By Anna Dantoni –
Ceviche creations using the fruits and vegetables of summer are exactly what you want on your menus this month. Ceviche is ideal for al fresco dining because a classic ceviche does not involve cooking and ceviche is beautiful – full of color and appetizing textures. And ceviche tastes light and refreshing. Your could do three different courses of ceviche or do a large ceviche as an entree with a side of salad and a fancy bread. And, of course, ceviche works as an appetizer.
A classic dish of Spain and Peru, ceviche is a recipe that calls for raw seafood that is marinated in citrus juice and seasoned with onions, herbs, fruits of the season, peppers and herbs. Today, nearly all nations have embraced ceviche and cooks use local ingredients to make tasty regional dishes.
Many home cooks and restaurant chefs like to serve ceviche in martini glasses. It makes a stunning presentation. But, you can use small shallow bowls too. Ceviche can be a bit expensive depending upon the kind and quality of seafood and ingredients you use. It’s certainly on the high-end of the appetizer menu in restaurants. But it’s so delicious that most cooks and diners believe that the quality justifies the price. Here are some recipes for ceviche creations to brighten your summer table.
Tuna and Mango Ceviche
(from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan Serves 4.)
1 large mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 12 inch cubes
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into ½-inch cubes.
1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced, rinsed and patted dry
2 quarter-sized slices fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 small red chile pepper, minced
½ pound sushi-grade tuna, cut into ½-inch cubes
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white rum
Tabasco to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Finely grate the zest of both limes into a medium bowl. Cut one of the limes crosswise in half and cut out section of fruit from the membranes from one half. Cut the segments into very small cutes. Toss the fruit into the bowl and squeeze the juice from the other half of the lime into the bowl. Add the mango, avocado, onion, ginger, chile and tuna and stir everything together very gently with a rubber spatula. Squeeze juice from the remaining lime into a small bowl and whisk in the olive oil and rum. Season with Tabasco, salt and pepper and pour the vinaigrette over the tuna mixture, again stirring lightly. Cover the bowl and chill for one hour. At serving time, adjust the salt, pepper and Tabasco. Serve immediately, garnished with a few cilantro leaves.
Spicy Snapper Ceviche
(from Chef Rick Bayliss, award-winning chef, restaurateur and cookbook author.)
1 pound fresh, skinless snapper cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 cups fresh lime juice
1 medium white onion, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium-large tomatoes (about 1 pound), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Fresh hot green chiles (2 to 3 serranos or 1 to 2 jalapeños), stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
Tostadas, tortilla chips or saltine crackers, for serving
In a 1 1/2-quart glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the fish, lime juice and onion. Use enough juice to cover the fish and allow it to float freely; too little juice means unevenly “cooked” fish. Cover and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until a cube of fish no longer looks raw when broken open. Drain in a colander.
In a large bowl, mix together the tomatoes, green chiles, cilantro, olives and optional olive oil. Stir in the fish and season with salt, usually about 1/2 teaspoon. Add the orange juice or sugar. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately. Just before serving, gently stir in the diced avocado.
Make Ahead Working ahead: The fish may be marinated a day in advance; after about 4 hours, when the fish is “cooked,” drain it so that it won’t become too tangy. For the freshest flavor, add the flavorings to the fish no more than a couple of hours before serving.
Serving Options: Place the ceviche in a large bowl and let people spoon it onto individual plates to eat with chips or saltines; spoon the ceviche into small bowls and serve tostadas, chips or saltines alongside; or pile the ceviche onto chips or tostadas and pass around for guests to consume on these edible little plates. Garnish the ceviche with cilantro leaves before serving.
Refreshing Watermelon Shrimp Ceviche
(from Jackie Dodd. Serves 4)
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons diced fresh jalapeños, seeds removed
1-1/2 cups raw shrimp, chopped (shell and tail removed)
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice
3 cups watermelon, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
Corn chips and Boston lettuce leaves for serving
In a large bowl mix together the bell pepper, onion, cilantro, jalapeño, shrimp and lemon juice. Refrigerate and allow shrimp to “cook” in the citrus until opaque, about three hours. Add the watermelon, salt, pepper and Sriracha, stir to combine. Serve with lettuce or chips.