Now here's a photo of the ceviche mixto I had at the fancy oceanside Costa Verde restaurant in Lima.
And here's my ceviche. Not quite so fancy, but pretty darn tasty for a first try. Below is the recipe I used (thank you Emeril).
- 3/4 pound very fresh white fleshed ocean fish, such as cod
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (about 2) minced serrano peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 1/2 cup small diced avocado
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 corn tortillas, cut into thick strips and fried until crisp
- Lime wedges
Cut the fish into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a glass dish with the lime juice. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain the fish and add the peppers, tomato, avocado, onion, cilantro, olive oil, and salt. Fold gently to mix. Serve with some fried tortilla strips, thick cut, garnish with lime wedges.
Yield: 4 appetizer portions
Of course, wine club was hosting some twelve or so people that night, so I tripled the recipe and then some buying 3lbs of cod at the fish market. I then carried the fish to the bar, because I'm not one to miss happy hour, where I stuffed it in the cooler behind the bar until later.
When I got home, I set to work dicing the cod. I quickly discovered that cod can be very, very full of bones. Not wanting to kill any of my wine drinking buddies, I dug into the cod one strip at a time and yanked out each and every bone. This took about forty five minutes and left flakes of cod buried deep under my fingernails. Thankfully, this was the hardest part (well, that and juicing eight limes by hand), and once I added the citrus and a splash of the canned pepper juice (per the suggestion of the gentleman who sold me the wine), the ceviche pretty much took care of itself. It was a hit at the party the next night!
So proud was I of my debut ceviche, I brought a little container along to the beach the next day to impress my foodie friend Dan. Now, I don't know if it was the walk carrying my fish to the bar where I stopped to shop for gift chocolates and nuts along the way. Or if it was the forty-five minute commute by bus lugging a cooler to the wine club meeting. Or maybe the little container of ceviche leftovers baking in the sun inside a sort-of-cool cooler at the beach. But maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised when Dan (and bless him for being such a good sport) hoisted a fork of ceviche up towards my nose to show me A WORM wiggling its way out of a chunk of fish. OMG. I've never seen something so disgusting come out of my own kitchen creation.
Apparently the ceviche really was good though, because after flicking the wormy piece of fish into the sand, Dan continued to eat what was left. What I lack in food sanitation sense, I just may make up for in taste.