This week, I went with a pretty simple meal in ceviche.
The reasons for this are threefold.
One, the fan in my kitchen broke while remaining completely still – I suspect communist trickery; two, Cinco de Mayo was approaching rapidly; three the impending hell of a Bakersfield summer is bearing down upon our quaint hamlet.
As I write this, I realize that a pasty ginger making a Hispanic food may not be the most trustworthy source, so cut me some slack. With that in mind, let’s get to the recipe.
This is pretty much one of the best recipes you can attempt in the case of extreme pickiness, because almost everything is added to taste. Basically, you get to dictate exactly how much of each individual thing goes into the bowl.
I used a bunch of cilantro – minus the stems – a sliced cucumber, about two handfuls of chopped red onions, two tomatoes, a jalapeno – minus the seeds – and two pounds of shrimp. Do not forget to clean the shrimp prior to cooking them whether you let them soak in the lime juice or boil them for a quicker prep.
Aside from the main ingredients, you’re going to need enough salt to balance the bitterness from the cilantro and enough lime or lemon juice to sufficiently coat – cover if you prefer a lot of juice – your seafood. Possibly the best thing about ceviche is that almost any kind of seafood – the best kind of food – can just be tossed in and work spectacularly.
While some are more difficult than others to integrate, my favorite staples of the dish include shrimp, octopus and squid. In some parts of the world, ceviche is hailed as a miracle hangover cure as well, with the leftover broth – or nectar – being sold under the name tiger’s milk.
This may in fact be the case though, as many of the nutrients from the healthy combination of vegetables, juices and proteins involved is partially distilled into the mixture.
Ceviche is to Latin-Americans as pasta fagiioli is to Italians, so several hundred iterations of the dish exist, some never leaving the kitchens in which the recipes were created.