March 14, 2011

Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Ceviche

ceviche 1

In this case, Ceviche de Pescado y Vieira.

Pronounced “Seh-vee-chay day pehs-cah-doe ee vee-ae-rah.”

Translates to “Fish and Scallop Ceviche.”

Commonly known as “Really Freakin’ Delicious.”

ceviche 3

As you may have guessed, I’m a bit of a ceviche fanatic. I’ve been making my own shrimp ceviche recipe from a Daisy Martinez cookbook for years now, but I’ve never tried ceviche made in the Peruvian style, which was why I was so excited that Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenged us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau and Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra. Obviously, I elected to try Ceviche de Pescado.

What really surprised me about this recipe and ever-so-deliciously pushed me out of my comfort zone was the cooking time*. In the past, I tended to let ceviche sit in the citrus juice overnight before serving, mainly because I am a slight germophobe who wanted to make sure that the fish was well cooked.

And yet I eat sushi all the time.

Rational thought is not my strong point.

*If you’re unfamiliar with ceviche, the fish is actually “cooked” by letting it sit in citrus juice (i.e. lemon, lime, orange, or a mixture of the three) for a length of time. Then it’s simply served and devoured. Quite a lovely system, no?

ceviche 2

Where was I?

Oh yes, ceviche cooking time. Rather than let it sit for eternity in its citrus marinade, I diligently followed the directions of the recipe provided (except for adding scallops, lemon juice, orange juice, and doubling the jalapeño) and let it “cook” for ten minutes.

Okay, twenty minutes. Old habits die hard.

The point is, after a very brief stint chilling out in the citrus juice, this ceviche came out spectacularly yummy. While my attempts at ceviche in the past had been pretty darn tasty, they also possessed a distinctively strong citrus bite, thanks to absorbing the juices for so long. In this case, the fish and scallops were not overpowered and the red onion, jalapeño, and cilantro were able to give them a great, subtle flavor. Not to mention how yummy they were paired with a hearty disc of roasted sweet potato.

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If you're interested in trying my particular version of this dish, just make the following changes:

  • Soak the fish in 3/4 cup lime juice (about 9 limes), 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons), and 1/4-ish cup orange juice (I eyeballed it).
  • Use double the jalapeño.
  • Chop the red onion, rather than slicing it.
  • Use 2 fillets of cod and about 8 ounces bay scallops.

All in all, I was thrilled with the results of this challenge. This dish is beautifully simple to put together, and if you can coerce someone else into squeezing all the limes (thanks Dad!), it’s really a snap. If you want to learn more about this month’s challenge, grab the basic recipes, or any of that jazz, here’s the whole information pack used by the Daring Cooks themselves.

11 comments:

  1. I love your presentation for ceviche...Beautiful! I can't wait to make this again using cod! Great job!

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  2. That looks spectacular. I mean, your photos are wonderful, which only makes it look better, but that ceviche looks so fresh and delicious. And your post was really fun to read, too. :) Glad you enjoyed the challenge!

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  3. I told my husband that it was supposed to be ready in ten minutes, but we always marinate it MUCH longer! Great job on the challenge!

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  4. Great photographs. I loved the ceviche too. I didn't make sweet potato with it but maybe I should have?

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  5. Yum, that looks delicious! Great job on this challenge!

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  6. Your photography is stunning the texture of the fish is perfect so creamy, and yes I agree with you 10-20 mins max is best for this dish. I like how you use a combination of lime, orange and lemon juice since all lime can be a bit strong and too sour for me. Great work.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  7. i am absolutely loving this dish's common name. ;)

    Looks sooo good!

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  8. What a great contrast with the color and flavor of the sweet potato. Or were those yams? I am always confusing the two.

    I bet it tasted wonderful.

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  9. I love scallops and your presentation is stunning. Great work on the challenge!

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  10. i looooove ceviche! great job bella!!!!

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  11. I don't even eat seafood, and this looks good to me! Great job... and good for you for getting out of your comfort zone!

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