In the waning days of summer, my thoughts turn to easy, cooling dishes that don't require heating up the stove, grill or oven. Ceviche is one of those type of dishes.
Although ceviche might be something you'd think you could find only in restaurants, it's actually very simple to make at home. Ceviche is raw fish and seafood which is "cooked" in an acidic liquid such as lime or lemon juice.
The citric acid in lime or lemon juice denatures the proteins in seafood, which make it look as though it's cooked. However, the seafood is not, technically, "cooked." The acidic marinade won't kill bacteria, unlike cooking with heat. So, it might be safer to use seafood or fish that was previously frozen or blast-frozen to minimize the risk of food poisoning.
That said, here is an easy, tasty recipe for shrimp ceviche.
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and patted dry
1 c. fresh lime juice (9-10 limes)
1/2 tsp. crumbled oregano, preferably Mexican
1 1/4 tsp. chile powder
1 tsp. salt
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded, and minced
1-2 Tbs. minced red onion
sliced avocado for garnish (optional)
Place the shrimp in a glass or ceramic bowl. Be sure the shrimp are dry. Pour in the lime juice.
Make sure that the shrimp are all submerged in the juice.
Refrigerate the shrimp for 12 to 15 minutes until they've turned pinkish and are no longer translucent. Any longer than 15 minutes and the shrimp will begin to toughen.
In a colander or strainer, strain the shrimp and discard the lime juice.
Place the shrimp in a clean glass or ceramic bowl and toss with the oregano, chile powder, jalapeno, salt and onion.
Chill before serving.
Photos by Ted Scheffler