I believe that I’ve mentioned previously that I have spent some time in South America. While there I tasted ceviche for the first time ever – and boy was it yummy! Depending on who you talk to, ceviche may have originated in any one of several places, and currently many places have their own version of the dish. I was told by my Peruvian friend (that I met in Argentina) that I had to try this dish. So I went to the Peruvian restaurant (in Argentina where she was working at the time) and tried the ceviche. And I loved it. A few months later, I took a trip through Peru and ate ceviche at a couple different places while there. All very good. For this reason, I will always think of “authentic” ceviche as being from Peru. And there is a decent amount of evidence supporting Peru as well…
So the other night, Em and I decided to make some ceviche. And I wanted to make it “authentic”, that is, the way I remember it from Peru. And I think that we did a pretty nice job, in that it turned out mostly how I remembered it, and it also happened to be quite tasty.
The inspiration for the ceviche was two-pronged. On the one hand, I had actually bought some (frozen) scallops a little while ago, and we had used some, but still had plenty more to use. On the other hand, a good friend (who recently started his own food blog), mentioned that he had made some ceviche not long ago and was pretty pleased with how it turned out. These two things combined brought back lovely memories and tastes from (above mentioned) time in South America, and all of a sudden, we’re having ceviche for dinner!
The recipe and preparation for the dish was really quite simple. We thawed the scallops and also some frozen pre-cooked shrimp that we had, and marinated them in a lime juice and lemon juice mixture (mostly lime juice). After letting them marinade for a few hours, added in some salt, pepper, diced onion, diced orange and yellow sweet pepper, a tiny bit of chopped jalapeno, and lots of cilantro. We tossed all of these ingredients together and served with a side of mixed rice, black bean, and corn with some fresh salsa on top of that. [Note: If we wanted to be truly authentic, rice was not the worst side, but plantains probably would have been a more common side.]
The finished product was very nice. Ceviche is such a vibrant food – both in appearance and taste. You get some great color contrast with the whiteness of the scallops and shrimp with the pops from the colorful peppers, onion, and cilantro. The flavor as well is such a burst of fresh and bright, that you really can’t go wrong.
The scallops that we used were frozen, uncooked scallops that were really only about the same circumference as a nickel…so on the small side as scallops go. We used medium sized pre-cooked frozen shrimp that we cut into ~1/2inch pieces. The citrus acid actually acts as a cooking agent for the fish, though it’s not guaranteed to kill all bacteria. Again, we were very happy with how it turned out – bright, fresh flavors that brought back great memories and also a desire to get back down to South America just as soon as possible!
As Always: Eat. Be Happy.
This is one of the other dishes that we made with our scallops just a few nights before we decided to make our ceviche – scallops with a white wine sauce with carrot, onion, garlic, and basil, and then served over a bit of rice. This was also quite tasty!