Ceviche Spells Florida

Nothing spells Florida like Ceviche!  This post is totally inspired by another blogger, a great and knowledgeable Odedi from Odedi’s Wine Review, who kept mentioning this and that wine with tuna ceviche. It finally got to the point where I said that there was no such thing and promised to prove it. It’s not my fault – Odedi, you made me do it!

miami-21866

This is our little island, Miami Beach. Under each awning there is a restaurant that serves ceviche, and each one claims that it’s the only true ceviche, and everything else isn’t. So sure, go ahead with your tuna, you are no different from Ocean Drive restaurateurs! Incidentally, you are looking at News Cafe, of tragic Gianni Versace assassination notoriety. That does not stop hordes of tourists from sampling Florida cuisine, and no one is better to speak of Florida cuisine than the two famed chefs, Norman Van Aken and Allen Susser.

Norman Van Aken disputes the Peruvian origin of ceviche which seems to be a common belief. One of the Floridian legends – and we have many! – is that it was invented by the Incas who marinated their fresh catch in tumbo (or tombo) fruit juice and sent it up to the Emperor’s castle that was high up in the mountains. Tumbo is a kind of passion fruit which is not as sour as a citrus, but citruses were unknown in South America at that time. Freshly marinated raw fish was delivered by relays of runners, each of whom, I am sure, would be a successful Olympic Games competitor, to keep the fish from spoiling.

Maybe not so, says Chef Van Aken (www.foodrepublic.com).  Maybe Peruvians got it from the Polynesians who came to pre-Columbian Peru from their Pacific island homes where they’d had marinated raw fish all along. Yet another food scholar,  Juan José Vega, claims that Moorish slaves, brought to the New World by the Spanish conquistadores,  carried North African lemons with them, planted them, and started marinating both fish and meat in lemon juice. The new technique was called Sey-vech, thus ceviche was born. Regardless, at this point in time, ceviche is firmly entrenched in everybody’s minds as a gem of Latin cuisine, with every country proudly proclaiming a “classic ceviche” recipe.

The classic Colombian recipe, preferred by Chef Allen, as he is fondly called by thousands of his fans, uses red snapper. He explains that it holds the shape well which is important not only for the visual appeal, but also to marinate evenly (www.foodandwine.com).  I follow his opinion, so I had to wait until my husband got me a red snapper.

Ukha 2.jpg

Do you see the teeth on this guy? I thought he brought me a piranha! But no, it’s a genuine hog snapper, and there is actually a popular chain of ceviche and sushi restaurants by that name in South Florida. The restaurants are not kosher, unfortunately, but the fish is. My husband cleaned, skinned and boned, and filleted it for me. With a huge head like this, all I got out of an almost two-pound fish was about half a pound of ceviche material. The rest went into a pot to become Ukha – Russian Fisherman Soup (please click here).

cvch 1.jpg

Beautiful white firm flesh with pink spots that gave it the name Red Snapper. Contrary to the classic Colombian recipe, the original Peruvian recipe calls for corvina; unfortunately, corvina is a Pacific Ocean fish who doesn’t come visiting our waters. Granted, you can sometimes find it in the stores, delivered from the other side of the U.S., but I believe in ceviche that has barely stopped swimming a moment ago!

cvch 2.jpg

Just like Chef Allen says, you cut it into uniform bite-size pieces. I don’t know how large your bite is, but I follow Chef Allen’s model ceviche that he made for my friend and colleague’s daughter’s Bas Mitzvah  – ah, almost 20 years ago!  Chef Allen Susser is not a kosher chef, but for his former professor (my colleague), he went out of his way, under proper supervision.

cvch 2a.jpg

From this point on, you are mainly on your own, Beautiful People – use your imagination! I like a little crunch, so I toss in a few corn kernels. I want to enhance it with some colors, so I use sweet pepper confetti.  You should feel free to use any additions and enhancements you like, as long as they don’t overwhelm the flavor of fish itself. I do not use any kinds of hot pepper because of our own dietary restrictions, but a real ceviche should have some, so you can dice some jalapeno or chili peppers, or simply sprinkle it with red pepper flakes.

cvch 2b.jpg

Ceviche cooks in lime juice. Some recipes temper the sharpness of lime with lemon juice, but that’s up to you. I use pure fresh-squeezed lime juice and save some lime slices both for garnishing and just in case someone might want to add some more juice once it’s on his plate. Lime juice is added after all the ingredients, not before!

cvch 3.jpg

Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and/or red pepper flakes, if you like it hot. Mix it well, to make sure fish bites are uniformly coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. If you have time to marinate it a little longer, the marinade will penetrate better, and the flavors will blend to create a more complex taste.

