Wednesday, August 17, 2011

shrimp and bay scallop ceviche

By Julie

So. Hot. Melting. Cats can't move. Cats panting (cute). Energy sapped. Kitchen an oven without oven being on. No possible way I'm cooking. Ceviche!

I wasn't going to do Jell-O no bake or anything. Or whatever the heck that is. This was my first time making ceviche. It had been one of those recipes that kept getting pushed aside for something else. It's really simple and has lots of possibilities. I started basic and no complaints at all. Ceviche's pretty ingenious, actually. I like scientific food mysteries. Like mayonnaise. Or lime juice cooking fish.

I learned a few things about ceviche when I was trying to find a recipe I wanted to use, and then when I actually made it. First, I don't know why so many recipes say to blanch the seafood. I understand that it takes a shorter amount of time to make, but why don't you just pan fry some fish and top it with a citrusy salsa? Second, if you want to eat ceviche for dinner the same day you make it, you should probably either allow more time for the fish to marinate than most stated 30 minutes - 2 hours, or you should cut the seafood into smaller pieces. Especially shrimp. Our shrimp did not seem to want to cook. Third, marinating for longer than 3 hours does not make shrimp or bay scallops tough and gross. It was just as delicious for leftovers. Fourth, you should make sure you leave a lime wedge or two to add to some beer (yes I like to drink beer out of tiny glasses because I sometimes get tired of drinking a whole one).

I also served this dish with some chopped mango and avocados. Plantain chips or homemade potato chips would be wonderful for scooping. But if it's 100 degrees like it is here and frying root vegetables sounds heinous, then the mango and avocado will be perfect. Denver is finishing up its (way too brief) monsoon season. We had almost 2 weeks straight of thunderstorms starting in the afternoon and continuing through the evening. It was AWESOME. The days would get still get hot, but would reliably cool off once the storms rolled in. And not only were the storms helpful with moisture and cooling, but they were so fun! So much great lightning and super loud thunder. Ugh, but now it's back to good old oven-house times.

shrimp and bay scallop ceviche
adapted from The Summer Shack Cookbook by Jasper White

12 ounces to 1 pound of bay scallops, fresh or frozen (thawed)
12 ounces to 1 pound of 31/40 count shrimp, fresh or frozen (thawed), peeled, cut in half width-wise
2 navel oranges
juice of 6 limes
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
1 small red onion, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Place scallops and shrimp in a large, nonreactive bowl.

2. Peel one orange and remove segments. Peel away the membranes of each segment and set aside. Break or cut the segments in 2 or 3 pieces and add to the bowl. Squeeze the membranes into the bowl to extract any juice and discard. Cut the second orange in half and squeeze juice into bowl.

3. Add the lime juice, scallions, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Press some plastic wrap flush against the surface of the ceviche to make sure the fish is submerged. Refrigerate for about 4-5 hours, tossing the fish a few times. If your shrimp looks like it's still raw, then marinate for longer.

Serve the ceviche in a bowl with generous helpings of the marinade, or Tiger's Milk (that name, ew) and top with mango, avocado, and extra cilantro if you want.

This was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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