Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ceviche


Ceviche is an amazing dish that people either love or hate.  I have found that if people love it, they are always on the search to find it and if they hate it, it’s for life.  Ceviche is one of those light and invigorating dishes that go great with a cold beer or margarita, some fried plantains and I’ve found, is an amazing hangover cure. 

My first real experience with ceviche was the first afternoon I ever spent in Costa Rica.  My husband, fianc√© at the time, and I were there visiting his father’s side of the family and we were getting married.  Jaime, my husband, had talked about how amazing it is for years, but you can’t really find it anywhere in the states.  I ordered a bowl for an appetizer.  It was light, lively, crisp, fresh, bright; it was like the best parts of summer in a bowl.  I was hooked.  No joke, I ordered a bowl of fish ceviche at every place we ate the entire trip and at one restaurant, even ordered seconds.  I must have had over 25 servings in that single week. 

I knew this was a special dish that I didn’t want to only have once a year when we went back to Costa Rica.  I learned how to make it the first week we arrived back in the states.  I could never find a lot of recipes, especially good ones, so I started by trying a few different techniques and eventually created my very own recipe that I never stray from.  I know how to make many different types of ceviche ranging from shrimp to scallop, various kinds of fish and mixed seafood varieties.  The following is my recipe for a firm, white fish ceviche.        



Ingredients
2 pounds any firm white fish fillets, I usually use tilapia
2 hot peppers, red or green
4 garlic cloves
4 large shallots
2 Roma tomatoes
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
15-20 limes
1 bunch of cilantro
1 teaspoon salt (optional)

Directions
Cut the fish fillets into bite sized chunks.  Place the raw fish pieces in a glass dish.  Remove the seeds from the peppers and finely dice.  Finely dice the garlic cloves, shallots, orange and yellow bell peppers and cilantro.  Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and finely dice.  Squeeze all 20 limes in a glass bowl.  Pour the lime juice into the bowl with the fish.  Add all of your diced ingredients; the peppers, garlic, shallot, tomatoes and cilantro, and give it a good stir.  Make sure all of the fish is covered with the lime juice.  Cover the bowl with saran wrap or a lid and place in the fridge for at least four hours.  When ready to serve, take out of the fridge, give it a good stir and serve in a glass bowl.  


Serving Suggestions
This makes a great appetizer to a meal of rice, beans and pork or is a wonderfully refreshing and light meal served with fried plantains or buttered bread.