Just as I was about to post this recipe, I got the latest addition of Miami New Times with a food review featuring Chef Fernando Chang and his restaurant 26 Sushi and Tapas.  Chef Fernando is a prominent kosher chef in South Florida. The review features some new additions to his menu, among them – surprise! – Tuna Ceviche (to read the entire review, please click here).  I don’t think I’ll use rocoto, lovingly called “fire in the mouth” by the Peruvians, in my kimchee any time soon, but I am tempted to combine it with tuna and radishes and see what happens!

cvch 4

Meanwhile, my ceviche is ready, garnished with fresh chopped cilantro. It is not as spectacular as Chef Fernando’s who has presented it on a palm leaf and always remembered to hold the hot peppers when making it for me.

P.S. That’s a Cantina Gabriele Pinot Grigio 2014 we are having with it – light, crisp, refreshing, and delicious!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 lb fresh salt water fish, boneless and skinless (preferably red snapper but any firm-flesh white fish will do)
  • 1 tablespoon corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sweet pepper confetti
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, and more lime for garnishing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped cilantro to garnish
  • Optional diced hot peppers of your choice and/or red pepper flakes to season

PROCEDURE

  • Cut fish into uniform bite-size pieces. Add corn kernels.
  • To make pepper confetti, dice a few sweet peppers of different colors. Add one tablespoon to ceviche, freeze the rest.
  • Add lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 20 – 30 minutes. Mix again before serving.
  • Slice remaining lime to garnish, sprinkle fresh cilantro to garnish.

Enjoy!

 

Advertisements

71 Comments Add yours

  1. Sounds easy enough to make. Now I have to try it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sounds heavenly, too bad we can’t get good fresh fish here.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not in a kosher store, probably, but if you find a good reputable fish store and buy a whole untouched fish, and then clean it yourself (tip: i don’t do it, my husband does it for me!), you’ll have fresh fish.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure if I informed you, that I have Scheduled this wonderful recipe for 2016/09/30 for my blog. Keep an eye out for it and spread the word of “Sharing is Caring” with your followers and if they would like to participate to leave me a note on that post. Thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I am sure that once you post one of my recipes, the word will spread, and I’ll make an effort to mention it as well.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks so much deaer Koolkosherkitchen; Link of your post release on my site; https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/ceviche-spells-florida/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for doing such a great job!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My absolute pleasure. Keep them coming and also please let your followers know of your participation and hopefully they will follow and also join us.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How about I re-blog your invitation to participate? Would that work?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That will be beyond awesome if you can do rhat for me. Yes, yes, yes: “Sharing is Caring”. Your a super star🌟🌟.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Sure – my pleasure!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reblogging my post.

      Like

    1. Thank you so much, dear, I am so glad you like it!

      Like

  5. Reblogged this on koolkosherkitchen and commented:

    Here is another raw fish recipe, indigenous to South and Latin America and extremely popular in Florida.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. E says:

    The final presentation is almost too pretty to eat. I used to live in Bradenton and there was an early morning farmers market in the tiny downtown with the most amazing ceviche! I miss riding my bike from my apartment along the Manatee River to a street full of fresh produce and happy people. I never really understood how ceviche is made. Nostalgic post for me 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am glad I was able to elicit happy memories! Thank you for your lovely comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The lime juice cooks it??? Never have had ceviche, but if I had yours, I’m sure I’d like it.
    That is one gorgeous citrus rose!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Melinda! Just get your whatchamacalit down here, and I’ll make ceviche for you on the boat, with freshly caught snapper.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love red snapper!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. So do I, especially when it goes from the fishing line straight to the table!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Like

  8. Wow! Great! Now i know why the fish is called Red Snapper. Never heared it before. Thx. Is it really so difficult getting the fish kosher?
    Its only the way cleaning them, right? 😉 Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, certain kinds of fish are kosher, and other kinds aren’t. Shellfish and bottom feeding fish, for example, aren’t. Generally, any fish with scales and fins is kosher, but sometimes it’s very hard to see the scales, such as in mackerel. There is a list to consult.

      Like

  9. This looks and sounds wonderful – I can almost smell the sea. I loved reading the background – as always. Great post.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Madelyn! Come visit, and I’ll make it for you, I promise!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just put it on my bucket list!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I hope to have some “face time” with you waaaay before bucket list time!
        BTW, did you see my note about trying to nominate you for “Bloggers’ Blogger Award” and failing to do so for technical reasons? Check your spam folder, please!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Will do – thanks for the reminder.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ah, so you did see it – great!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I did, and jumped over to attempt to figure it out, left confounded as well, but didn’t have the time to explore further. I was confused as to whether nominations are closing soon or whether they have already closed and voting is closing soon.

