Ceviche

My name is Fiona and I take bouquet tosses too seriously.

Last weekend I helped out at a wedding. I was there to set up and tear down. I was there to support my friends. I was there to make sure everything was on schedule and nothing caught on fire. I was not there to push bridesmaids out of my way or trample an innocent flower girl in a desperate attempt to catch the bride’s bouquet. Unfortunately, though, that’s exactly what I did.

And that wasn’t a one-time event. Last night I attended another wedding (I’m very popular, you know) and when the single ladies were told to line up behind the bride for the bouquet toss, I thought I had myself under control. I’ll just stand in my place and hold out my hands politely. After all, it would be rude not to participate. I will not run. I will not shout. I will not pull hair. I’ll just smile pleasantly and congratulate the girl who … And then it happened. The flowers left the bride’s hands and sailed towards us. Immediately my mantra flew out the window and was replaced by the overwhelming desire to charge. All efforts to suppress my animal instincts were futile and before I knew it I was standing sheepishly in a crowd of shell-shocked girls clenching a bouquet of red daisies in my white-knuckled hands.

Oops.

Anyway, I hear the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. So there it is. Out in the open. Thanks for listening, I feel much better now.

Now, on a completely different note, here’s a delicious and healthy recipe that is easy to prepare and makes a gorgeous summer appetizer: ceviche.

Ceviche is citrus-marinated seafood. Basically, you chop up a bunch of seafood and let it sit in some sort of citrus juice for a few hours, mix it up with whatever you want and eat it cold. The citric acid in the fruit juice causes the proteins in the seafood to become denatured (thank you, Wikipedia) and essentially cooks it without any heat. So next time you’re stranded on an island with only fish and limes, you can thank me for your civilized dinner menu … if you ever make it off the island and find an Internet connection.

My mom’s ceviche recipe is my absolute favorite – she adds mango which brings a nice sweetness to the dish. Here’s how it’s done:

All you need is some sort of seafood (we used tilapia and bay scallops), limes, tomatoes, mangoes, red onions, serrano chilies, and cilantro. Oh, and avocados if they’re in season. I forgot to include ours in the group shot.

First, chop up the fish and trim the connective muscle off the scallops.

Put the seafood in a dish with the chilies and lime juice. If your limes are tough, microwave them for 15 seconds to release the juice. Put this mixture in the fridge and allow the chemistry to do the cooking.

While that’s happening, chop up some red onion, tomatoes and mangoes.

After about 2-4 hours, the seafood should no longer be translucent and should look like this.

If it’s not ready, put it back in the fridge until it is. Then, drain the seafood add the chopped mangoes, tomatoes and onion to the mixture.

Mix it up and then add the cilantro and some chopped avocado if you can find a nice one. Season with salt and pepper and that’s it! Serve it in a nice glass with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, or eat it right out of the bowl.

P.S. It’s great with freshly fried tortillas, but what isn’t? Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 lb. bay scallops
  • Juice of 4-6 limes, or enough to marinade the fish
  • 2 serrano chilies, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1 handful of chopped, fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Dice the tilapia and trim the connective muscle off of the scallops
  2. Put the seafood in a dish with the serrano chilies and cover with lime juice
  3. Put mixture in the fridge for 2-4 hours, or until the seafood is opaque
  4. Once cooked, drain the seafood and mix together with tomatoes, onion, mango, avocado and cilantro.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  6. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and deep fried tortillas

Fiona

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3 responses to “Ceviche

  1. Fiona, your writing is engaging. Well done. I’m also very proud of your photography: excellent depth of field control, good focus, bright colors, nice tight cropping. I give you an A+. Everything looks very pro. Too bad I haven’t tried the recipe…but, seriously, I have my own ceviche recipe that I really like. Yours is more authentic. I cheat and use pre-cooked shrimp. Can you forgive me?

    • Mr. Conrad! Thank you! It’s my not-so-secret secret dream to be a photographer when I grow up. Oh, and I’ll definitely forgive you if you make me some to try …

  2. Pingback: Lamb Moussaka « Fiona Likes Food·

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