So my love for ceviche is apparent in any restaurant I go and see it on the menu. I literally stop reading the rest of the menu and order my ceviche. If further hunger pangs insist on tormenting my brain, then I look at the menu again.
Lately though, I’ve been disappointed by the ceviche I was served in two prominent Atlanta fish restaurants. So I ventured out to make my own, determined to get all flavors gelled before serving it, and also was looking to give it a twist. (not particularly fond of cilantro… love all herbs, cilantro…hmmm not on that list.)
We are lucky to have Buford International Farmers Market right here in Atlanta, where I can be lost for hours and hours, studying the mystery fruits, veggies, roots, fish, frogs, and all sorts of creatures… I love observing the people who come from every corner of the planet. Most of them in some traditional dress, or at least an accessory; speaking so many different languages, you’d think you are in the UN cafeteria. I’m also guilty of staring at their shopping carts to see what they bought, and if it’s something completely unknown to me, (and if they speak any of the languages I speak) I ask them what it is, and how they plan on eating it..
Photo by Zenocracy© 2012
Photo by Zenocracy© 2012
Long story short, I jumped in the car, and took the 30 minute drive to the market to find products for my inspiration: it came from the beaches of Cabo San Lucas.
In the hot lazy summer days, while lying on the beach, the foreign tourists are being spoiled rotten! Besides having your extended bar with service all the way out on the beach, you also get constant visits from traveling salesmen and women – pottery, scarfs, dresses, jewelry, sunglasses, traditional dancers who perform on the beach, and last but not least – the fruit man!
Oh I loved the fruit man! He would come, dressed in his white clothes, carrying his table on his shoulder. And the table would be the display case for dozens of fruit which found their stabbing death on spear-looking devices along the table. There were ripe mangoes, bright orange papaya, red juicy watermelon, fragrant cantaloupe and of course limes. He cuts them up in front of you, places them in a bowl, squeezes an entire lime all over the bowl, and then (if you are brave) he sprinkles the whole thing with lots and lots of chilli powder! OMG! What freshness! And the chilli zing is just enough to make you feel the spice, but surprisingly, make you feel cooler. Just what you need in the tropical heat of Cabo!
Dreaming of my Cabo bowl, I headed for the Buford Market, to get inspired for my ceviche.
So I bought:
1 Guava fruit
2-5 Mexican organic mangoes (depending on the size you buy more or less of these)
1 pink grapefruit
2-3 blood oranges
2-5 avocados (preferably softer as you will need to use them right away)
1/2 lb large organic lemons
1/2lb large organic limes
1 – 2 large red onions
1-2 red and yellow peppers
3-5 jalapeno peppers
1lb large wild caught shrimp (fresh never frozen)
1/2 lb tuna fresh (if possible)
at home i had
I honestly didn’t use any measurements besides kind of assessing the space i have in the bowl that I will be using the ceviche.
First, I start by juicing at least 3 lemons and 3 limes. Followed by cutting up one or two oranges and the grapefruit in slices w/out the fiber (you need to watch Andrew Zimmern‘s technique here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTuOjXXqQJ4) now that you have a fragrant bowl of juices and fruit, drop your tuna pieces in there to marinate while you are cutting up the rest of the fruit.
I added a pinch of cinnamon, some curry, sea salt, honey, and chilli powder
Using your hands, incorporate all the tuna into the fruit and juices.
Take the pineapple and slice half of it in chunks (small enough to spoon or to attach to a fork together with some other tasty pieces from the ceviche)
The shrimp – I personally don’t like them raw, so i drop them for a minute in boiling veggie stock to just turn pink and then scoop them out and drop in the ceviche bowl.
Now come the rest of the fruit – the papaya, the guava and the avocado – slice, remove stones and then chunk or chop in bite sized pieces. Add as much or as little of these as you please.
Don’t forget your veggies (which I admit I initially forgot and am adding now) the peppers, the jalapenos, and the onion – they all bring that savory/sweet taste balance that makes the whole thing so delicious!
Make sure that you have filled your bowl but not all the way to the top, as it will make it difficult to mix and incorporate.
Keep washing your hands and using them to mix and coat everything in the delish tropical juice that has by now filled up your kitchen with amazing tropical fragrance.
I love parsley and mint, so instead of the ceviche staple the cilantro, which i don’t particularly care about, I take some parsley and mint and chop to add to the ceviche at the end.
photo by Zenocracy© 2012
WHAT TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE FRUIT:
ONE VERY TASTY SANGRIA!!! take all the fruit that is left over and instead of wrapping and refrigerating, (which is another name of letting it rot in cooler temperatures) just throw in a punch bowl and then pour your favorite (not super expensive) red wine.
If you refrigerate both bowls for about an hour, you’d have one fruity party!
Play some flamenco music, light up some candles, and you are in business!