Latin Twist: Ceviche, Part III (a.k.a. Ceviche Limeño)

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Mis queridos amigos (my dear friends), first, in the spirit of practicing  what you preach (or my practicing what I preach!), I have to share with you the idea that recipes constantly evolve and develop. This is a good thing! Actually I learn so much from the people that enjoy my food (they always give me ideas), not to mention from the students in my cooking class–who always manage to come up with great serving suggestions and ideas.

And now back to the theme of this post: Ceviche, Part III. So, as I’ve mentioned, I became enamored with the citrus-cooked fish dish when I lived in Peru. Here—with this one—I’m going back to my ceviche roots! This recipe is for the kind of ceviches I most frequently enjoyed in Lima; it has the key elements of ají amarillo (now readily available in New Rochelle’s Viva Grande and other Latin markets) and red onion, as well as the green and red peppers. I also wanted to share my ceviche-for-cocktail party idea; here I serve this ceviche—as I’ve mentioned before—on a sliced cucumber. It’s a great all-in-one appetizers…and it’s clean and fresh. (JUST returned from doing a party for 60 and we served salmon ceviche—which I posted here last week—and it was a HUGE hit!) Hope you like this one! ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

Ceviche Limeño

Adapted from Mambo Mixers,©2005,   Arlen Gargagliano

Makes 8 to 10 servings

1 red onion, julienned

1 celery stalk

1 red pepper, finely diced

1 green pepper, finely diced

1 teaspoon ají Amarillo (available in jars in Latin American markets) or to taste

Juice of 15 limes (about 1 1/2 cups)

Coarse sea salt,  according to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, plus another for garnish

2 pounds sashimi-quality red snapper, skinned and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

Cucumber for serving (optional), sliced on the diagonal

Combine all ingredients (except the coarse salt, cilantro, and fish) in a large glass bowl and mix well.  Add the fish and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the fish starts to turn opaque on the outside. Add salt and stir. Spoon atop sliced cumber OR into martini glasses, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.

By the way, here’s a photo of salmon ceviche from  last week’s Latin Twist post , here displayed on cucumbers, on a bamboo tray, as served in the cocktail party I did on Thursday night! Presentation, my friends, is almost as important as the flavors you are sharing.

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About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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