We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am gonna make us some. Maybe some Margaritas too, if I can find my lost shaker of salt...
Life has taught me at least one thing: have your Margaritas on the weak side and life will go better. Especially with bathtub-sized ones like the above, in Cabo last March.
Here's a good ceviche recipe. (It is "ce-BEE-chay.") All I would say about it is to make it 1/2" to 1" cubes, add some chopped garlic to the mix - not too much - and forget the parsley. It has to be fresh cilantro. Red onions, not white. Some carrot slivers are fine, too, to add some crunch but no cucumber, please. Avocado and orange slices for garnish, and definitely a bowl of chips. 2-4 hours marinating in the fridge - no more, no less. Some people quickly -20-30 seconds - blanch the seafood first, but it certainly is not necessary and I never do it. My local fish market has the freshest.
My family and I could live on this stuff, in the summer. Fork, and a spoon to finish off those delicious cool fishy juices.
What fish? Well, as I reported in March, Spanish Mackeral (Sierra) is the best for ceviche but you have to go out and catch that yourself. However, any salt-water firm-fleshed (ie not sole or things like that which would turn to mush) white-fleshed fish will do, as long as very fresh. Bay or Sea Scallops are a good addition, and I have had it made with just scallops. I don't think it needs shrimp, but a few whole shrimp in the mix works fine for a garnish. It's supposed to be about the raw fishiness. Too much hot pepper distracts from that, but too little is no fun at all.
Mahi Mahi, Fluke, Shark, Sea Bass all good. I've heard of ceviche-starved Yankees using Cod and Haddock. Maybe I'll give it a try because I love that Cod.
For an appetizer, you can put it in a little bowl on some lettuce like a normal seafood salad, but I like it as a meal. There are very few cold dinners tastier than this.
I've enjoyed the Ecuadorian version, which can be made with shrimp, when I was in Quito. Apparently, in the version typical of Peru these days, the marination time is very short, only a few minutes rather than a few hours. I guess this makes it similar to the Tahitian dish called poisson cru, which I have enjoyed many times. Wikipedia claims this is similar to Hawaiian poke, but it is not. They are different.
In my post baccalaureate tour of Andean countries from Colombia to Bolivia, I concluded that Peru had the best cooking. Ceviche definitely was one of the reasons for my decision.
I imagine that Bird Dog stayed at a high-end place for his ceviche. I ate and slept at cheapo places, and even the cheapo places in Peru had ceviche.
I don't believe I saw potatoes in ceviche in Peru, but potatoes are hard to avoid in Peru. Potatoes or sweet potatoes are found as side dishes with ceviche in Peru, somewhat like fish and chips. Also yucca.
The good thing about eating ceviche in Mexico is you can walk into the pharmacy and buy your antibiotics without a prescription. Also albendazole, mebendazole and pyrantel pamoate, praziquantel, tinidazole, metronidazole and nitazoxanide.
Amen. I flew Connies and DC-6s all over Central and South America in the '50s-'60s. Staying well was paramount. On layovers, we dined on well cooked beef, well cooked potato dishes, and drank certain brands of bottled water. That was it. Anything else we considered very risky. We caught up on fishies, veggies and such when we got home. It might be safer today, but change in latin america has always been slow.
I wish I had the recipe, but the best ceviche I ever had was a Mexican version made with orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, cilantro, red onion, shrimp, fish, and yes, a little sugar (of all things). Maybe they used commercial orange juice or something. Anyway, it was unbelievably wonderful. I'd be buried in it.
I was originally taught an old Mexican recipe that entails marinating overnight, then dumping the first marinade (removing extracted blood and fish oil) before adding more lime juice, garlic, tomatoes, onion, chiles and cilantro. Avodacos are an option. I know lots of folks won't take the time, but the prolonged pickling time has its benefits; the proteins get completely denatured and the fish gets flaky, which can make a difference to timid or sushi-averse diners. I think of it as "Mexican Flag" ceviche because of the colors.
As to variations, I concur on the jicama. In addition, leave out the chiles and throw in some capers, sun-dried tomatoes and a couple of glugs of olive oil.
I've got a Peruvian friend (who's of the "brief simmer" school) who made a sensational salmon ceviche. He mixed orange and lime juice for the marinade and added thinly sliced fennel bulbs. He served it with small sections of steamed corn on the cob. Very memorable.
best way to ruin any fine dish, especially good ceviche: add cilantro. That whiff of armpit of dirty summer t-shirt. A real shame the way it's spreading; people are even ruining good black bean soup these days. Sheesh.