Por fin, una receta de Latino America!! And finally, I have succeeded to hop back on the Daring Cooks Challenges train!! And what a great challenge for the return!! I LOVE CEVICHE!!! I love the sourness, the spicy kick and the delicious taste of the sea.
Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenges us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra.
This is the second time I have ever made ceviche. Each time, I get one step closer, but alas there is still a little way to go.
The first time I attempted to make ceviche was when I was home for Christmas break in Greece, and I wanted to introduce my family to a little Latin flavor. I used J’s family authentic Peruvian recipe, but I made the mistake of using salmon and leaving it to cook for too long. Salmon has too distinct of a flavor that it interferes and blocks all the other tastes from developing. At the same time, I left the salmon to marinate in the flavors for well over 12 hours, by which time the acid had crept all the way through the fish and hardened it!
This time, I used cod… and no it was not the legendary Nobu Black Cod! It was plain, good supermarket quality cod that was caught and packaged with the sole intention of starring in the English typical fish & chips, rather than the more exotic and tropical ceviche I had set my hopes on. To add to that, I still had my insecurities about over “cooking” it, that I only left it for 15 minutes and the flavours developed enough for a Gringo* to enjoy it thoroughly, but nothing a Peruvian would flinch at. Unfortunately, I missed my chance to try it from the master himself (J’s Papa), over the Christmas holidays, because I was too busy enjoying his perfect Pisco Sours!!! (*I use the term Gringo here for anyone who is not native to this dish, and is not born knowing what it is authenically meant to taste like, because the taste for me was great, but J politely snobbed it :))
Also, we realized half way through enjoying our ceviche that we had aji all along, but by that time all we could do was slather the remaining portion with it, as if it was Sriracha! I will be back soon having perfected it and share the glory with you. If, however, you have any tips or pointers for me, please do not be shy and leave a note!!
- 1 lbs. (1/2 kg) firm white fish (red snapper)*
- 1 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1/2 chili pepper, minced (or peppers can sub)
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice (between 3-4 limes)
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large ear of corn
- Salad Greens (Arugula, Watercress & Spinach)
- Boil sweet potato and corn. Allow to cool.
- Wash and trim your fish. Slice into pieces 1 inch (3 cm) cube pieces.
- Place fish in a non-reactive, shallow pan in a thin layer. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine lime juice, chili pepper, coriander and garlic. Pour mixture over fish. Stir lightly to expose all the fish to some of the lime juice mixture.
- Put sliced onion on top of fish, allow to cook. Depending on your personal preference you can leave it from 15 minutes to overnight, I left mine for 30 minutes this time.
- Lift fish out of the lime juice and plate individual portions, garnishing with salad, slices of sweet potato and cut ear of corn.
* It is important to use high quality, really fresh fish. The better your fish, the better your ceviche!
P.S. Keep the juice from the ceviche or “Leche de Tigre” (Tiger Milk) with the intense lime sourness, soft fish taste and chilly kick to cure a hangover! (Orrrr dip your bread into)