Friday, August 1, 2008

summer ceviche

This was going to be part of our picnic dinner last night when we went to hear the National Symphony Orchestra play Beethoven's 9th Symphony under the stars...but given the state of our stomachs this week we went with frozen lemonade smoothies instead. Beethoven sounded just as sweet without the ceviche, however, tonight we're giving it another shot.

Ceviche has many forms, but nearly all involve citrus-marinated seafood. In traditional recipes, marinating the seafood in the citrus actually cooks it. You can use basically any type of fresh fish, but this is a take on my mother-in-law's famous Ecuadorian style ceviche de camoron.

Summer Ceviche

1 red onion, sliced into very thin rings
1 large tomato, cored and diced
1 medium avocado, diced
1 lb. cooked shrimp, tails removed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (you can substitute parley for the cilantro if you prefer the taste)
1/4 cup lemon-lime seltzer (my mother-in-law uses Sprite instead)
juice from 1 medium orange
juice from 4 limes
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup of ketchup (or vegetable cocktail, like V8)
splash of Tabasco sauce (optional)

-place thinly sliced onions in a bowl, toss with enough salt to cover the onions completely, and chill for a minimum of 20 minutes
-combine ketchup/V8, seltzer, orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, and tabasco (if using)
-when onions have been chilled rinse off all the salt and add to the liquid mixture
-add the rest of the ingredients, stir lightly, and let chill (20 minutes will do, but the longer the better to let the flavors really blend)
-serve cold

Don't be intimidated by the odd mix of ingredients. All the strong flavors blend beautifully for a perfectly refreshing summer dish. It has been a hit everytime we've served it.


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