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Guest Feature: A delicious meal for a hot day: Jessica’s Ceviche!

July 26, 2010
Today’s Guest Feature comes to you from one of my oldest friends, Jessica. I first met Jessica on an Honors trip to Italy the summer before our freshman year at Texas A&M. The trip basically took a coed group of around 20 incoming National Merit Scholars to Italy and unleashed them on the population of a teeny, tiny Italian town outside Florence. Needless to say, much food was eaten, wine consumed, and lifelong friendships established. Jessica was one of the first people “my own age” I ever knew to properly prepare a steak, a margarita, and a made-from-scratch pie…so I trust her cooking skills. Jessica’s got a great recipe here for those days (ahem: all of them, so far) when it’s just too hot to cook. Enjoy! (PS, captions by Cupcake)

Fishing rod optional.

Now that the weather has warmed enough to cook eggs on the pavement, I’ve decided that we’re going to go ahead and call it “summer” whether or not we’ve gotten to the summer solstice.  That being said, in the heat of the summer, I rarely feel like spending large amounts of time in front of a hot stove that will leave residual heat in my small, poorly insulated, highly air-conditioned house.  I much prefer to grill outside (preferably once the prime heat of midday has begun to subside) or cook things that require absolutely no heating at all.  I’m also a huge fan of fresh produce and, during the summer months, some of my favorite things are at their best for the cooking.  The combination of these factors has inspired me to share with you one of my newest favorite summer meals: ceviche!

For the ingredients, just whip down to your neighborhood massive fishing boat and catch one of these dainty ENORMOUS FISH.

I had the good fortune of catching a school of mahi mahi on a deep sea fishing trip in Cabo.  Obviously, that gives me a definite advantage in the fish department for this recipe – however, any sturdy white fish should work just fine.  You’ll dice up about a pound of fish into bite-sized chunks.  Combine the fish with a plentiful amount of lime juice (enough to cover the fish in the bowl), and a good helping of oregano (the recipe says 1.5 tsp, but I like to eyeball it personally).  Add a healthy “sprinkle” of salt to the mixture and put everything in the fridge.  You’ll chill it while it “cooks” for about 50 minutes to an hour; basically, you want the fish to become opaque and appear to have a consistency similar to what it would if you had baked or steamed it – definitely still moist, but cooked.

Nice, neat piles are the key to a successful ceviche.

While the fish is cooking, dice up your fresh veggies (onion, jalepenos, cilantro).  I really love the flavor of jalepenos and cilantro, so I tend to go a bit heavier on those two.  I also think zucchini goes pretty well with just about anything during the summer (that’s probably just because I really like the stuff).  So while I don’t recommend you add it to the ceviche, I also slice up a bunch to saute quickly as a side dish.

Fish "cooking" in lime juice.

Once the fish appears “cooked,” strain out most of the lime juice and return it to the bowl.  At this point, you’ll add in your chopped onion, jalepenos, and cilantro.  If you happen to be into coconut, it’s pretty delicious to add in a generous helping of unsweetened shredded coconut (toasted or untoasted, your call) – but I get that not everyone is into that.  Mix everything together and season with salt to taste.  Put the mixture back in the fridge and let it continue to chill until nice and cold (minimum of 20 minutes, maximum of hours).

Ready for the fridge!

For the aforementioned zucchini, I heat a saute pan with a generous dash of olive oil, some chopped garlic and a sprinkle of salt before tossing in the zucchini.  I’ll toss in some fresh ground pepper and a dash more salt to taste as I saute.  The zucchini doesn’t take long at all – you want it to be hot, golden, and slightly browned while still being firm and maintaining the gorgeous green.


I’m a fan of ceviche over rice – so for serving demonstrations, I’ve made rice.  I’m guessing everyone knows more or less how to make rice, so I won’t bore you with details.  I use a mini-rice-cooker that is adorable and speedy out of personal preference and a general tendency to forget about the rice while it cooks thus burning the bottom into one giant rice cake.

It's cute, and perfectly portioned!

The ceviche would also be great served as a “dip” with hearty tortilla chips, made into tacos, or just eaten by itself.

Ready to serve!

This whole meal doesn’t require a significant amount of “active” cooking time on your part, so it’s great when you’ve got other things going on.  It does take a while to “cook” the fish, so don’t expect it to be ready instantly, but it’s cool, refreshing, and light for those hot summer days.  Also, extremely healthy, if I do say so myself.  Enjoy!!

Cupcake's looking for her fork...

One Comment leave one →
  1. Vanya permalink
    July 29, 2010 6:05 pm

    Gracias, Jess, me encana ceviche. You ladies are lovely. Portanse bien!

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