A thought came up this morning on the fact that Cinco de Mayo is on a Monday this year, and it’s a pretty good bet that it will be celebrated with much more vigor today, rather than tomorrow. So, it makes sense to me to make something to go with our Martini Sunday cocktails, this afternoon. So I’m going to make an old favorite~ Seafood Ceviche.
You’ll want fresh fish and shrimp
You’ll need several limes
I first remember having this back when I was in San Francisco. A few of us would get off work and sometimes go have a cocktail at some dive bar on Folsom Street, in the Financial District area. Ceviche would sometimes be available as an appetizer, served with a side of tortilla chips. I can’t remember the name of that bar to save my life, but I’ll never forget the wonderful flavors of ceviche, as a dip on those homemade chips. They remain to this day.
This is pretty easy to make, though it entails a bit of chopping. What’s nice is that the fish needs to sit in the lime juice for a while to “cook,” so you can step away from the kitchen for a while to do something else.
To serve four you’ll need:
about 1/3 to 1/2 pound of fish~ almost any kind will do, though firm is better (I used ono, here)
about ½ pound of shrimp~ peeled, de-veined, cooked, drained and cooled
Limes~ you’ll need about 3 to 5 of them, or enough to yield about ½ to ¾ of a cup…. This also depends on size of the limes, how juicy they are and how much ceviche you’re making. *sigh* So many factors, so little time. It really gets down to you need enough to cover the fish.
salt, to sprinkle on the fish, before pouring on the lime juice
½ red onion, diced fine
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced fine
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves pulled off of stems and minced
1 small clove garlic, minced fine
1 pinch oregano~ Mexican oregano is good, if available
½ cucumber~ peeled, seeded and diced
3 green onions, sliced thin crosswise
1-2 small tomatoes, diced and seeded as much as possible (or you can use several halved cherry tomatoes)
1 avocado, peeled and diced
more salt, to taste
Tortilla chips to serve with it
Dice up the fish and put it into a bowl. Sprinkle a bit of salt over it and mix it up so it gets integrated into the fish.
Lime juice should cover the fish
Pour the lime juice over it and mix it to make sure that all of the fish gets coated with it. Add the shrimp in and stir to coat that, as well.
Cover it with plastic wrap and put it into the refrigerator for at least four hours.
Give it a stir, once in a while
You should stir this periodically while it’s “cooking,” and you will gradually see the fish get whiter and more opaque over time.
Chop jalapeño and onion
Meanwhile, chop the onion and jalapeño pepper and put that into another bowl. I like to try to have things done ahead, so everything doesn’t seem so “last minute crazy,” so while the fish is in the fridge, I figure I might as well get the work out of the way.
Mince cilantro and garlic together to save time
Next, mince the cilantro leaves and garlic and add to the bowl with the onion and pepper.
Slice & dice cucumber and green onion
The cucumber can also be prepared and added, as well. The tomatoes and avocado will be added last, to preserve flavor and color.
When you are ready to serve, drain the lime juice out of the bowl with the fish.
Gently mix together, but save the tomatoes for last
There should still be enough acidic coating on it to help preserve the color of the avocado… it’s so much more appetizing when it’s green! Add in the contents of the small bowl with the prepared veggies and add the pinch of oregano. Gently combine into the fish.
Ready to serve
The tomatoes get added in last, mainly because if they are refrigerated, they really tend to lose their flavor. Once they are gently blended in, taste to adjust seasonings. The ceviche is ready to serve.
Spray, salt and bake
You can also make your own tortilla chips for garnish, if you want. It’s really easy. Simply cut tortillas into strips or wedges, (the strips are a nice garnish on salads) and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Lay the tortilla pieces on the sheet and give the tops a good spray with the cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and bake in an oven that’s been preheated to 400º. Toss them around a bit while they’re cooking and pull them out when they get crisp and start to turn golden. Allow them to cool, and they will get crispier.
Homemade tortilla chips
They are delicious!
Raise the Mexican banners high!
As the cucumber winks at the shrimp…
Have a Happy Early Cinco de Mayo, and I’ll be posting a favorite recipe tomorrow, that also works for Meatless Monday. Until then, be careful with those margaritas!