wine class or small bowl, with pita chips! Amazing.

3 comments:

limorbh said...

Yay! You're back to cooking!!
I can't wait to be cooking with you again!

Barbara said...

The ceviche looks amazing! We make one using coconut milk and habanero pepper. Delish.

Red Icculus said...

The colors in your ceviche look amazing! Unfortunately, it reminds me of lutefisk when I lived in the frosty North.