        I’ll do my best to make time for another look later this evening. I’ll nominate YOU, however, if I can figure it out – nominating myself isn’t something that feels comfortable.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh, but I want to nominate YOU, and their rules state that you can nominate yourself, so please do it on my behalf!
        My understanding is that nominations have just started, and voting hasn’t started yet, but when you click on the supposed nominations link, it takes you straight to voting. Something strange is going on there, but you are so much more tech savvy than I – I am sure you can figure it out!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. With enough time and focus, perhaps. But I’m guessing that there is something kludgy with the link. Hopefully it will have been found and fixed before I have time to get back there.

        If I can figure out how to nominate YOU, then you will be able to nominate me if I can explain what I did (and it’s not too complex a process).

        Silly, probably, but it feels odd to nominate myself for an award.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I do not want to impose upon your time – I know you are busy. Yes, if you have time to figure it out and explain the steps to me, I should be able to do it.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. It IS confusing, Dolly – primarily because the words “vote” and “nominate” seem to be interchanged without thinking about how they are likely to confuse those of us out here in the peanut gallery. 🙂

        My heart goes out to the award organizer(s) – I would never take on a project like this!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      10. I agree, but they’ve been doing it for several years – should’ve had the bugs worked out.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. They probably cut and paste text from prior years, hoping to save time, and it seems not to have worked well in this one.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      12. You’d know better, obviously.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. All I know is that sometimes that’s how things get screwy for me. I’m guessing.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Ha, at least you know how things get screwy! When things get screwy for me, I scream for help. I guess I am spoiled because no matter what happened, I’ve always had tech assistance at work, even before my homegrown helping hands.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Would that your experience had been mine! I spent a TON of essentially off-purpose time figuring things out, which contributed significantly to my feelings of overwhelm.

        THEN came a period where the tech-assistance I could finally afford to hire knew less than I did and wanted to charge me for the time they took to figure it out.

        hmmm . . . might be worth some time figuring out the underlying beliefs that led to that experience. I certainly do NOT want to affirm it!!!!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      16. I am sorry you had to go through such a waste of valuable time, and quite a bit of frustration, too, I am sure. I was simply lucky in that I taught at the same university where I did my doctorate, AND one of my two best friends /colleagues was doing his doctorate in computer science. He introduced me to the techies, I did the typical Odessa thing – brought them some homemade cookies – and a Cuban thing (a bottle of rum), and thus became their Priority 1 customer.
        As to underlying beliefs, I think you suspect what they are…

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Yep – we attract according to what we believe we can. 🙂

        I used to take cookies to the backstage crews when I was in a show – amazing how well that works! Never thought about “the Cuban thing,” however. GREAT idea!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      18. You’ve got to be Cuban to think of that! Armenians would bring cognac, Georgians (a country, not a state) would press wines on you, etc.
        Cookies always work the best, though, especially the chocolate ones!

        Liked by 1 person

      19. Or beer! But the techies really went for the chocolate chip cookies.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      20. Beer is not my cup of tea, so to speak, so I don’t really relate to it.
        But choc chip cookies – oh yes!

        Liked by 1 person

      21. I’ve never been fond of beer myself – but the techies seemed to adore it — not as much as the cookies, lol.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      22. Not our techies down here.

        Liked by 1 person

      23. Different arena – mine were theatre techs.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 2 people

      24. Contrary to the Russian backstage environment, American one is an unknown territory to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      25. When we hosted a Russian theatre troupe, years agoin NYC, they were stunned by how different everything was – especially their visit to the scene shop.

        They were especially amazed by the materials storage area. “When we want wood,” they disclosed, “we start with trees.” 🙂
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      26. LOL That was true. I don’t know how it is now, though.

        Liked by 1 person

      27. Better, I hope! What a planning nightmare otherwise, even if you plan the schedule to reuse as many sets as possible each season.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      28. I am sure it’s more technologically and logistically advanced now, but in those years labor was cheap and time was in abundance.

        Liked by 1 person

      29. Technology marches on!
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      30. Do you remember which Russian troupe that was?

        Liked by 1 person

      31. I do not – it was 30 years ago — and I was not centrally involved in getting them here.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      32. Just being a curious cat, thought maybe it was someone I knew.

        Liked by 1 person

      33. They were delightful – and SO generous of spirit. They brought presents for 12th Nite – cotton babushkas for everyone and a smuggled out bottle of Armagnac.

        We each got a little cup, and it was incredible! “Yeah, nobody ever exports the good stuff and we knew you’d love it.” 🙂
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      34. How did you communicate? Did they speak English?

        Like

      35. Just left a comment asking how to NOMINATE (vs vote). Hopefully someone will answer, so I am keeping the tab open, since notifications only pop in real time on WordPress.com sites.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      36. Thank you – let’s see what happens!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s