Surprisingly, these days are getting cooler and the hot days of summer seem to be fading away through the calm breeze of the evenings. I enjoy every season of the year, but somehow I am not ready for the hearty soups and stews that will be coming my way when Fall arrives in full blast, just around the corner. Berries, farm fresh vegetables and giant heirloom tomatoes are still present at the market, so I am taking advantage of them as much as possible before they are gone.
“Ceviche”, also called “cebiche” or “seviche”, is one of the dishes that I enjoy having in summer, even though the weather is starting to tell me otherwise. I had tried ceviche in different regions of Mexico, and the basics always apply: Fish, onion, tomato, chiles, cilantro and lemon. The most intriguing ceviche I had was in Chetumal, Quintana, Roo, it was a “Conch Ceviche”. When I saw the pulp "thing" coming out of the conch and my friend’s mom cutting it, I could not believe I would eat that “thing”, but hey! I was a guest and they were offering something special just for me. So, what should I do? Eat it! So I did eat the conch ceviche, and I liked it a lot and every time I went back to Chetumal, I always have Conch Ceviche. Live and learn.
Each region will have its own version using the fish or seafood available in the region. It all depends whether you are in the coast of the Golf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea or in the Pacific coast, but the results are similar.
Here is the typical ceviche recipe. You could use red snapper or sea bass. Or if you prefer you could use shrimp.
Makes 6 servings:
1 pound red snapper filets trimmed and cut in ½ in. cubes
¾ cup of lime juice, fresh preferable
salt to taste
1 medium size onion, finely chopped
3 chiles serranos or 1 large jalapeno, finely chopped
1 cup of cilantro, finely chopped
½ teaspoon or Mexican dried oregano crushed
2 large tomatoes , finely chopped
Now these are optional but they make a great ceviche
¾ cup pimento stuffed green olives, chopped
1 avocado cubed for garnish
4 Tablespoons of olive oil
Saltine crackers or fried tortillas chips to serve
First marinade the fish in a glass bowl with the lime juice and salt. Let it macerated in the refrigerator while you chop the rest of the vegetables. Drain the marinade from the fish bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, peppers, onion, cilantro and oregano. Taste and add salt if needed. Marinade for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.
To serve, fill small bowls or cups and garnish with the avocado and green olives.
If using the catsup and olive oil stir in before garnishing. The Tabasco sauce quantity will depend of everyone’s taste for spiciness.
Serve with crackers or tortilla chips.