Saturday, August 01, 2009

Ernesto's Shrimp Ceviche

Peru is said to be the birthplace of ceviche. This statement will be disputed, I know. It seems every country in Latin Amercia has their own claim to fame & their own style. One thing is true: It was the birthplace for me. The first time I ever tasted ceviche was on a beach south of Lima, Peru about 10 years ago. I was visiting a friend and he ordered fish ceviche and it came with yucca fries and corn on the cobb. It was love at first taste! In Panama, they served it in little pastry shells, in Ecuador I ate it with corn nuts, in Costa Rica with fried plantains, and in Mexico with crackers or on tostadas. In my house we eat it with good 'ol tortilla chips.
Back in 2002, I wrote in to the Atlanta Journal Constitution about Ernesto's cooking for their Thursday food section. A few weeks later Ernesto was featured in the paper. Re-reading the interview really made me smile. A few things are outdated, but the ceviche recipe he chose to share the is still the best I have ever tasted. If you have ever tried it, you know what Im talking about. If you look at the original article you will see that they advised cooking the shrimp because they did not want to recommend uncooked shrimp to the public. I took that part out below and want to clarify that by NO MEANS should you cook the shrimp for this recipe. There was a great picture that the newspaper took of Ernesto in our tiny tiny kitchen, but unfortunately it's not posted online. So I added this one from a cookout a couple weeks ago.
I posted Ernesto's shrimp ceviche recipe about a month ago on my non-food blog Viva Cindy, and I was amazed at how many people were searching for one. Well, not amazed, I guess, I mean it is one of the best foods in the whole world! Of course people are searching how to make it. I am a bit biased, but this recipe below is my favorite. Please let me know what you think!
Ceviche is raw fish marinated in citrus juice. Though the fish is not technically cooked, the acid in the marinade turns the fish opaque and firms it up. Serve with tortilla chips or as topping for tostadas.

Ernesto's Shrimp Ceviche|

(Preparation time: 20 minutes of chopping , plus 1 hour to marinate)

1 pound large raw tiger shrimp, peeled and deveined

4 roma tomatoes, diced

1 small white onion, chopped

3 serrano peppers, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon clamato juice

1 teaspoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

6 limes

Peel, devein and cut shrimp into 1/4-inch pieces. In a bowl, combine shrimp, tomatoes, onion, peppers, cilantro, Clamato juice and olive oil. Season with garlic salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze lime over combined ingredients and mix well in large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Drain excess lime juice before serving.


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