Chef’s Corner: Ceviche, South America’s secret
Ceviche is seafood prepared in a centuries old method of cooking by contact with the acidic juices of citrus instead of heat.
The chemical process that occurs when the acid of the citrus comes in contact with the fish is similar to what happens when the fish is cooked, and the flesh becomes opaque and firm.
Ceviche is an old and best kept secret dish from South America. Its birthplace is disputed between Peru and Ecuador. Every Latin American country has given ceviche its own touch of individuality by adding its own particular garnishes.
In Peru, it is served with slices of cold sweet potatoes. In Ecuador, it’s accompanied by popcorn or corn nuts. In Mexico is served over a toasted tortilla with slices of raw onion.
Ceviche is refreshing and easy to make. It can be prepared as a meal or as an appetizer and served on a beautiful serving platter, a large glass dish or served individually in martini glasses.
Here is our version from the kitchen at Traditions on the Beach.
Seafood lemon ceviche
1/3 pound each of shrimp, scallop, squid rings and grouper
1 1/2 cups of lime juice
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1-2 Serrano chilies, seeded and minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 avocado diced
1-2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
In a large bowl, toss the seafood with the fresh lime juice, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until the meat becomes opaque. Stir several times. Add the seasoning, tomatoes and olive oil, stir well and refrigerate another hour. To serve, remove from the refrigerator and allow cooling so that the olive oil is not coagulated.
Spoon the ceviche on a bed of lettuce and sprinkle with the avocado, onion and cilantro on top. Enjoy!!
Recipe courtesy of Chef Aziz of Traditions on the Beach, 3111 West Gulf Drive in the historic Island Inn. For more information or to make a reservation call 239-472-4559 or visit www.TraditionsOnTheBeach.com.